Waterfront walks vs. nature hikes


Waterfront Walks

Many of our Waterside communities offer boardwalks, piers and promenades that enable visitors and residents alike to experience the waterfront right up close.


Boulevard park to the Fairhaven Green: This is a beautiful walk along a sprawling boardwalk. The path is gravel and pavement with one uphill section. The wide boardwalk is suitable for walkers, runners, bikers and strollers.


Muriel Iverson Williams Waterfront Park to American Legion Park: Paved, pedestrian boardwalk with a dedicated walking/bike path overlooking Liberty Bay. Start your journey with a picnic at the Austin-Kvelstad Pavilion.

La Conner:

La Conner Boardwalk: The perfect Swinomish Channel stroll is mere moments away from shopping, restaurants, galleries and the heart of La Conner. The boardwalk is paved, and suitable for strollers and bikes alike.

White Rock:

White Rock Pier and Promenade: The White Rock Promenade is a just-over-1.3-mile paved stroll along the beach. The pier is considered White Rock’s crown jewel, and was last reconstructed in 2019 after being damaged in a 2018 wind storm. Note: there are no dogs, bikes, inline skate or skateboards allowed on the pier or promenade.


Coupeville Wharf: Walk the wharf any leisurely day of the week and you will find plenty of spots to post up at the end. Bring a snack, or a book to read while enjoying the ocean breeze and sunshine.

Birch Bay:

Birch Bay Drive and Pedestrian Facility: A paved path where pedestrians and bikers can meander with the ocean on one side and shops and restaurants on the other. Breezy and friendly, this path will not disappoint on a sunny summer day.


Zuanich Point Park to Bellwether Way: This paved and gravel path will take you around Squalicum Harbor, past several restaurants and the Marine Life Center. Stop at the playground or the Dockside Market, which takes place on the first and third Saturdays of each month.

Nature Hikes

Visitors who are more into hiking than leisurely walking are in luck while in our Waterside communities. There is excellent hiking around all our communities as long as you know where to look.

Orcas Island:

Turtle Back Mountain Southern approach vs. Northern approach: Turtleback Mountain offers two distinct hikes. Chose the southern approach for sunshine, open vistas and a steep, uphill climb. Or chose the northern approach for wetlands, wooded shade and a more leisurely ascent. Turtleback Mountain is the second highest summit in the San Juan Islands.


Fragrance Lake Trail: A hike of moderate difficulty, the Fragrance lake trail is just under 4 miles, with an extended loop option that will bring your distance up to 5.4 miles total. A discover pass is required to park your vehicle. This is a popular hiking trail and dogs are welcome as long as they are on a leash.

Port Townsend:

Fort Worden Bluff Trail: Fort Worden offers a choose-your-own-adventure of interconnected trails. Bluff Trail offers views of the Point Wilson Lighthouse as well as the San Juan Islands. This half mile trail feeds into several other options to extend your hike at various difficulty levels. Plan your hike before you go at parks.wa.gov.

Lummi Island:

The Baker Preserve: Take this steep, winding hike that gains over 1,000 feet of elevation in just 1.64 miles to an overlook with a well-worth-it view. The lookout offers views of the San Juan Islands as well as the Rosario Strait. Hikers must sign in at the trailhead. There are no dogs or bikes allowed. This trail is on a Lummi Island Heritage Trust controlled access preserve.


Nooksack River Trail: The Nooksack River Trail will take you on a flat, gravel journey through Hovander Homestead Park. Detour away from the river to hike the short loop through Tennant Lake and the fragrance gardens. This is an easy hike, with opportunities to see seasonal farm animals and the historical Hovander House.