Spanning almost 4430 forested acres that house the headwaters of Austin and Beaver Creeks, Lookout Mountain Preserve is located just south of Lake Louise Road and Sudden Valley in Whatcom County. Various trail crews have worked to clean this area up, removing garbage and construction materials, leaving beautiful recreation options for Bellingham residents. As of 2018, there are six more miles of trail slated to be built in this lovely park, right in Bellingham's backyard.
Rufus Creek Trail
Get a workout on this route, which starts from the trailhead near Sudden Valley and climbs gently for 4.3 miles through forest, across streams and around wetland areas before meeting up with the currently-closed Cougar Ridge trail.
Along the way hikers will enjoy views of the signature sandstone common in this area, and at 3.5 miles is a lovely overlook of Lake Whatcom. The trail benefited from several miles of new trail construction thanks to WTA and partners, and offers a fun, longer hiking option at Lookout Mountain.
Further up the Rufus Creek trail is a junction with the Leila June Trail. This hiker-only trail was one part of the original loop on Lookout Mountain and makes it possible to do several other loops or out-and-backs.
Other trails branch off the Rufus Creek trail, which is the main artery up the mountain.
Hike the Rufus Creek Trail 0.8 miles from the trailhead to a junction for the Waterfall Trail and Baneberry Trail. The Waterfall Trail is a short and sweet loop hike that guides hikers past a gorgeous waterfall.
Much more difficult is the Baneberry Trail, a serious quad workout that makes it possible to create a loop with the Rufus Creek Trail.
As the trail system develops, hikers can also head up to Lookout Mountain on an eight-mile service road. It's a long hike, but not currently on trails.
Buttercups, bleeding hearts and Queen Anne's lace bloom here in the springtime, and thanks to efforts from the trail crews, the routes are all in good condition.