For a quiet walk close to Bellingham, try this trail along Lake Whatcom’s eastern shore.
Elevation gain: None.
Round trip: As much as six miles.
Difficulty: Easy. Gravel surface is completely even to the 1.5-mile mark.
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Users: Pedestrians and cyclists.
Best times to hike: Year-round.
Highlights: Soon after the trail begins, it starts running along the shore of Lake Whatcom, giving lovely views of the hills to the south. On the other side are sandstone cliffs, some big Douglas Fir trees, and two small creeks, each with scenic waterfalls.
Maps: Whatcom County Parks and Recreation Department’s trail map.
Getting there: Follow North Shore Drive around the north end of Lake Whatcom past Agate Bay and across the bridge at Smith Creek. Park at the well-marked trailhead just beyond.
In two miles, find a pleasant park-like spot on the right for a lunch break. This is also a good turn-around point. The trail continues another mile, ending abruptly at a fence.