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Samish Crest Trail


This trail project is situated in the 113-acre Samish Hill Open Space adjacent to the Puget and Samish Neighborhoods.  The trail improvement generally followed an existing north-south foot path beginning at the foot of Racine Street.

Funding allowed the improvement of 2230 lineal feet of trail.  Future improvements will extend the trail south to Lake Padden Park with connecting trails to adjacent neighborhoods.

The trail is 4' wide with 1' shoulders and surfaced with crushed limestone.  Other improvements included a pet waste station, new wayfinding and native growth protection signage, drainage, wetland buffer enhancement planting and monitoring.

Trail Design

Permits for the project required installation of a stabilized construction access, consisting of quarry spall rocks, which shakes off sediment before it is tracked on to the street. This minimizes the runoff of sedimentation into creeks and streams. The quarry spalls were removed when the trail project was completed.

2" angular crushed rock was used under the walking surface of the trail to allow for movement of surface storm water under the walking surface of the trail. This is especially useful where the trail passes through wetland buffer areas to help keep the trail surface dry. A 3" layer of crushed limestone was placed on the ballast. Both sides of the trail were covered with forest duff, topsoil and plants. We also mitigated for disturbance with wetland buffer enhancement planting.

Overall Plan

The project is an element of the City's Comprehensive Plan. (Chapter 6, page 49 of the 2008 Parks Recreation & Open Space Plan) A trail on Samish Crest between Whatcom Falls Park and Lake Padden Park was first envisioned with the original 1990 voter approved Greenway Levy and the City has been working to acquire land for a greenway trail corridor and preservation of forested backdrop ever since.
The current construction project is the first phase and will extend 2200 feet south.

Trail Footprint Reduction

The trail design reused an existing trail as much as possible, and new trail construction was limited to areas that reduced steep grades. The finished trail is 4' wide with 1' shoulders. This narrow, forest trail standard reduced the amount of clearing and land disturbance.

Other Similar Trail Examples

Portions of Northridge Park, Big Rock Park-Klipsun trail connector, Laurelwood Trail, and the Barkley Trail just north of Barkley Blvd. at Racine St.


Beyond Greenway Levy:  $400,000




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