The Hiker Mama

Stimpson Family Nature Reserve

Distance: There are 4.4 miles of trails in the park.

Elevation Gain: Around 300 feet on the Main Loop Trail.

Highest Elevation: 800 feet

Season: Year-round

Map: You can print one out from here before your hike.

Description: This peaceful, mature forest tract makes a wonderful escape only minutes from Bellingham. You’ll feel like you are deep in the wild woods. Giant cedars and Douglas-firs tower over fertile wetlands and two small lakes. Children will enjoy the gentle paths, croaking frogs, and multiple boardwalks over gurgling streams. The trail has two options; the 1.2 mile Geneva Pond Loop is easier and flatter, and makes an excellent destination for younger children (including the access trail, the total distance will be 2.0 miles). Kids and adults with more energy can tackle the 3.2 mile Main Loop Trail, which has almost 300 feet of elevation gain. On the day I visited, I saw wood ducks, buffleheads, pileated woodpeckers and other shy forest birds. I heard barred owls and frogs, and found snakes sunning in a warm patch of brush. Native forest plants form a thick understory, and block traffic noise for much of the trails.

Dogs, bicycles, and hunting are prohibited on this trail.

Directions: From I-5, take Exit 253 for Lakeway Drive, and turn right at the exit. Turn left onto Lakeway Drive, and travel for 3.4 miles (this road turns into Cable St.). Turn right onto Austin Road. This road changes to Lake Louise Road. After 1.6 miles, look for the signed parking area on the left. There are vault toilets at the parking lot. You don’t need any permits to park.

Links: Read about the park on the Whatcom Land Trust page. Read my post of my trip there.