For this week’s accessible winter hike, I went to the north Lake Whatcom trail head — as it is known locally.
Officially, the area is named Lake Whatcom Park, while the 2.9 mile lakeside trail is named the Hertz trail. The park is more of a system of trails than a park as there is no field or open spaces. The address of the park is 3330 North Shore Road.
Watch for the large wooden sign that appears along North Shore Drive to signal the left turn into the park, it is easy to miss.
There are two access points, access two despite its name appears first and has restrooms and a large parking area. Park here if you want a longer, woodsy walk through towering trees. This portion of the hike also includes a wooden boardwalk.
The boardwalk is scored, so it doesn’t get slippery. On my hike, I witnessed several trail runners jog over it with ease despite the wet conditions.
Access one is just a bit further down the road and has a much smaller parking area which often fills up. This access point also has a gate which is locked by the sheriff every night at dusk. Cars do get locked in if the sheriff can’t locate the driver, so beware of this.
Access one is great if you want a totally flat hike or bike ride. The trail from access one immediately reveals small, picturesque beaches. If you are in the mood for instant waterfront scenery, this is the trailhead for you. Where the trails converge at the waterfront, there is an A-frame with an informational map.
It includes information about the old, abandon dock pilings. It also includes information about the former White City, a carnival style environment that many years ago, used to occupy the waterfront.
If you follow the Hertz trail, there are a few waterfalls seasonally and a good lookout point called “the wall”. In summer months, this is a popular sunbathing spot to those willing to traverse a couple miles of trail to get there.