Finally, an afternoon without rain, and what a perfect day it turned out to follow the trails to Whatcom Falls Park. Having a lot (okay, everything!) to do with all the rain we have been receiving lately, I have never seen the falls any more spectacular than it was today. Yes, that same rain that you would hear me complain about if you were near by, so maybe I should reconsider my grumbles. Turns out, rainy days are not so bad – especially if you like waterfalls!
Thinking back, I have been following the trails along Whatcom Creek since the summer I turned twelve. That was the year my family moved from an acreage at the end of a dead end road that bordered National forest lands to a house in Bellingham located less than two blocks from Whatcom Creek. Whether along those trails or in the creek on inner tubes with crawdads pinching our toes, knowing little more about life besides traipsing through the woods, my siblings and I spent most of our spare time those next few summers in exploration mode along that creek somewhere between home and Whatcom Falls Park.
Many changes have been made along those trails since then. A pipeline exploded leaving death, char and distruction in its wake. As replanting and rehabitation efforts have successfully restored the area, so have new foot bridges and flights of stairs replaced muddy, slippery hills along the way.
Safety rails rails have been errected along some of the highest, most dangerous cliffs, and benches added along the way.
There are plenty of options for trails around Whatcom Creek. Some intersect with trails that take you into Salmon Park, the Joe Martin Athletic Complex and Saint Claire Park, while others trails meandering along either side of the creek will lead you into neighborhoods along the way, or on to a bigger system of trails through old railroad easements. My personal favorites are the trails that take me to Whatcom Falls Park though. Information about Whatcom Falls Park is found here – http://www.cob.org/services/recreation/parks-trails/whatcom-falls-park.aspx – and a map of the trails here – http://www.cob.org/documents/parks/parks-trails/trail-guide/whatcom_falls.pdf.
Today’s hike began with a half mile walk through the neighborhood to reach the trailhead on Lincoln Street (not visible on the map at the link provided, but our access was a little left (west) of what is shown there). Following along the edge of the creek on the Whatcom Creek Trail, Lower Gulch Trail and Waterline Trails until we reached the falls, then we turned around and headed back.
Highlights from this hike – good company, good conversation, fast moving water, a most spectacular falls, blue skies above and not too much mud or water along the trail. Go here – Whatcom Falls, the Video – to see my video on YouTube of a most spectacular Whatcom Falls.