A lovely city park in the countryside near Lynden, Washington, with its impressive old-growth forest and the Berthusen homestead, Berthusen Memorial Park appears to be somewhat of a well-kept secret. This was my first visit to the park, and passing the sprawl of the red barn, constructed in 1901, as I turned off the main road into the park entrance, it felt rather like I was driving into a museum.
Complete with a Farmall tractor like my dad owned when I was a young child, the Puget Sound Antique Tractor and Machinery Club maintains large displays within the park grounds of machines and equipment that show the history of farming and logging in Whatcom County.
Among what remains of the original homestead is this old privy – most uniquely built into the trunk of an old cedar tree.
Once finished touring the homestead and historic display areas of the park, I set off for the trails through the forest.
Set in the middle of miles and miles of sprawling pasture lands and located so close to downtown Lynden, finding miles of trails winding through first an old-growth, then a second-growth forest seemed a special treat. There were several large displays mounted behind plexiglass along the trails with detailed maps – complete with dots indicating “you are here”.
With few signs marking the individual trails, however, it was at times difficult to know exactly trail I was on. Perhaps a compass would have helped. Cooled by the shade of the thick forest, I did not mind having to hike a few of the trails a second time in order to get back to my original starting point.
Entertained by the sounds of bird songs and the gentle breeze through the trees, it was a very pleasant hike – especially when the trail followed the gentle flow of Bertrum Creek.
With plenty of local history, picnic tables, large picnic shelter, child’s playground area, playfield and seven miles of forest trails, Berthusen Memorial Park is a great park for the entire family. More information about the park, including driving directions and history , can be found on the website for the City of Lynden here – http://www.lyndenwa.org/?page_id=984.