Whatcom Welcomes New Forested Park
In great news for hikers, Whatcom County Council approved a new park for the county with a vote of 5-2 last night. The new Lake Whatcom Forest Preserve Park, at almost 8,844 acres, will be one of the largest local parks in the nation.
In great news for hikers, Whatcom County Council approved a new park for the county with a vote of 5-2 last night. Once approved by the state Board of Recreation, the new Lake Whatcom Forest Preserve Park, at 8,844 acres, will become one of the largest local parks in the nation. (Portland's Forest Park, as a point of comparison, is about 5,100 acres.)
Speaking up for new northwest recreation opportunities
WTA's Northwest Regional Manager Arlen Bogaards spoke at the meeting, highlighting the accomplishments of WTA's local trail volunteers and partnerships to create great trail systems, including recent trail work at nearby Larrabee State Park. Dozens of trail users that included families, hikers, mountain bikers and trail runners also spoke up on behalf of the new park.
Washington Trails Association and other groups, including Conservation Northwest, have all advocated strongly for the county creating the new park from lands previously held by the state for timber harvest.
The demand for outdoor recreation in and around Bellingham continues to grow, and the new park will provide hikers new recreation opportunities in a wild forest landscape while preserving a local ecological resource. As many as 55 miles of new trails are proposed in the coming years.
As the number of trail users and volunteers in the Northwest region of the state grows, WTA is eager to help Whatcom County land managers and elected officials plan for the future of this landscape.
What's involved in building a brand new trail?
While it may be a while before the new park trails are created, you can join WTA in building a brand new trail at Larrabee State Park from The Cyrus Gates Overlook at the top of Cleator Road to Lost Lake through some amazing cliff bands and previously uncharted territory in the Chuckanuts.