Connelly Creek


Donovan Avenue at 30th Street
Bellingham , WA 98225


Every day Dawn - Dusk


Here's Connelly Creek Trailhead, one of the highlights of Happy Valley.
One of the best trails in Bellingham for families with young children is the Connelly Creek Trail, winding through South Bellingham's Connelly Creek Nature Corridor.

The trail can be started at Donovan and 30th Street, or at the corner of Douglas and 30th Street, next to Joe's Garden. A map of the path at the Donovan trail head features drawings by students of the Bellingham Cooperative School showing some of the animals that inhabit the corridor. As you walk the trail you might discover rabbits, fox, deer, raccoons or dragonflies.

Two things make this trail especially attractive to families with young children: its natural diversity and its limited elevation gain. In a short distance, children can cross a meadow, walk through a young alder grove, enter a forest filled with large cedars, and cross Connelly creek over foot bridges. The trail takes walkers past swamps filled with pungent skunk cabbage and an earthen water retention dam that can be explored.

The trail has no real hills to climb, only the occasional small slope. You can cover the entire trail out and back in less than half an hour. If children find the trail too long, one thing that never fails to revive their interest in completing the hike is a unique counting game.

Beginning at the Donovan entrance, a series of birdhouses attached to trees along the trail starts in the alder grove and stretches the remaining length of trail. The hike goes faster when everyone tries to be the first to find the next birdhouse along the path. Over the years, this game has transformed whining, foot-dragging children into excited and laughing explorers. This game has become so much a part of the hike that now my children usually initiate it when we walk the trail.

Because the trail is so close, it has become a part of the daily routine for many hikers. Walking it on a daily basis, its easy to feel close to nature, watching plants sprouting in the spring, blackberries ripening in autumn, and snow sifting down through tree branches on a crisp cold winter afternoon.
Written By: Rob Olason
On: 6/10/1999


From I-5, take the Fairhaven exit. On Old Fairhaven Parkway at turn right at 30th Street. Two blocks later, cross Donovan Avenue and park in the gravel strip along Donovan. You are at the South entrance of Connelly Creek Trail.


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