Lake Padden Trail

Lake Padden trail 3

We take this trail so infrequently, because the parking lot is used mostly by mountain bikers going up the Galbraith Mountain trails on the opposite side of Samish Road.  We were lucky on this rainy day to get a spot.  I always back in, because it is safer to pull out than back out, because bikers don’t pay attention. That’s a true fact. Besides being a solitary and inward-focused sport, bikers are too exhausted to care about anything at the end of the trail.

Lake Padden trail dog 10This particular day, we decided to let our dog Bella off-leash.  She’s 2 now, and has, with the help of treats, earned this right because we trust she’ll return at least for them, if not us.  But she more than proved herself, going on ahead 20 or 30 feet and looking back to make sure we were in sight.  Even when we encountered hikers with dogs, as was always the case, she played for a bit, and then stayed with us.  Bella has reached a turning point.

Lake Padden trail 16

We also reach our turning point.  The trail has larger loops for people able to go the duration.  This one is just within our reach.  If we were to tally the litany of our aches and injuries, you’d see why.  We’re not out to burn calories.  Nothing like a woods trail recharges.  The hell with mobile devices.  All you need is a camera.Lake Padden trail leaf 20Even though this is the woods, everywhere is evidence of human presence, of human disturbance.  This photo of a cedar trunk still displays the axe-cut where the logger inserted a board to stand on while using a one or two-man bucksaw.  This trail resides between Samish Road and the I-5 corridor, so road noise is never far off, despite the sound dampening effect of fir foliage.

Axe cut in cedar trunk. Signs left over from logging.

Signs left over from logging

To get to this Lake Padden Trail going North on I-5 toward Bellingham, Washington, take the North Lake Samish exit 246, and turn left off the ramp.  The trail head parking lot is less than a half mile up on the left.  From Bellingham, take Lakeway east to the I-5 South, then proceed to the same exit, turning left off the ramp.


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