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Stimpson Family Nature Reserve Loop

Intermediate
 4.0 (4) RECOMMENDED ROUTE

A strikingly beautiful loop that invites visitors to connect with nature.


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Map Key

3.1

Miles

4.9

KM

Loop

796' 243 m

High

522' 159 m

Low

369' 113 m

Up

370' 113 m

Down

5%

Avg Grade (3°)

15%

Max Grade (8°)

Dogs No Dogs

Features Lake · River/Creek · Views · Wildlife

Family Friendly Kids will love exploring this area's diverse ecosystems and beautiful trails. Young kids may tire from the climbs, so it may be better to start with the shorter Geneva Pond Loop on their first visit.

Stimpson Family Nature Reserve is open from sunrise to sunset.

Overview

In just a few miles, hikers will encounter old-growth trees, seas of ferns, wetlands, shaggy clumps of moss, and various creatures that inhabit this peaceful reserve.

Need to Know

A number of the bridge crossings can be quite slippery when wet. Be careful!

Description

From the kiosk at the parking area, follow the wide gravel path as it heads into the forest. Very soon, you'll reach a slightly obscured wetland complete with a viewpoint and bench. A few roots enter the tread, but the going remains very easy as hikers climb a gentle slope lined by tall cedars.

Keep left at the sign for Main Loop Trail before switchbacking down to a low bridge over a marshy area. The trail doubles back and rounds a large, mossy boulder before reaching the intersection with the Geneva Pond Loop Trail. The pond can be added on as a nice detour that will lengthen this hike by 1.2 miles.

The Main Loop Trail continues to wind through a patch of ferns before eventually beginning a well-benched climb that explores small valleys and seasonal streams along the edge of the hillside.

The climbing continues to steepen, but the path is well constructed and obstacles are few, allowing for lots of opportunity to appreciate the area's tall trees and myriad of lush ferns. Higher up, the trail climbs steadily above the forest floor, where small shallow ponds fill with rain. If you're traveling quickly, you'll begin to feel the sustained climbs before the trail levels off on a wide hogback ridge.

A gentle bend in the trail brings hikers to a less-prominent hogback that soon transitions into a climb up the next ridge. Keep an eye out for a small grass-filled pool that murmurs with small, serenading frogs.

Ahead, the sign for the Sudden Valley Connector is planted just before where the trail enters a long, sustained descent along the edge of the hill. While the grade varies, the descent continues for quite a while, becoming rocky lower down. Where it levels off near a marshy area, both the trail and corridor become wider. An easy climb brings hikers back to the Parking Area - Main Loop Connector. Veer left on the connector to reach the parking area and the end of the hike.

Contacts

Land Manager: Whatcom Land Trust

Shared By:

Eric Ashley

Trail Ratings

  4.0 from 4 votes

#3184

Overall
  4.0 from 4 votes
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Recommended Route Rankings

#179

in Washington

#3,184

Overall
32 Views Last Month
1,467 Since Nov 14, 2016
Intermediate

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Photos

Sunset along the Main Loop Trail at the Stimpson Family Nature Reserve.
Nov 14, 2016 near Sudden…, WA
Various low pools along the trail deepen with the rains.
Nov 14, 2016 near Sudden…, WA
Lush forest surrounds the trails at the Stimpson Family Nature Reserve.
Nov 14, 2016 near Geneva, WA
Walking beneath the old growth at the Stimpson Family Nature Reserve.
Nov 14, 2016 near Sudden…, WA
A moss covered pinnacle standing at the edge of the pond.
Feb 25, 2018 near Geneva, WA
Heading through the trees on the Geneva Pond Loop Trail.
Feb 25, 2018 near Sudden…, WA

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Check-Ins

May 22, 2019
Cal R
3.1mi — 1h 30m
Mar 16, 2019
sashach
this is a great trail, but misleading to say it's 2.8 miles. the loop might be 2.8 but you have to get to the loop so total is 4.4 4.4mi — 0h 51m
Nov 10, 2018
Carly L
Mar 31, 2017
Kyle Woltzen