Getting Kids Out Into Nature

Lake Padden

Distance: 2.6 miles around the lake, with options to connect to several miles of other trails

Elevation Gain: Minimal

Season: Year-round

Maps: Get your map online here.

Description: Take a walk around this beautiful lake, not far from the city of Bellingham. Start at one of the parking areas off of Samish Way, and meander gently through mature forest and ferns. You’ll get different views of the lake at different places around the loop. Sections on the northwest part are more like an urban park, complete with playground and dog run areas. If you want more solitude, venture off the main loop to one of the dirt trails to the south and east of the lake. Some areas allow off-leash dogs, as well as mountain bikes. Kids will enjoy the ducks on the lake. Consider bringing bikes or canoes for even more fun.

Directions: From I-5, head north toward Bellingham. Take Exit 246, Samish Way, and head north. Look for parking lots along Samish Way, including one by the playground on Lakeshore Drive. There are restrooms at several locations in the park, though some might be closed in the off-season.

Links: Read my article in ParentMap about this hike, as well as other things to do in Bellingham.