Squires Lake Park
Every day Dawn - Dusk
Because it straddles the Whatcom-Skagit County Line, Squires Lake Park is about as for south as one can travel and still be in Whatcom County. Featuring two lakes, plenty of non-technical hiking trails and a couple of park benches for taking it easy, it's definitely worth penciling in for a few hours of exploration.
From the small, elevated parking area on the east side of Highway 99, start by climbing a moderate 1/3-mile long trail. Like other popular hikes in Whatcom County, this section of trail makes use of an old railroad grade. At the top of this trail a bridge provides a pleasant first view of the lake. From here several options are possible.
The trail leading to the left is more level and offers open vistas while the trail to the right climbs above the lake onto a forested ridge. Another option is a 4-mile loop that includes both trails.
The trail to the right--and up--leads to a narrow ridge with cliffs overlooking the Friday Creek drainage which flows from Samish Lake. Despite the feeling of security that the trees provide, the cliffs require that care be taken, especially with children and pets. Continuing on this trail leads to a clear-cut area with open views to the south into the Skagit Valley. This approach is used by many people wishing to climb the "Alger Alp" of Skagit County.
The main trails below the ridge eventually meander down into a stream drainage that connects Squires Lake with the slightly higher Beaver Pond. The pond was actually built by beavers and provides evidence of their characteristic gnawing on trees and branches. Here the flooded areas built by the beaver dam have killed some of the trees and begun to open the area of the pond. It is a good place to quietly contemplate the cycle of pond and lake building that beavers provide. Even if the beavers don’t come out, it is a good place to see other wildlife. On especially quiet days hawks or even an eagle may perch on one of the taller snags provided by the beaver flooding.
The trail connecting the Beaver Pond to Squires Lake comes near a logging road used by equestrians but most people will enjoy continuing on the trail along the lower east side of the lake. A marshy area provides more opportunities for plant and wildlife viewing in a more open setting. Eventually this trail leads back to the bridge.
While a simple loop provides a 4-mile hike, this can easily be increased by taking some of the other connections.
From I-5 take the South Lake Samish Exit to the east side. This becomes “Old” Highway 99. The one-way parking area entrance is just ahead on the left.
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