Travel Advisories - North Cascades Highway Closed for the Season
Explore Bellingham and Whatcom County Like a Local!
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| 02/04/2021 | Dining & Wineries, Indoor Activities, North Cascades, Restaurants, Side Trips, The Great Outdoors, Visitor Info/Services

Explore Scenic Bellingham and Whatcom County Like a Local

Outdoor recreation is the number one reason that so many adventurous folks choose to live in Whatcom County. Situated between the Salish Sea and the North Cascades, Whatcom is a land of towering peaks, serene forests, countless trails, and endless outdoor opportunities. Whether you’re interested in hiking, exploring public parks, paddling, snow sports, or simply taking a scenic drive, there’s something for everyone here. 

Washington’s first state park, Larrabee State Park has been a local favorite since its opening in 1915. Over 100 years later, this 2,748-acre camping park offers 8,100 feet of saltwater shoreline on Samish Bay.

Home to camping, hiking, mountain biking, and scenic waterfront views, Larrabee State Park and Chuckanut Drive are #1 on our 10 Must Do’s in Historic Fairhaven

Explore the park with a hike to Fragrance Lake or an easy walk to the beach. Then, continue down Chuckanut Drive to Taylor Shellfish for fresh oysters — or head north into Fairhaven for endless dining options.

Travel Tip: A Discover Pass is required for parking.

For those in need of a forest bathing experience, Stimpson Family Nature Reserve delivers 350 acres of undisturbed old-growth. This ancient forest features Douglas Fir trees over 400 years old! Walk beneath the lush canopy to access two loop trails. Both are fairly short, offering over 4 miles of hiking trails in total.

With its natural serenity, Stimpson was rated one of Whatcom County’s 10 Best Walking Trails!

If you’re looking for a trail that checks all the boxes, Chanterelle Trail may be the one. Open to hikers and mountain bikers alike year-round, this trail is great for kids, leashed dogs, and just about anyone looking for a good hike.

It’s moderately challenging (4.8 miles round-trip with 1,000 feet of elevation gain) and offers options for extending your hike or making a loop. And of course, the payoff is oh-so-worth-it. From the overlook, you’ll enjoy expansive views across Lake Whatcom to Lookout Mountain, Bellingham Bay and beyond. 

Visit the countryside farm at Hovander Homestead Park in Ferndale, Washington for access to easy walking trails and a breath of fresh air. This rural county park encompasses a sprawling 350 acres and features everything from farmyard animals to a fragrance garden and boardwalk at Tennant Lake. It’s the perfect place to walk the dog, stretch your legs, and let the kids run around outside. Climb the wildlife viewing tower for views across the wetlands to Mount Baker. 

With access to a huge red barn and historic Victorian home (a National Historic Site in fact), Hovander makes our list of Most Instagrammable Spots in Whatcom County

A mile-long beach between Birch Bay and Blaine, Semiahmoo Spit is one of our favorite spots for Socially Distant and Uplifting Walks in Whatcom County! The spit is excellent for bird watching, beachcombing, and sunset viewing. And if you’re looking for somewhere to stay (or eat and drink) nearby, Semiahmoo Resort is located at the end of the spit.