Getting Kids Out Into Nature

Sehome Hill Arboretum Trip Report 3/18/16

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Sehome Hill Arboretum Tunnel

We took advantage of the sunny weather last Friday to head up to Bellingham for another short trip. Aaron had the day off, so he joined us on our adventure. The Sehome Hill Arboretum is a native plant natural area set aside for protection and enjoyment. It’s nestled next to the campus of Western Washington University, a short distance off the freeway. Despite its location, it offers some peaceful trails to wander for reflection and exercise.

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Sylvan Path

We parked at the main parking area inside the Arboretum. The advantage of this parking area for families with children is that it minimizes some of the elevation gain to get to the center of the park. We walked to the right of the parking area and took the Tunnel Trail through the cool rock tunnel, then joined the main trail to the Observation Tower.

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Observation Tower

This sturdy wooden structure allows hikers to climb up into the tree tops for a view to the west, north and east. We could see parts of the harbor (and hear some of the heavy equipment down there), and we enjoyed the peek-a-boo view of Mt. Baker between the trees.

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Mt. Baker in the Distance

Then we continued down the Huntoon Trail, which slopes gently downward. We passed the location of an old landslide (from 1935) where we could see some sandstone cliffs and some tilted geologic layers.

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Sandstone Cilffs
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Annika Checking out the Inclined Layers

We stopped briefly at the Outdoor Learning Classroom, before turning around and looking for the unmarked dirt trail leading to the quiet rocks. We sat on the benches and rocks for a short break, listening to the bird song in the trees, before heading back to the car along the Huntoon Trail.

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Quiet Rocks Area for Listening and Resting

This was a neat outing for everyone. I felt like there were some interesting features that many children will like, from easy trails to the tower to rocks, and of course there were plenty of sticks to pick up.

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Annika’s Bundle of Sticks

We ended our day with a visit to Fairhaven, where we browsed through our favorite book store, Village Books,

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Village Books

and the kids got Fish and Chips and Clam Chowder at the quirky Fairhaven Fish and Chips.

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Fairhaven Fish & Chips

The meal got two thumbs up from them! This walk could also be paired with a visit to the Earth Sciences building at WWU, where you can roam the hallways and view interesting rocks, gems, and fossils from the local area and beyond. (Stay tuned for another blog post in the near future about this field trip!)

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Copycat!
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Fairhaven Statue

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