Hiking in Bellingham

"Take Nothing But Photo's; Leave Nothing But Footprints"

Chuckanut Trail System

Hiking in Bellingham, WA is a popular and favorite exercise and sport around town! I absolutely love to hike and I can't think of anyone I know personally that doesn't enjoy the lushous trails we have, either.

Bellingham, WA is loaded with trails popular for hiking, biking, or running. Popular because of the beautiful scenary that can be captured, but also the many species of greenary, mushrooms, and flowers you will find along the trails.

Update!!! As of July 1, 2011, there's a new "Discover Pass" that is required to park at the Washington State Parks, Department of Natural Resources lands and Department of Fish and Wildlife trailheads. So, keep this in mind as well as getting a "Day Pass" or a "Discover Annual Day Pass."

For more information, check out the Washington Trails Association website for which pass may be best for you and see whether or not which trails you may need to have a few bucks donation on hand for using the trails. Also, you can purchase the Discover Passes on the new Discover Pass Website, here. It will open into a new window.

The Chuckanut Mountain Trails are my favorite as there are so many trails and destinations to choose from. They were actually the first ones that challenged my husband and I after we moved up here. The 8,000 acres of land and trails are publicly owned and maintained by the Whatcom County Parks and Recreation Department. The Chuckanut mountain trails have many trail heads that lead to different areas and lakes. Most of them interact together along the way. You can be on one trail and find the option to get onto another trail. The hikes range from moderate to quite strenuous!

Go I-5 north or south to Highway 11, which is Chuckanut Drive. You will find the bay on one side and many trail heads posted along the way. The Oyster Dome Trail is right across from the Oyster Bar Restaurant at mile post 10.1.

fragrance-lakeGorgeous Fragrance Lake

The Interurban Trail is a popular spot for hiking in Bellingham for walking, jogging, and cycling. My husband and I have rode it various times on our bikes. We rather enjoy the 3.1 miles (5 K) of trail down to the secluded Teddy Bear Cove beach area on the shores the bay.

The trail-heads are located at Fairhaven Parkway and 20th Street, at Highline Road, and Larrabee State Park off Chuckanut Drive.

Fragrance Lake is one of my personal favorites. I guess because it was our first "real hike" after moving up here. I've been up there 5 or 6 times since!

 The Oyster Dome Trail being the most strenuous trail to go hiking in Bellingham that I have ever been on! But, the most rewarding, too!

Hertz Trail and Lake Whatcom Trail's are in my neck of the woods. It's an easy 3.1 mile trail along the shores of Lake Whatcom. It, too, is wheelchair accessible. The trail-head begins at the end of North Shore Drive and meanders slowly along the shoreline of Lake Whatcom.


hertz-trailMe and My Puppy Dog!

Stuart Mountain Trails are great for a day workout! (I say "trails" because there are many, some less traveled...just saying!) You can find the trail in the upper parking area at the Lake Whatcom Trail. Instead of walking the around the lake, take a day hike up the mountain. You can even hike up the fire trail all the way up and end up and over to look over the Acme area with Mt. Baker and the Twin Sisters starring at you! It's awesome! Quite a trek, but well worth the reward!

Lake Padden is a very popular hang out for cyclists, as well as walkers and runners. The 2.6 mile trail circles around the lake for an easy stroll. The lake also has a couple more challenging trails; great for equestrians and off-leash exercise for your dogs. Get off I-5 to the Lake Padden exit or off Samish Way going south.

Pine and Cedar Lakes Trail is a popular trail for "exercise enthusiasts!" Only a 2 mile trip, but don't think you'll get there going to fast paced.

Raptor Ridge Trail is a pet friendly trail, perfect, for those seeking a trail less traveled on with lots of interesting scenery along the way, with a "Oyster Dome-like" view.

The Stimpson Family Reserve Trail is quite a simple and easy stroll, but a very unique 2.8 mile loop! This one is family friendly, but no pets, no horses or bikes allowed.

No pets??? Well, if you're in the area of the Stimpson Family Reserve you can head down the road towards Sudden Valley. Just a half mile or so down on your right you can hike on the Lookout Mountain Preserve. One of the trails is complete with views of Lake Whatcom, the Twin Sisters, Bellingham, and the Canadian Rockies.

Check out my Bellingham Store for hiking trail books and maps for the area.

whatcom-falls-trail-signWhatcom Falls Park

Whatcom Falls Park in the heart of Bellingham, has various and moderate trails, as well as a bunch of waterfalls to enjoy.

Galbraith Mountain is very popular,too. Galbraith is known, loved and mostly used by mountain bikers, but they are courteous to hikers as well. They say it is miles upon miles of the best hiking and mountain biking in the country! Galbraith Mountain is also known as by Lookout Mountain. The views on Galbraith are incredible and gives spectacular views of Bellingham Bay, The San Juan Islands, The Canadian Coastal Range, The North Cascades and the majestic Mt. Baker.

Access to Galbraith, learn the history of Lookout and the credit's for keeping up of the miles and miles of trails on the mountain go to WHIMPS, and check out their website.

These are all "just a few" of the trails you can go hiking in Bellingham, Washington. Most all of these trails are leashed-pet friendly and the proper disposal of waste is always encouraged if you take your dogs.

Do you need a map to go hiking in Bellingham? You can get one here from the Bellingham Parks Dept! Just scroll down our maps of Bellingham page and you can go in and download one from the parks department! Click here for hiking trail maps.

If you have gone on any of these trails while hiking in Bellingham, you can include your own experience, too, or come back here and tell us about your hiking experience on my bloggers page! We would love to read about your hiking experience. 

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Check Your Foot Gear "Before" You Go Hiking In Bellingham

The weather in Bellingham

is perfect for hiking year around in. However, if you are new to hiking it could be a mistake to buy hiking boots for the trip. Eric Seaborg, author of "Hiking and Backpacking", recommends a sturdy pair of walking shoes instead. Avoid running shoes for they don't offer enough ankle support.

However, if you love the sport and plan to hike often, more than a couple times a year, buy a good pair of hiking boots or shoes. The heavier and more expensive hiking boots are worn by avid hiking enthusiasts who walk 8 to 10 miles at a time.

Reduce friction and blisters by layering your socks if you choose to wear boots. Wear a thin polyester liner sock to keep your skin dry. Then, cover that sock with a heavier padded sock made of acrylic, wool, or stretch nylon.

Always test your boots before buying them. The heel of your foot should not slip up and down more than half an inch walking upwards.

When walking downwards, your toes shouldn't slide forward and hit the front of the boot.

Always check to see if there is enough room to wiggle your toes. With the boot unlaced, there should be enough room to slip one finger behind the heel.