Squires Lake Park is a hidden gem that rests along Highway 99 on the border between Whatcom and Skagit Counties, just 2 miles north of Alger. The 82-acre park is part of the Chuckanut Mountain biome. Its habitat is extra valuable because it connects to Lookout Mountain Forest Preserve.
Its 1.4 miles of looping trails also connect to the Pacific Northwest Trail that links Glacier National Park to the Pacific Ocean. Primarily used for hiking, walking, trail running, and horses, this gorgeous park is accessible year-round. It’s off the beaten path, so, if you’re lucky, you may find that you have it all to yourself.
Because this site has diverse habitat — lake, marsh, beaver pond, forest and cliffs — more than 68 bird species have been spotted there and some accomplished birders have identified more than 40 bird species in a single visit.
The park itself surrounds Squires Lake and a smaller water body aptly named Beaver Pond. Squires Lake was historically used by the Squires family as a private fish and fur farm.
Parking is immediately off Old Highway 99 with restrooms available. From the trailhead, the route makes a quick, moderate climb, gaining about 300 feet over 0.3 mile before easing and connecting with the loop trail where you’ll get your first peek at tree-ringed Squires Lake.
Here, the trail forks to loop around the lake, with several benches along the way. Turning left leads to views of the dam, a waterfall and the full length of the lake. Or turn right and head uphill to a junction with the South Ridge Trail that then continues off site as the Pacific Northwest Trail.
Care should be taken on the Ridge Trail as you walk along the narrow ridge with cliffs that overlook the Friday Creek drainage that flows from Samish Lake. A short side trail branches off the main trail to Beaver Pond where you’ll see plenty of evidence of gnawing on trees and branches.
While you explore the pristine habitat of Squires Lake, you’ll discover why it was protected permanently for generations of public use by the Trust and Whatcom and Skagit County Parks.