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River Dike Trail

Northern Puget Sound, Washington

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River Dike Trail

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  • The River Dike north trailhead.- River Dike Trail
  • The Nooksack River alongside the trail.- River Dike Trail
  • The active farm in Hovander Homestead Park.- River Dike Trail
  • Black cottonwoods (Populus trichocarpa) are found along the entire River Dike Trail.- River Dike Trail
  • A curve along the River Dike Trail.- River Dike Trail
  • A veteran memorial site along the River Dike Trail.- River Dike Trail
  • The Hovander Homestead Park tower area.- River Dike Trail
  • Young black cottonwoods (Populus trichocarpa).- River Dike Trail
  • Mount Baker (10,781') from the River Dike Trail.- River Dike Trail
  • The Nooksack River from a short spur trail.- River Dike Trail
  • The Tennant Lake Park tower from the River Dike Trail.- River Dike Trail
  • The Tennant Lake cut-off trail from the River Dike Trail junction.- River Dike Trail
  • A field of creeping buttercups (Ranunculus repens). - River Dike Trail
  • A larger loop can be made by taking the Hovander/Tennant Lake Connector Trail.- River Dike Trail
  • The Tennant Lake creek flowing to the Nooksack River. - River Dike Trail
  • - River Dike Trail
Overview + Weather
Pros: 
Easy trails. Diverse scenery.
Cons: 
Lack of river views.
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Region:
Northern Puget Sound, WA
Congestion: 
High
Pets allowed: 
Yes
Parking Pass: 
Washington Discovery Pass
Preferable Season(s):
Winter, Spring, Summer, Fall
Suitable for:
Hiking, Biking
Total Distance: 
2.20 mi (3.54 km)
Trail type: 
Loop
Trailhead Elevation: 
25.00 ft (7.62 m)
Current Local Weather:
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Hike Description

Hike Description

Contributor

The River Dike Trail traces the eastern shores of the Nooksack River through the length of Hovander Homestead Park. The path is most commonly accessed via the north trailhead, which shares a parking lot with a small boat launch. If exploring the park is on your itinerary as well, the central trailhead located near the Hovander Park lawn may be a better option.

You can see most of your first mile from the beginning, a long stretch of gravel trail winding into the distance beside the leisurely flow of the current. Black cottonwoods of all ages line the shores, gradually coming together to crowd out views of the river. As the Hovander Homestead nears, you get a good idea of what farming life in Whatcom County could have been like during the early 1900s. Catch the massive red barn and elegant manor from nearly every angle as the path wraps around the south end of the lawn.

The next section passes through a stand of young cottonwoods before sending you into open farmland with a fantastic view of Mount Baker to the east. A faint spur trail can be picked up here to gain another brief meeting with the Nooksack. The south end of the field ends a junction for the 0.5-mile cut-off trail to Tennant Lake Park. This, paired with the 0.4-mile Hovander Homestead connector trail, presents a fun detour and some new scenery for the journey out. The River Dike Trail continues south through a deciduous wood before terminating at Slater Road.

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(6 within a 30 mile radius)

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(62 within a 30 mile radius)

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