The Samish neighborhood, on the southeast edge of the city is one of the most heavily wooded neighborhoods in Bellingham and is often referred to as the Lake Padden Neighborhood. The 900-acre Lake Padden Park is a popular park in Belli
ngham and it therefore lends its name to the nearby neighborhood. Some of the most beautiful homes in Bellingham can be found on the hills around Lake Padden. Although there are many large and medium size houses built in the 70s and 80’s to be found, it’s the more recently built homes in the newly developed neighborhoods that attract a lot of attention. Large beautifully designed homes with sweeping views of the San Juan Islands or views or the forest and lake below are abundant.
Many of these neighborhoods are built up against the forest with many fir and cedar trees still left standing on the large lots. Homes here are almost exclusively single family homes with expertly designed landscaping. Here you are close to shopping, schools and quick access to I-5 and points south of Bellingham. This is truly a beautiful place to live.
The only park in the Lake Padden Neighborhood is Lake Padden Park
, but being the largest park in Bellingham, that’s all that the neighborhood needs. Lake Padden is a 152-acre lake, and the former watershed for south Bellingham. Because of its former watershed status, there are no homes or other buildings other than park buildings near the lake. The area surrounding the lake is mostly forested and makes an ideal location for runners and walkers who take advantage of the 2.6-mile path around the lake in all seasons. Only electric motors are allowed on the lake, so you typically find fishermen, paddlers and the more than occasional long distance swimmer enjoying the quiet on the water. Bald eagles and ospreys can often be seen perched high up in fir trees or circling overhead. In the hills to the south and west of the lake are numerous trails used by mountain bikers. The park has many miles of its own bike trails but also from here bikers can enter the more expansive and popular Galbraith Mountain trail system. Bellingham’s municipal 18-hole golf course and driving range is also a part of the Lake Padden Park.
In the course of one-year Lake Padden Park is host to local and regional athletic events. For one, the Jr. Ski to Sea Race draws hundreds of kids from across Whatcom County to compete in a team competition that is a scaled down version of the larger Ski to Sea Race that happens the following week. Later in the summer the park also hosts the Bellingham Triathlon, where hundreds of competitors come from all over the state to compete.
Just down the hill from the Lake Padden area, and still in the Samish Neighborhood
is ample shopping and restaurants. Haggen has a large up-scale grocery store in the Sehome Village shopping center that is surrounded by popular establishments like Starbucks, REI, and many other restaurants and services. The Lake Padden Neighborhood is also close to the Fairhaven Historic District and its restaurants and boutiques.
The young school age children in the Samish Neighborhood go to Happy Valley Elementary School
, and to the new Wade King Elementary School
, opened in the fall of 2008. Students then go on to Fairhaven Middle School
and then to Sehome High School