Pets allowed
Trail type
2.20 mi (3.54 km)
Please respect the outdoors by practicing Leave No Trace. Learn more about how to apply the principles of Leave No Trace on your next outdoor adventure here.

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.

Logistics + Planning

Preferable season(s)




Parking Pass

Washington Discovery Pass


Easy trails. Diverse scenery.


Lack of river views.

Trailhead Elevation

25.00 ft (7.62 m)


Historically significant
Big vistas

Suitable for




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