8 miles rt about 800 ft gain total
I first started hiking about 15 years ago when my in-laws got Miranda, the Airedale shown in the header. They were older and she needed a lot of exercise. She wasn’t the friendliest dog so I started finding places that there would not be any humans and that is all she wrote. It is easy to get in the must summit, must do big miles mentality but sometimes I remember to just go poke around and look. Today was one of those days.
I grabbed my dog date Snipes and headed out to Blue Mnt parking at the DNR gate on Mosquito Lake Road. The day was lightly overcast but it managed to stay dry all day. I had been up here many times with Miranda and I brought Barley out here once on the road that runs parallel with Hutchinson Creek. Today at the first junction I headed up the hill with the intent to check out Lonesome pond. I have never visited this specific wetland so I wanted to see what it was all about.
We walked out the road gradually gaining about 800 ft elevation until I saw an old social trail that headed toward the lake/pond. At first the trail followed an old road and the tread was still easy to see even though the small alders were growing up in it. Once at the end of the road we headed off through an older clearcut, the old tread just visible here and there until it wasn’t. There were many big trees down along the edges of the clearcut that we had to maneuver over and around but I could see the water so I just made my way toward it. There was lots of signs of elk but none there at the time.
As we got closer to the water I could see an old structure probably used by fisherman/people but it was obvious it hadn’t been used for quite some time. It is really just a platform covered in blue tarp which I will need to go pack out sometime in the near future, I have a thing against micro-plastics in wetlands.
Since the way in was unpleasant, we stayed in the trees working out way toward the road end and since no time out side really happened unless there is blood, I did scrape my thigh pretty good climbing over a downed tree.
While I had never gone out to Lonesome pond before, I had walked out to the end of the road and the trail that connects over to the old grazing area. Either the trail is unrecognizable or I missed it by a hundred feet or so (I think this was the case) but no matter, I made my way across a wetland and over to the ridge where I remember the trail going. I did pick up the tread once on the ridge and followed it to the large open area with the old tub. There were plenty of trees down but it was still easy to follow the trail once on it.
Once through the open area we headed over to Ferguson Pond. I had been here before looking for amphibians but had startled the elk heard that were bedded down there and they mucked up the water for me…and scared the shit out of me! I was new then.
Even though I had been there before I overshot the old trail by about a quarter mile and just kept walking along the old road toward the river until I recognized where I was (you can come up this from Saxon Road) and turned around. Open water at
Ferguson Pond is getting really diminishing as the invasive Reed Canary grass is taking over. That stuff is horrible and chokes out everything else creating a thick thatch that closes in wetlands. Sadly it is everywhere and really hard to get rid of.
From Ferguson I headed out on an old road that I knew would lead me to Hutchinson Creek that I would need to cross to access the road to walk out on. Sadly the whole area leading to the creek was overtaken by the second really invasive plant taking over our wetlands, Japanese Knotweed.
The creek was full so we pushed down stream until I found a spot I could cross. I decided to go through with my boots on and just hike out the two miles in wet boots. I had to assist Snipes due to the depth and current but the crossing was easy and soon we were walking out on the access road. The city of Bellingham used to get some of it’s water from the Nooksack River and there is a diversion up stream from where I was. The pipe system is still in place and this is the road that was used to maintain the pipeline. There is a pumphouse at the end of the road and this is where we came up onto the road. The walk out was short and easy. We took a break at the old dnr campsite and enjoyed my beer while Snipes kept watch.