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Lake Padden Park

Puget Sound and Islands


Puget Sound and Islands -- Bellingham Area
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7.7 miles of trails


Gain: 400 ft.
Highest Point: 800 ft.


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WTA worked here: 2021

Parking Pass/Entry Fee


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. To find a little solitude take a turn off the beaten path to rise above the south side of the lake on a less-trodden upper trail.

Start your trip from any of several parking lots off of Samish Way. Then work your way around the lake on a 2.6 mile smooth gravel loop path close to the lakeside. Keep an eye out for mallard ducks, American coots, cormorants, buffleheads, and other waterfowl on the lake. Around the south side of the lake, take a turn up into the hills above the lake to avoid the crowds. This 0.8 mile detour is about the same length as the section of gravel loop around the lake that it parallels, but it’s a slightly less well-maintained trail with fewer people, and it goes deeper into the forest. Along this trail watch for deep conifer forest as you ascend, emerge into moss-covered deciduous trees along the way, and don’t forget to admire the layer of sword ferns along the forest floor. Then descend to rejoin the lakeside loop.

If you’re looking for a little wandering to extend your hike, follow one of the smaller trails that breaks off of the main loop trail at the southeast end of the lake. These smaller trails wind around the surrounding woods providing 5.1 miles of extra walking in the woodlands. If you’re looking for more than just a hike, stop by the tennis courts, the golf course, the off-leash area with a dog, the playground with kids, or the docks with a boat. Lake Padden Park has something for everyone.

WTA Pro Tip: Although there are several bathrooms along the north and east sides of the lake, whether or not they will be unlocked varies by season. Be prepared to check a couple before you find one open!  Check the City of Bellingham website for more information.


Lake Padden Park

Map & Directions

Co-ordinates: 48.7021, -122.4531 Open map in new window


Puget Sound and Islands -- Bellingham Area

City of Bellingham Parks and Recreation Dept.

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Guidebooks & Maps

City of Bellingham Parks and Recreation Trail Guide

Getting There

From Bellingham, follow Samish Way.  Lake Padden Park has several entrances off Samish Way. Most of these small parking lots usually have cars in them, but finding a spot isn't a problem since there are several options for parking along the north and east sides of the lake.

Parking Pass/Entry Fee


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Lake Padden Park

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