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“Oxygenated Forest Walks”
Review of Whatcom Falls Park

Whatcom Falls Park
Ranked #1 of 82 things to do in Bellingham
Certificate of Excellence
Attraction details
Level 4 Contributor
37 reviews
16 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
“Oxygenated Forest Walks”
Reviewed April 19, 2014

Fresh air and thundering falls with salmon fisheries and a great maze of trails to explore on foot or bike.

Visited February 2014
Helpful?
Thank Loannetter
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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698 reviews from our community

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English first
La Quinta, California
Level 6 Contributor
112 reviews
20 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 48 helpful votes
“Don't miss”
Reviewed April 17, 2014 via mobile

This is truly a beautiful nature area. It is easy to get to and is part of Whatcom lake area. Scenic views and great stop for picture taking

Helpful?
Thank Tripsfor100
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bellingham, Washington
Level 3 Contributor
10 reviews
7 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
“One of my favorite places...”
Reviewed April 16, 2014

It's beautiful, ever changing, rich in natural light and beauty, and has lots of trails and paths to walk on. Whatcom Creek meanders through the park, fills Derby Pond where kids fish for trout during the season, and ducks and birds hang out looking for handouts. The creek heads over a small dam and down the first of a series of waterfalls. The biggest is viewable from a large stone bridge built by the WPA in 1939-40. There is green moss everywhere. In winter frost builds on the rocks and sometimes collects on the trees below the falls creating a winter wonderland. There are resident barred owls and all variety of ducks including a large colony of wood ducks. A beaver lives in Scudder Pond, a Audubon Society bird sanctuary on the outskirts of the park. It is a magical place and gets my highest rating for its beauty.

Visited April 2014
Helpful?
1 Thank Ann C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bellingham, Washington
Level 2 Contributor
7 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
“A Surprise Around Every Bend”
Reviewed April 15, 2014

We live in Bellingham, and Whatcom Falls Park has always been one of our favorite places to vist, to walk with our dog and to enjoy the changing seasons. The park follows the course of Whatcom Creek, which drains Lake Whatcom and carries its sparkling waters down rapids and falls, through quiet pools and busy eddies, among towering trees trees and under a graceful stone bridge to its mouth in Bellingham Bay.

At the park's eastern end is Scudder Pond, an ideal place for birders to observe both freshwater marsh birds and migrating species. Walk past the sluice gates which control the rate of flow from the lake, down a lazy section of stream where kayakers have set up a slalom course, and end at Derby Pond where the under-14 set cano practice their angling skills and families can feed the ducks. The stream begins dropping at the weir which dams the pond, and flows over boulders and logs to the drop for which the park is named. This waterfall, which varies according to the seasons, is readily visible (and photographable) from the historic stone bridge, built during the Depression. Here the water from the nearby fish hatchery rejoins the stream, and the creek continues to tumble past obstacles down to the Whirlpool. Here there is a smaller falls where the water rushes between high cliffs on either side, from which (slightly insane) teenagers leap into the deep pool below.

The paths throughout the park are well maintained. Some are built on old railroad rights-of-way and are wide, gently graded, graveled and good for walking and bicycling. Others are a little narrower and less formal, winding among trees, blackberries and other shruberry, and upturned stumps with interesting root systems. You'll meet walkers, bicyclists, dogs, children, the occasional school or daycare class and, in warm weather, people in swimsuits looking for a great swimming hole. You'll find playgrounds, a working fish hathery, tennis courts, picnic tables, a basketball court, open meadows where the dogs can play fetch and thick woods where the deer find shelter.

A terrible pipeline accident occurred in the lower part of this park in the 1990s, and the resulting explosion and fire left enduring scars. But Nature is resilient, and there are observation posts from which you can see the park's recovery from the tragedy. Interesting and sobering.

There is something for everybody here! The only downside for a first-time visitor is that the trails can be confusing, and it takes a while to get to know your way around. The signs are helpful, but they don't answer all your questions. There's only one set of restrooms, and if you're not familiar with the park, it can be disconcerting and uncomfortable trying to find relief.

Come and visit! Whatcom Falls Park is a true jewel!

.

Visited August 2013
Helpful?
1 Thank Kris U
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bellingham, Washington
Level 3 Contributor
12 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
“Great trails. Dog-friendly”
Reviewed April 15, 2014 via mobile

Beautiful park with Whatcom Creek running right through it. Trails, swimming, picnic shelter, dog-walking, biking, tennis and a playground. Less than 10 mins from I-5. Check out the falls and fish hatchery.

Visited August 2013
Helpful?
Thank Lynda1117
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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