The Stimpson Family Nature Reserve is by far the most interactive hike I’ve gone on thus far. Tucked away in the forests of Lake Whatcom, it’s definitely a special place that, even as a Bellingham native, I have never heard of before.
The land itself was once a large estate held by the Stimpson family, whose children decided to convert the land to a nature reserve rather than to keep it to themselves.
My dad and I definitely preferred this hike over all others because it was more interactive than others. Along the hike, there were fun, informational signs to read that provided unique information about the park and the animals that live in it.
In addition to the signs, there were some benches with views that looked out to the gorgeous wetlands the reserve is known for. Unlike many of the trails in Bellingham, Stimpson reminded me of a well-maintained national park.
The park has two loops hikers can choose from: one is 2.8 miles and the other 1.3 miles. We decided to take the 1.3 mile trail to start off. Halfway through the hike, we were struck with a hailstorm quickly followed by a torrential downpour. Needless to say, we walked out looking like we took a dive in the wetlands.
From what I could see from under my rainjacket, the park is beautiful with all sorts of different animals and plants, such as cute ducks and beavers. I also heard there was a cougar in the neighborhood the week before. The trail is well traveled, so don’t expect any danger.
If you are looking for an easy hike or semi-easy run, this hidden gem is a great place to go in Bellingham and the best part is it’s free.