Are We Walking to Alaska

Are We Walking to Alaska
Are We Walking to Alaska - A True Story

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Waters - Whatcom Falls




Whatcom (pronounced Watt Come) Falls is one of Bellingham's City Parks and covers 241 acres.  It was built in 1939 and 1940 by the WPA (Works Project Administration) an agency created by the government during The Great Depression to help out of work men, and to build infrastructure for our country.  In our area we find a lot of these construction jobs still viable - rock walls along twisting mountain roads, bridges, campgrounds and Whatcom Falls.

It is in the center of town now, although when built it was out past the last houses in town.  I have a friend that grew up in that area around 40 years ago and she says that the street leading to the entrance of the Falls Park was mostly a logging road coming down out of the mountains. Now it is four lanes and one of the busiest streets in Bellingham.

About a mile from our house, Whatcom Falls Park is one of our favorites.  A short hike from the parking lot down to the falls, and then walking paths on both sides of the falls, a fish hatchery near the parking lot and just down another path, a pond that is the nursery for small fish.  There is another entrance to the park - a long distance to the east, and nearer our house, which is a popular walking path and takes you first to the pond and then on to the falls.

A third entrance, not far from the first entrance, takes us to a higher parking lot, picnic tables and a second play area for kids - swings, slides - and a climbing structure.  It is an amazing park - and it is maintained by the city.  We are fortunate in the number of large city parks in   Bellingham - Lake Paden, in past  posts, is also a city park.

As we get out of the car in the  parking lot we can hear the falls.  People are strolling towards the sound, little kids are hopping and jumping, babies in strollers are waving their hands in delight, grandparents are urging caution as they approach the bridge, families are enjoying the sunny day at the park.


The path just off the parking lot, leading down to the falls.


A sharp turn - you can see a bit of the falls in the upper right hand corner.  .  .

Glimpsed through the trees - there are the falls.  .  .


The plague placed by young men those many years ago, so we might remember how our government helps out the people in times of need.



The moss is thick and beautiful on the bridge, watered by the mist from the falls.




We hold our breath at the first sightings of the falls as they thunder over the rocks.  .  .




The creek leading up to the falls.  This creek comes out of Lake Whatcom, which is near our house.


The falls are awesome from any view.  .  .



Boulders at the bottom of the falls.  .  .






Don - at the far end of the bridge.  .  .


Upstream from the falls, towards the pond, are several smaller falls.  .  . 

And pools.  .  .



Starting back across the bridge, more views of the falls.  .  .



I'm glad you came along for a tour of our wonderful city park.

9 comments:

Paula said...

Wow! What a gorgeous park and falls. I watched a special on PBS not long ago and the building of these walls and some others in the area. I was fascinated then and defintley putting this park on my list of places to visit. (Our daughter and her family live in Kirkland so we'll be visiting the falls soon I hope!)

Anki-itte said...

Wonderful, great, I have no word.

joanne said...

wonderful shots...espec. the mossy wall and rocks, the waterfalls, the bridge - well, every one a gem...

David Oliver said...

That looks like a beautiful park. I love the look of moss. I grew up in Portland Oregon, we had moss everywhere. It does not grow where I live now. I do miss all of the beauty of it.

spacer said...

Thanks for the memories. I spent many hours at Whatcom Falls as a young girl. I have an award winning photograph that my dad took of the swans on the pond.

Karen said...

What a beautiful and peaceful place to go! I just love that stone bridge with all the pretty arches and beautiful moss. How nice that you have this beautiful place right in the middle of town. I can see myself having a lovely picnic here in the summer time. So nice that it is only a mile from your home! xx

maria said...

Wonderful shots. A late visit from OYGIF.

Sweet and Juicy Cantaloupe

Haddock said...

A lovely set of pictures (with greenery and water all over)
I wonder why they kept that sharp turn in the path way.

Lili said...

Your park is beautiful...it reminds me alot of our carriage trails in Acadia National Park which were also a part of the WPA.