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Tennant Lake and Hovander Homestead Trails

Puget Sound and Islands > Bellingham Area
48.8316, -122.5927 Map & Directions
5.0 miles of trails
Elevation Gain
0 feet
Highest Point
7 feet
The Fragrance Garden at Tennant Lake is a must-see for visitors in the area. Photo by trip reporter ToddlerTrekking. Full-size image
  • Wildflowers/Meadows
  • Mountain views
  • Wildlife
  • Good for kids
  • Lakes

Parking Pass/Entry Fee

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Visit a fragrance garden with a Braille trail and a small network of flat, wheelchair-friendly trails for a quiet outing close to town. Continue reading

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Hiking Tennant Lake and Hovander Homestead Trails

The park at Hovander Homestead Park provides both hiking and historical opportunities. Created to preserve the history of pioneer farming in the area, the park and Tennant Lake, together with the nearby Nooksack Wildlife Area offer nearly 7 miles of flat wheelchair-friendly hiking on graveled or packed dirt trail.

From the parking are at Hovander House, visitors can set out east towards the barn and restrooms for a quick look at the homstead before heading to the Tennant Lake Interpretive center, highly recommended as it includes a garden and trail developed for low-sight individuals. That means the garden is full of lovely fragrant flowers and the interpretive signs include Braille.

Leaving the Fragrance Garden, you can continue heading east toward the Boardwalk trail, which loops south and east, making a 0.7 mile lollipop loop on Tennant Lake.

Once you're done there, you can retrace your path to the boat launch, where you can turn south, and after 0.3 miles arrive at a junction. Here, turning left would take you 0.3 miles to the edge of the park boundary and into the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife Nooksack Unit. A raised trail in this area makes for a lovely wander if you have time.

But if you want to stay closer to the homestead, turn a sharp right, wandering along the Nooksack River for 0.6 miles. This section takes you around the back of the former homestead before arriving at a junction where you can either turn right and head back to the parking area, or continue another full mile to the offleash dog park at the north end of the park.

WTA Pro Tip: The Hovander Homestead and Tennant Lake parking lot are free, but the parking area near the off-leash dog park require a Discover Pass.

Toilet Information

  • Toilet at trailhead
  • Accessible toilet
  • Toilet has running water

More information about toilets

Wheelchair Accessibility

The trails at Hovander and Tennant Lake are graveled with 5/8 gravel and are wide and flat with minimal roots.

Hike Description Written by
Anna Roth, WTA Staff

Tennant Lake and Hovander Homestead Trails

Map & Directions

Co-ordinates: 48.8316, -122.5927 Open in Google Maps

Before You Go

In fall and winter Hovander Homestead is periodcially is flooded to prevent flooding in town

See weather forecast

Parking Pass/Entry Fee


WTA Pro Tip: Save a copy of our directions before you leave! App-based driving directions aren't always accurate and data connections may be unreliable as you drive to the trailhead.

Getting There

From I-5, take exit 262 toward W Axton Road and Main Street. Turn right on to W Axton Road and proceed for 0.6 miles, then make a sharp left onto Hovander Road. After 0.1 mile, turn right onto Nielsen Avenue. Drive 0.7 miles and then turn right onto River Lea Road. The address for Hovander Homestead and the parking area is 5299 Nielsen Road, Ferndale WA 98248.

Tennant Lake has a separate parking area off Nielsen Road but does not have ADA parking. You can connect to this parking area via a 0.4 mile trail from the Hovander Homestead parking area, or simply follow signs to Tennant Lake.

More Hike Details


Puget Sound and Islands > Bellingham Area

Whatcom County

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Tennant Lake and Hovander Homestead Trails

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