Table Mountain Hike

We’ve been having such gorgeous fall days that we decided to head up to Mt. Baker this past weekend to take advantage of probably one of the last rain-free weekends of the season!

It was actually the first time we had been up to the mountains this summer, which is pretty abnormal for our family, but between Artist Point being closed really late this summer and smoke, we really didn’t have a chance to go. We started the day pulling off at Picture Lake and walking around the quick half-mile loop. This trail is ADA accessible and fantastic for little hikers!

Trail around Picture Lake
So many wild blueberries!
Hiking with kids is often slooowwwww…but you definitely see a lot along the way!

We drove up to the Artist Point parking lot and debated whether or not to do a full hike. Our kids weigh about 35 pounds each and I didn’t want to end up carrying them really far. We started down the Table Mountain trail which is rocky and not too steep to begin with. The kids were doing awesome hiking so right before we got to the steep part of the trail, Seth ran back to the car to get our kid carriers and water/snacks.

The lower/flatter part of Table Mountain Trail

We went up Table Mountain two summers ago too but carried the kids 100% of the way (and they both weighed a lot less then!). Seth got back with all of the supplies fairly quickly and we loaded the kids up in the packs. This trail is NOT GOOD FOR LITTLE KIDS unless they are in a backpack! It is less than a mile from the parking lot to the top, but gains over 700 feet of elevation. There are pretty intense, rocky switchbacks right on top of each other for the last 1/8 mile or so.

You can see the top of Table Mountain in the upper left of this picture

We made it to the top with the kids and found a great place to have a snack. The views from the top are incredible! If you have kids that like to run away from you this might not be a good hike either because there are pretty significant drop-offs on the sides of Table Mountain. The top is relatively flat though!

Beautiful views at the top!

Artist Point is a beautiful place to visit even if you don’t do any hiking! We want to do some longer hikes, but we are trying to feel out how far our kids will be able/willing to go without being carried the whole way!

Eliza REALLY wanted to find snow because she remembered finding it last year…there was one very small patch still left next to the trail!

Marine Drive to Hovander Park Trail – EASY

I searched all over google for the correct name for this trail. “Nooksack River Trail,” “River Dike Trail,” and “Tennant Lake to Marine Drive Trail” were all different names that came up. The parking lots on both Marine Dr. and Slater Rd. didn’t have names on them either. No matter the name, the trail was a beautiful, flat trail along Nooksack River!

Marine Drive Parking Lot

The trail is about 4 miles each direction going all the way from Marine Dr. to Hovander Park, but you could easily start at the Slater Rd. parking lot and go to Hovander Park for a 2-mile round trip. Slater Rd. to Hovander Park is much wider of a trail than between Marine Dr. and Slater Rd. The entrance on Marine Dr. is a little tricky to find. Going west on Marine Drive, it is on the right side of the road right after the bridge for Silver Creek and right before the bridge for the Nooksack River.

Beginning of the trail at Marine Drive

My sister and her 1-year-old came with us so we had Eliza ride on an awesome tag-along bike I got free on Facebook! Oliver and his cousin rode in the bike trailer. Eliza is not even close to being able to ride a bike with no training wheels, but she easily stayed on the tag-along bike for the ride! The only downside is that Eliza weighs 35 pounds and the tag-along weighs probably 30 pounds so it was a lot of extra weight for me to carry. Seth is used to towing the bike trailer with almost 100 pounds when fully loaded with kids and supplies!

A lot of the trail is shaded!

The trail is great for both biking and hiking, but the trail between Marine Dr. and Slater Rd. is pretty skinny (singletrack) so Seth was towing the trailer with both wheels on grass. Once we got to Hovander Park, we biked to downtown Ferndale for ice cream. Round-trip it was about 10 miles total – perfect for an afternoon bike ride!

Narrower part of the trail (between Marine Dr. and Slater Rd)

The trail was not too busy, and it is plenty wide enough to social-distance. Nearly every walker we passed either had masks on or put them on when we went by.

There were plenty of places you could access little beaches along the river on the trail too which would be fun for a stop for a snack or picnic if you were walking.

You can see the river most of the way!

One thing to note is that the parking lots at both Marine Drive and Slater Road had signs that you needed a Discover pass. We (for the 3rd time this year) forgot our Discover Pass in the other car than the one we brought and we risked it and did not get ticketed. I wish they would just give you two passes with one spot to write the license plate instead of one pass with two places for license plates! If you do not have a Discover Pass you could park for free at Hovander Park and do the trail the opposite direction!

Made it to Hovander Park!
Ice Cream after 5 miles!

I’d love to know of any other hidden gems in Whatcom/Skagit County! We usually go to Canada for our outdoor family adventures, but it looks like that won’t be happening this year. Happy hiking!