Added by Katherine Haveman
A popular family-friendly trail in Bellingham offers a serene hike through old growth forests and options to loop around the lake or catch a view of the Puget Sound.
Take Chuckanut Drive to the trailhead which is located directly across from the entrance to Larrabee State Park. A small lot in front of the trail has space for 8-10 cars, or you can park at the State Park and walk across the road (carefully!) to reach the trailhead. Either way you will need a Discover Pass, or pay $10 for day parking.
This is a popular trail for Bellingham residents, but do not fear, the lush undergrowth and the giant trees make it feel secluded and absorb the noise of any nearby hikers. Further, this means that it is well maintained by WTA. So while this is a great trail for kids and leashed dogs, you’ll still feel like you got your exercise by climbing the spurts of steep switchbacks.
There are two wooden ‘Z-gates’ that discourage bikers from navigating onto the trail, one at the very beginning of the trail, and one at the end. After passing through the first gate cross the gravel road and head in front of you to the right where a sign says ‘Hikers Only’ to begin your hike. There is one downed tree on the trail, but it is easy to navigate, and with the amount of maintenance this trail receives, it will probably not be around for long. After a mile you will reach a junction with clear signage that indicates an option for an additional 0.2 miles to reach a viewpoint overlooking Samish Bay. Chose this option or continue to the lake by heading right and get ready for some switchbacks.
At the corner of most switchbacks, and other places along the trail, are wooden benches that offer some relief if you need it. Continue to the second ‘Z-gate’ and you are almost to the lake! There is a third ‘Z-gate’ that reconnects to the gravel road off to the right, but ignore this and continue straight to reach the lake.
Rest at some of the benches or take the 0.75 mile loop around the lake as you walk over various boardwalks and bridges to take in different views of the lake.
Pro Tip: If you are doing this hike on a Summer day, Sirena Gelato in historic downtown Fairhaven makes the perfect post-hike snack!
- 10 essentials
- Snacks and water
- Day pack
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