Kingfishers


Congratulations KINGFISHERS on completing your first year in Explorers Club! Thank you for your humor, sensitivity to others, play, and willingness to learn. You have answered the call to Stretch Your Edge and grow into the wider world of exploration with us. We're excited to continue the journey with you!

Before we look ahead, let's look behind and see where we've been. Please take a moment and revisit the KINGFISHERS blog posts from last year.

The KINGFISHERS skill for this year will be the Art of Navigation and Bird LanguageRead more about our BEC Skills Progression and the vital skill of being prepared with our Be Prepared ChecklistOur Earth Skills Journey will lead the Explorers down a path that will lay a firm foundation of craftsmanship, wilderness living, and deep naturalist connection.

Lead Mentor Contact Info
Kingfishers 2018-19 Schedule

OUTING #1: Sunday, September 23, 10:00AM-3:00PM
EXPLORATION: Clayton Beach

There is just so much to do here!  Forests to explore, fossils to find, rocks to climb, giant hills of sand to play on, plus all the awesome plants and animals that call this area home. Where we go and what we do is determined by our curiosity.

Directions: Drive south on Chuckanut Dr. from Fairhaven for 5.5 miles. The parking lot for Clayton Beach is a short distance past the main Larrabee State Park entrance (left hand side of road). Map.

OUTING #2: Saturday, October 13, 10:00AM-2:00PM
SERVICE: Connelly Creek Restoration Site, Happy Valley Park

Our official EC restoration site has changed dramatically in the last three and a half years. Blackberries that were once well over head-high have been chopped down to nothing and many of their persistent roots have been dug out. Hundreds of pounds of trash has been removed, the reed canary grass has been covered with bark mulch, native species are beginning to be planted on the banks of the creek, and the alder are growing markedly faster than our Explorers. 

The most exciting news is that, for the first time in about 80 years, the salmon have returned. Now those returning salmon are really going to need our help if they are going to lay eggs. We'll focus on providing just the right environment for a vibrant and happy northwest stream. With the help of Bellingham City Parks and Nooksack Salmon Enhancement Association (NSEA), we are making a real positive impact on our land. Please take a moment to track the history and view photos of this amazing site.

Directions: From I-5 drive west on Old Fairhaven Parkway for 0.1 of a mile. Turn right onto 30th St. and drive for 0.3 of a mile. Turn right on Donovan Ave. and drive for .1 of a mile. Turn right onto 32nd Ave. and drive for .2 of a mile. Turn left into Bellingham Park & Ride (WSDOT) Westside. Map.

OUTING #3: Sunday, November 4, 10:00AM-3:00PM
EXPLORATION: Lookout Mountain Forest Preserve

Lookout Mountain Forest Preserve is roughly 370 acres that house the headwaters of Austin and Beaver Creeks. This is a new location for BEC. We are excited to venture out into its wild spaces. Together we'll explore the trails this preserve has to offer, including a 2.2-mile loop, viewpoint trail that offers stunning vistas of Lake Whatcom, a waterfall loop, and an 8-mile service road that climbs the flanks of Lookout Mountain.

Directions: From Bellingham, take Lakeway Dr. east for 3 miles. Continue for another .5 miles as it turns into Terrace Ave. and then Cable St.. Take a right on Austin St., which becomes Lake Louise Rd. Follow for 3.3 miles. Trailhead parking lot will be on the right. Map


OUTING #4: Saturday, December 1, 10:00AM-3:00PM
EXPLORATION: Padden Gorge Traverse

Lake Padden is a local gem with all kinds of mysteries hidden in its sandstone folds: giant cedars in a secret sanctuary, trillium, oyster mushrooms, raptors, crayfish, and much more. For this traverse, we'll hike along the Padden Gorge Trail to its junction with the Padden Lake loop trail ending up at the dog park. Following Padden Creek, we'll explore some of the lesser known areas of the west side of the park. 

Drop-off Directions: From I-5, take exit 250 for Old Fairhaven Pkwy and head east on Old Fairhaven Pkwy.. Continue onto Connelly Ave. for 446 feet. Turn right onto S. 34th St for .01 of a mile. Map.

Pick-up Directions
Drive south on Samish Way for 2.4 miles.Turn right onto Lakeshore Dr (golf course/dog park entrance). Continue to the end of the road by the dog park. Map.

OUTING #5: Sunday, January 13, 10:00AM-3:00PM
EXPLORATION: Pine and Cedar Lakes

We will be preparing for our summer backpacking opportunities by climbing up into the Chuckanuts to the beautiful Pine and Cedar Lakes!  Our hard work will be rewarded by the opportunity to see carnivorous plants, find ancient trees, and hopefully find some of the first ripe berries of summer!  We’ll challenge ourselves with a good hike full of games, skills, and adventure.

Directions: Drive 1.2 miles south on Chuckanut Dr.. Veer left onto Old Samish Rd. and continue for about 1.9 miles to the trailhead parking area on the right. Map.

OUTING #6: Saturday, February 2, 10:00AM-3:00PM 
EXPLORATION: North Lake Samish 

In Whatcom County, we are blessed to have the endless trails of the Chuckanut Mountains right in our backyard. On this outing, Explorers will have to Grasp the Nettle as they navigate the steep slopes of the eastern Chuckanuts and face the bitter cold of our winter season. The North Lake Samish trail boasts some spectacular vistas and waterfalls and also holds some challenging route finding through mixed use logging terrain. If we are lucky we might even make it to Pine Lake.

Directions: From Bellingham head south on I-5 and take exit 246 toward north Lake Samish. Turn left onto Lake Samish Dr. for 1.6 miles. Take a sharp right onto Lake Samish Park. Parking lot will be on your right. Map

OUTING #7: Saturday, March 9, 10:00AM-2:00PM
SERVICE: Connelly Creek Restoration Site, Happy Valley Park

Our official EC restoration site has changed dramatically in the last three and a half years. Blackberries that were once well over head-high have been chopped down to nothing and many of their persistent roots have been dug out. Hundreds of pounds of trash has been removed, the reed canary grass has been covered with bark mulch, native species are beginning to be planted on the banks of the creek, and the alder are growing markedly faster than our Explorers. 

The most exciting news is that, for the first time in about 80 years, the salmon have returned. Now those returning salmon are really going to need our help if they are going to lay eggs. We'll focus on providing just the right environment for a vibrant and happy northwest stream. With the help of Bellingham City Parks and Nooksack Salmon Enhancement Association (NSEA), we are making a real positive impact on our land. Please take a moment to track the history and view photos of this amazing site.

Directions: From I-5 drive west on Old Fairhaven Parkway for 0.1 of a mile. Turn right onto 30th St. and drive for 0.3 of a mile. Turn right on Donovan Ave. and drive for .1 of a mile. Turn right onto 32nd Ave. and drive for .2 of a mile. Turn left into Bellingham Park & Ride (WSDOT) Westside. Map.


OUTING #8: Sunday, April 14, 10:00AM-3:00PM 
EXPLORATION: Hovander Park and Tennant Lake

This exploration will take us to the 360-acre Tennant Lake wetland area. Here we’ll navigate our way through bulrush and cattails and along meandering boardwalks above this aquatic habitat learning about the importance of the peat-bog lake for the 150 species of birds that have been observed at the in the wildlife area. If we have time we can also explore the sandy banks of the Nooksack River, which provide excellent opportunities for tracking.

Directions: Drive north on I-5 and take exit 262. Turn right onto W Axton Way/Main St. and drive for .6 of a mile. Turn left onto Hovander Rd. and and drive for .1 of a mile. Turn right onto Nielsen Ave. and drive until you reach the parking lot for Tennant Lake 
Interpretive Center. Map.

OUTING #9: Sunday, May 5, 10:00AM-3:00PM
TRAVERSE: Larrabee State Park Boat Launch to Clayton Beach Trailhead


Previous Explorers have made the momentous journey from Larrabee State Park Boat Launch to Clayton Beach and it is now time for our group to try. This year, we'll embrace the low tide and get around the corner first thing. PLEASE BRING WATER SHOES in case the urge to wade in is high! Following this route, we’ll have access to paths within the park boundaries that will make this a memorable and challenging trip. Come ready for adventure!

Drop-off Directions: From Fairhaven, drive south on Chuckanut Dr. for 4.7 miles. Turn right on Cove Rd. and drive for 0.3 miles. Turn left on Pleasant Bay Rd., follow signs to the boat launch. Map.

Pick-up Directions: Drive south on Chuckanut Dr. from Fairhaven, for 5.5 miles. The parking lot for Clayton Beach (the sign on Chuckanut Drive says Lost Lake parking) is a short distance past the main Larrabee State Park entrance, on the left hand side. Map.
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