For those who don’t mind waking up a couple hours earlier than usual, a 20 minute drive to Ferndale where a 50-foot watchtower is parked overlooking Tennant Lake and Mt. Baker is worth racing the sun to.
Truth be told, Tennant Lake Park, with its award-winning fragrance garden, stunning wildlife and winding raised boardwalk through wetlands filled with lily pads would probably be beautiful at any time of day.
Just off of the parking lot sits a tall tower that makes for a great view of Tennant Lake, Mount Baker and the wetlands. I recommend bringing a hammock to hang at the top.
An interesting feature of the tower is there is an interactive camera mounted at the top. For viewers who can’t or don’t want to climb the tower stairs can use to view the scenery; it can zoom, pan and tilt. Considering the scenery and that it faces the east, it was the absolute best place I’ve been in the Bellingham area to watch a sunrise.
Next, we walked the mile-long Boardwalk Loop Trail that snakes through the wetlands. Although a five minute walk from my car, it really felt like I was truly escaping the rest of the world. All was quiet except for the sound of birds in the distance singing with the rising of the sun.
There is also a maze-like stroll around a fragrance garden just in front of the watch tower. I was racing the sun, so I didn’t have a lot of time to stop and smell the flowers, but if you’re a plant enthusiast it might be a fun garden to check out.
I really recommend this adventure. My friends and I were the only ones there for the sunrise and I was the first of my friends to hear about the park so it seems to be a pretty well kept secret among the community. If you’re looking for an escape from classes and other responsibilities or for a quiet place to study while embracing nature, Tennant Lake is the perfect peaceful getaway.