When in the heart of Bellingham, it’s sometimes difficult to remember how close to nature the city really is. In fact, there is a haven of walking trails in and around the downtown Bellingham area. One is never far away from a nice place to stroll, even at The Leopold.
Walking Trails in Bellingham
Whatcom Creek Trail & Maritime Heritage Park
Sheltered from road noise and enclosed by trees, Maritime Heritage Park feels like it’s in the middle of the forest rather than downtown Bellingham. It is a natural respite in walking distance of the Leopold.
The main park has a web of trails with local vegetation and gorgeous views of Whatcom Creek. The balcony becomes quite lively during fishing season, with some fishermen even wading into the water for a better view.
Whatcom Creek Trail is an even, wheelchair-accessible path that follows the creek northeast from the park, providing an awe-striking view of rushing water. The path is intermittent through downtown, but the main trail ends behind City Hall a few blocks away from the Senior Activity Center.
South Bay Trail
This evenly paved trail starts in downtown Bellingham and ends in Fairhaven. The path continues over the bay with a view of the water along the majority of the trail. The entire path is 2.5 miles long, and is popular for walking, running, and bicycling.
The meandering Whatcom Falls Park has a lot to offer, from an off-leash dog park to tennis courts. A web of trails visits different views of the beautiful Whatcom Creek and its powerful waterfalls. Take a look at a few hidden treasures one writer was able to find.
A leisurely loop encircles Lake Padden with plenty of tree cover for a hot summer hike. The lake is frequented by ducks and has a few quiet fishing spots. Branching out from the main path are several detours with views of wildlife and ancient, overgrown trees.
The lake is just out of town on the way to Mt. Vernon. It can be reached by taking bus 533 down Yew St. or by taking Samish Way south.
Tennant Lake Park
The fragrance garden tantalizes the senses with 200 flora selected and arranged for their complementary scents. Visitors are encouraged to not only see and smell but feel the foliage.
Freshly renovated, the boardwalk takes visitors over Tennant Marsh which is lively with fish, water striders, and visiting birds. The boardwalk loops around the park across 1.4 miles.
Tennant Lake Park is a 15-minute drive from downtown Bellingham, just off Hovander Rd. See a full list of sights and experiences at Tennant Lake Park.
A stroll through nature is never far away, even in the heart of Bellingham.