Parks & Playgrounds in Whatcom County

Bellingham and Whatcom County are full of parks that provide access to beaches, walking paths, boardwalks, and forest trails on national, state, county, and local public lands. Please remember to Recreate Responsibly and follow all safety guidelines.

Keep reading to find an overview of the many parks around Whatcom County. Have more questions? Check these resources from the City of Bellingham Parks and Whatcom County Parks & Trails.

Discover the beauty of the Peak of the PNW! Explore over 90 miles of trails all within the city of Bellingham with Rick Steves. Four episodes at bellingham.org/ricksteves.

You do not need a National Parks pass or any other pass to recreate or park in North Cascades National Park, though you do need a permit for backcountry camping.

Part of the Cascade Loop Scenic Byway, North Cascades National Park can be accessed south of Bellingham on State Route 20 near Burlington. Make sure to enjoy the park's striking scenery, including the crisp teal waters of Diablo Lake, in late spring through early fall before the highway closes yearly due to snow. 

A Discover Pass is required to park at all Washington State Park campgrounds and trailheads. The pass is a motor vehicle permit only; you do not need it to enter a Washington State Park by foot, bicycle, or boat. 

Birch Bay State Park provides visitors with beach and tideland access. This spot is also a very popular location for bird watching and camping.

  • Bird watching
  • Campground
  • Picnic area
  • Playground
  • Restrooms

Anyone driving along Chuckanut Drive should be sure to stop at Larrabee State Park. Washington's first state park is a popular spot for beachcombing, camping, picnics, and relaxing while taking in spectacular views of the San Juan Islands. 

  • Bird watching
  • Beach access
  • Boating
  • Campground
  • Hiking trails
  • Picnic area
  • Playground
  • Restrooms

Arroyo Park is located off Chuckanut Drive at 1700 Old Samish Road.

  • Creek
  • Off leash dog area
  • Parking
  • Hiking trails

Big Rock Garden is tucked up in the hills overlooking Lake Whatcom. There are over 37 different sculptures by international and local artists.

  • Gardens
  • Gazebo
  • Sculpture collection
  • Walking trail

Bloedel Donovan gives park-goers access to Lake Whatcom and trails that lead to Whatcom Falls Park

  • Basketball
  • BBQ grills
  • Boat launch
  • Dock access
  • Dog park / Off leash dog area
  • Parking
  • Picnic tables
  • Playground
  • Lake access
  • Restrooms
  • Trails
  • Volleyball

Boulevard Park is one of the most popular parks in Bellingham. The park provides access to the South Bay Trail and Taylor Dock and is also a great place to take in the views of Bellingham Bay and Downtown Bellingham.

  • BBQ grills
  • Beach access to Bellingham Bay
  • Boardwalk
  • Picnic tables
  • Playground
  • Restrooms
  • Trails
  • Woods Coffee

Cornwall Park is located in the middle of Bellingham on 70 acres of land with 1.5 miles of trails to explore.

  • BBQ grills
  • Disc golf
  • Horseshoe pits
  • Parking
  • Picnic shelter
  • Picnic tables
  • Pickleball courts
  • Playgrounds
  • Restrooms
  • Spray park
  • Tennis courts
  • Walking trails

Elizabeth Park is home to Bellingham’s Summer Concert Series and also offers year round access to basketball courts, playgrounds, tennis courts, and trails.

  • Basketball courts
  • Fountain
  • Gazebo
  • Picnic tables
  • Playgrounds
  • Restrooms
  • Tennis courts
  • Trails

Fairhaven Park is a beautiful community area located near Bellingham’s Historic Fairhaven Village.

  • BBQ grills
  • Community buildings
  • Basketball courts
  • Picnic tables
  • Playgrounds
  • Restrooms
  • Spray park
  • Tennis court
  • Trails

Hovander Homestead Park preserves the history of Ferndale's pioneer farms. The park encompasses nearly 350 acres and includes walking trails overlooking the Nooksack River.

  • Boat ramp
  • Fishing
  • Picnic tables
  • Playground
  • Walking trails
  • Fragrance garden
  • Restrooms
  • Wildlife viewing

The Interurban Trail sits on the site of the last electric train that ran along the Interurban Railway in 1928. Now the route connects urban greenways in Bellingham’s historic Fairhaven Village with Larrabee State Park and has become a favorite with walkers, runners, and bicyclists.

  • Trails

Enjoy a stroll on the main loop trail that goes around Lake Padden or lengthen your trip by exploring some of the short trails at the east end of the park.

  • Basketball
  • BBQ grill
  • Boat launch
  • Fishing dock
  • Golf course
  • Lake access
  • Off leash dog area
  • Picnic tables
  • Playground
  • Softball fields
  • Trails

Lake Whatcom Park gives visitors the opportunity to stroll by the lake and walk through a lush forest. The interpretive kiosk, located at the lake shore, tells the story of Lake Whatcom and its significance to our community.

  • Fishing
  • Trails

Located in Point Roberts, Lighthouse Marine Park is a 21 acre park that has become known as one of the best spots to view Orca whales from land.  

  • Boat ramp
  • Camping
  • Fishing
  • Trails
  • Picnic tables
  • Playground
  • Restrooms
  • Wildlife viewing

Little Squalicum Park was established as a community park in 1976. With the completion of the Little Squalicum Estuary Project in 2023, new trails and a revitalized beach area are open for all the enjoy.

  • Off leash dog area
  • Trails

Known as the original Lummi Island ferry landing, this beach is now used for exploring tideland.

  • Beach access
  • Fishing

Marine Park is a 1.9-acre park that includes beach access to Bellingham Bay. It is also conveniently located near Fairhaven Village and the Bellingham Cruise Terminal.

  • Beach access
  • Picnic tables
  • Restrooms

Located behind Whatcom Museum’s Old City Hall, Maritime Heritage Park offers stunning views of Bellingham Bay and the active waterfront.

  • Fishing
  • Picnic tables
  • Trails

Also known as Lynden’s City Park, Million Smiles is known for having the “best playground ever.”

  • Basketball court
  • Pickleball court
  • Picnic tables
  • Playground
  • Tennis court
  • Trails

The Sehome Hill Arboretum is a lush, green refuge with 6 miles of trails and is the backyard playground for Bellingham's Western Washington University and Fairhaven College. Established as an arboretum in 1967, Sehome Hill was officially protected from logging by members of Western’s College Board of Trustees in May 1969. 

  • Observation tower
  • Trails

Star Park is located just south of Pioneer Park in beautiful Ferndale. It is a playground about 12,000 square feet in size that is split into two areas - one for kids 0-5 and the other for kids 5-12.

  • Picnic tables
  • Playground

At Teddy Bear Cove expect to see magnificent shoreline views of Chuckanut Bay and Clark’s Point. An unusual white sand beach is the result of centuries of crushed clam shells.

  • Beach access
  • Fishing
  • Trails

Wander down to the beach to enjoy the waterfront and make sure to check out the park’s namesake - the art installation known as “Waypoint” (a.k.a. the “Acid Ball”). 

Enjoy more than three miles of trails in Whatcom Falls Park. Stroll through the forests, discover open meadows, and take in the falls. Connect to Bloedel Donovan Park, the Railroad Trail, or do a one-mile loop in the park by beginning in the Silver Beach Road parking area (near the stone bridge at the main falls).

  • BBQ grill
  • Basketball
  • Off leash dog area
  • Picnic tables
  • Playground
  • Restroom
  • Tennis courts
  • Trails

Overlooking Squalicum Harbor, Zuanich Point Park is the venue for community events, boating celebrations, picnics, and outstanding kite flying.

  • Playground
  • Restrooms
  • Trails/Paths
        We acknowledge that Whatcom County is located on the unceded territory of the Coast Salish Peoples. They cared for the lands that included what we’d call the Puget Sound region, Vancouver Island and British Columbia since time immemorial. This gives us the great obligation and opportunity to learn how to care for our surrounding areas and all the natural and human resources we require to live. We express our deepest respect and gratitude for our indigenous neighbors, the Lummi Nation and Nooksack Tribe, for their enduring care and protection of our shared lands and waterways.
Bellingham Whatcom County Tourism
Visitor Center Located at I-5 Exit 253 - Check Hours
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