Woodland Caribou

Congratulations WOODLAND CARIBOU on completing your first season of Boys Explorers Club (BEC)! We appreciate your willingness to play and connect with each other and the natural world. We look forward to building on our collaboration and compromise skills as we move into our second year in Explorers Club (EC)!


Please note: this group meets primarily on Bellingham Public Schools Early Release Thursday!


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


The WOODLAND CARIBOU skill focus for this year will be Art of Navigation and the Art of Bird Language. Read more about our BEC Skills Progression and the vital skill of being prepared with our Be Prepared Checklist. Our 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:


Woodland Caribou 2018-19 Schedule

OUTING #1: Thursday, September 27, 1:30PM - 6:30PM
TRAVERSE: Padden Gorge to Lake Padden Park

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 it's junction with the Padden Lake Loop Trail ending up at the dog park. Following Padden Creek, we'll get to explore some of the lesser known areas of the west side of the park. 

Drop-off Directions: Take exit 250 for Old Fairhaven Pkwy and turn left onto Old Fairhaven Pkwy. Continue onto Connelly Ave for 446 feet. Turn right onto S 34th St for .01 of a mile. Click here for the Google Map Destination

Pick-Up Directions: Drive south on S. Samish Way for 2.4 miles. Turn right onto Lakeshore Dr (golf course entrance). Continue to the end of the road. We will meet at the south end of the lake near the dog park. Click here for the Google Map Destination.

OUTING #2: Sunday, October 21, 10:00AM-2:00PM
SERVICE: Connelly Creek

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: Thursday, November 15, 1:30PM - 4:30PM
EXPLORATION: Arroyo Park via N. Chuckanut Mtn Trailhead

Our local treasure in the Chuckanuts endlessly yields adventure and exploration. With Chuckanut Creek rushing through it's base and the steep flanks of Chuckanut Mountain on it's edge, Arroyo Park offers challenging terrain and a pristine riparian zone for spawning salmon. As we explore, we’ll get to find out what this patch of wild land is up to, learning from the inhabitants and playing with them. Due to the tricky drop-off location we have opted to have parents drop-off and pick-up at North Chuckanut Mountain Trailhead.  

Directions: From Fairhaven head South on Chuckanut Hwy.  Just past the intersection with Old Samish there will be a parking lot on your left with a sign saying “North Chuckanut Mountain Trailhead.” Click here for the Google Map Destination.


OUTING #4: Thursday, December 13, 1:30PM - 4:30PM
EXPLORATION: Lookout Mountain

Lookout Mountain Forest Preserve is roughly 370 acres that house the headwaters of Austin and Beaver Creeks. Lookout Mountain is one of our most expansive, close-to-town wild spaces. It provides fantastic habitat for deer, bear, bobcat and even our most elusive wild cat - cougar. Together we'll explore the on and off-trail spaces that 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.

Driving Directions: From Bellingham, take Lakeway Drive East for 3 miles. Continue for another .5 miles as it turns into Terrace Ave and then Cable Street. Take a right on Austin Street, Austin becomes Lake Louise Rd follow for 3.3 miles. Destination will be on the right.  Click here for the Google Map Destination.

OUTING #5: Thursday, January 10, 1:30PM - 4:30PM
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, the Explorers will have to grasp the nettle as they navigate the steep slopes of the eastern Chuckanuts and feel the damp northern exposure that this area provides. 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 Drive for 1.6 miles. Take a sharp right onto Lake Samish County Park. The parking lot will be on your right. Click here for the Google Map Destination.


CANCELLED OUTING #6: Thursday, February 14, 1:30PM - 5:30PM
EXPLORATION: Tennant Lake

This exploration will take us to the 360-acre Tennant Lake wetland area. Here we’ll navigate our way through cattails and along meandering boardwalk 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.  

Driving Directions: Driving north on I-5 and take exit 262. Turn right onto W Axton/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. Click here for the Google Map Destination.


OUTING #7: Saturday, March 23, 10:30AM-2:30PM
SERVICE: Connelly Creek

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:  Thursday, April 11, 1:30PM-6:30PM
EXPLORATION: Yew Street Woods

The Yew Street Woods lie on the Western entrance of the Lookout Mountain Open Space. From our drop-off location on San Juan Blvd. we will access the power line trail and venture Southeast along the lower flanks of Lookout Mountain. With plenty of space to roam and navigate we will utilize the myriad of social trails and spend some time getting to know this wild land located right in our own backyard.


Driving Directions: Heading South on I-5 take Exit 253  and head East on Lakeway Drive for 1.1 miles. Turn right on Yew Street and drive for 0.7 of a mile. Turn right onto San Juan Blvd. On street parking will be on your left. Click here for the Google Map Destination.

OUTING #9:  Thursday, April 25, 1:30PM - 7:30PM
EXPLORATION: Clayton Beach

There is just so much to do here!  There are 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 Drive from Fairhaven, for 5.5 miles. The parking lot for Clayton Beach is a short distance past the main Larrabee State Park entrance, on the left hand side. Click here for the Google Map Destination.


Rescheduled OUTING #6: Saturday, May 4th, 10:00AM - 3:00PM
EXPLORATION: Tennant Lake

This exploration will take us to the 360-acre Tennant Lake wetland area. Here we’ll navigate our way through cattails and along meandering boardwalk 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.  

Driving Directions: Driving north on I-5 and take exit 262. Turn right onto W Axton/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. Click here for the Google Map Destination.

OUTING #10: Thursday, May 23, 1:30PM - 6:30PM
TRAVERSE: Larrabee State Park Boat Launch to Clayton Beach

Previous Explorers have made the momentous journey from Larrabee Boat Launch to Clayton Beach and it is now time for this 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 tide is high! If it's too high for us to make the crossing, then we'll venture into the woods and navigate the trails that parallel the beach. Come ready for adventure!

Drop-off Directions: From Fairhaven, drive south on Chuckanut Drive for 4.7 miles. Turn right on Cove Road and drive for 0.3 miles. Turn Left on Pleasant Bay Road, follow signs to the boat launch. Click here for the Google Map Directions.

Pick-up Directions: Drive South on Chuckanut Drive from Fairhaven, for 5.5 miles. The parking lot for Clayton Beach is a short distance past the main Larrabee State Park entrance, on the left hand side. Click here for the Google Map Destination.


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