Friday, March 18, 2011

Falls Park--go and take a fall and enjoy views


                               **  "Don't follow the trend----set it!"**

  The other day I had some energy and time to kill and ended up at Falls Park off of Lakeway Street.  Several buses access the area about every hour if you are also car less like myself.  This is the first time I have been to the park since I have moved back, and I had forgotten how beautiful it is.  Like many places in town you can easily access much of town from this starting point.  Trails wind through the woods in all directions perfect for bikes, runners, walkers, and exploring. 

    I started off the Lakeway entrance.   Its a short walk down the paved road to the actual park if you also take the bus.  To the left are some great trails that wander along with the creek.  Just past the parking lot is a small play park and restrooms.  If you make the short trek over the hill, another larger park awaits.  Along with another parking lot, and tennis and basketball courts.  Through the parking lot is a small fishery.   Many times fish of random sizes are in the tanks before they are ready to be released in the stream and beyond.

Water slide?

    You can follow through this area to a small pond usually full of ducks just dying for some bread from you.  To the left of the parking lot you can hear the main falls of the area.   Pause on the old bridge for some awesome views or pictures.   To the left is a concrete caged in run off, I always thought would make a great water slide!  

    In the summer this area is filled with people trying to cool off.  With the braver ones jumping off the falls.   Above the falls are some great shallow pools and some much smaller falls.   I do have to caution that the rocks in this whole area are very very slick and slant downwards.  And sharp!   I have found it much more enjoyable to cool off or swim at Lake Whatcom just a little further up.  Although on those days when the thermometer is in or nearing triple digits, parking spaces are few and far between. 

    Lake Whatcom has its own playground complete with sanded volley ball areas.   These lead down to very large wadding and swimming area.  This place stays very busy, so be prepared to battle for a good spot to throw a blanket on the grass.   My only drawback was that this is a huge drinking water source for the community, and you can boat in it.  Last time I was in the water, I looked down and was surrounded by fish swimming upside down.  *Not because they were tricky.   I realize all the water is processed many times, etc, but I still drank nothing but bottled water for a long time after that swim.  

Remains from the tracks

    Several trails go around the large lake.   And you can follow several easy trails from the lake back to Falls Park.   Or just catch the city bus.   The lake is mountain feed, so a quick wake up if you decide to jump in in January.   I have tried this before, and would neither recommend or discourage others from doing so. 

    Years ago the train used to travel across the lake.   I have seen pictures and still wander why it went basically across the middle of the lake instead of crossing and edge?   That seems like way less effort to have built, but what do I know.  

   I rank the hike from Falls Park to the lake a 4.5 on my scale.   Read my hike 101 blog if you care about my scale.  Mainly because of the awesome views.   It is a fairly easy trail.   With some slight inclines.   But most have actual stairs.   Something that really bugs me.   Stairs should not be in the middle of any hike in the middle of the woods.  

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