The days are getting shorter, which means longer trails are harder to get in before sundown. Plus, higher elevation hikes here in Washington are already getting snowed in—the options are getting limited. Today, we've got a walk through the woods to help stave off cabin fever.
The Hertz Trail in North Lake Whatcom park is an easy 3 mile trail along the east edge of the lake. Right now is a great time to get out on this trail as big golden maple leaves are still falling and the filtered sunlight of fall paints the lake with a deep green hue. The tree cover in the area also makes this a great walk for drizzly days.
Meandering along the edge of Washington state's 4th largest freshwater lake, the Hertz Trail is on the railway grade for the former Bellingham and Eastern railway which ran from the Blue Canyon mines at the south end of the lake. An easy walking trail, there are plenty of places to clamber down to the beach, and plenty of benches to have a snack or simply admire the calm waters of the lake. The trail also butts up to Stewart Mountain, creating tall cliffs and a few mulch-tiered waterfalls tucked away just off the trail.
Bellingham residents are fond of Lake Whatcom—not only is it a great place to come in the summer for bbqs and swimming, but its also the source of the city's drinking water. The lake has depths below sea level in some portions; the deepest point is the South Basin with a depth of 328 feet. Walking along this trail helps Bellingham residents to appreciate the watershed that is so important to their everyday lives.
At the 3 mile point, the trail ends abruptly at a wire fence, as North Lake Whatcom Park ends and private property begins. There has been talk through the years, hopes that the trails could one day be extended all the way to the former settlement area of the town of Blue Canyon. Until that happens, turn around at the fence and head back to the parking lot making an easy 6 mile walk round-trip.
For additional information on the Lake Whatcom Hertz Trail, check out the following:
Whatcom County Parks and Rec