Ferndale Loop

Hovander Park

Distance: 5.5-7 miles

Estimated riding time: 35-55 minutes

This scenic ride features trails along both sides of the Nooksack River as you ride between Hovander Park and Star Park. Plan a stop for locally made ice cream at Edaleen Dairy or a treat at Crusin Coffee, and you have the makings of a wonderful afternoon. Our directions start at Hovander Park, but you can start anywhere along the ride. Since this ride is a little bit longer than previous rides, we have included directions to skip the treats and shorten the ride. Since the route is so flat, you might be surprised how easy it is to ride the full distance…and who doesn’t want a treat?

Before you leave:

Make sure your bike is in good working order using the ABC Quick Check.

  • Air — pump up your tires to the suggested air pressure indicated on sidewall of tire
  • Brakes —be sure your brakes are in good working order
  • Chain — lubricate your chain, if needed for a smoother ride

Step by step directions:

For a PDF file of step by step directions with photos click HERE.

  1. Start at Hovander Park. From the parking area by the big red barn, head out across the grass, past the play area and small red tower toward the line of trees. Listen for the Nooksack River on the other side of the trees.
  2. Turn right onto the trail, keeping the river on your left. Keep your eyes out for the resident bald eagles that live in a huge nest on the other side of the river. Ride along the river for about ½ mile.
  3. Go straight at the end of the trail through a parking area to a connecting trail and then and up onto the Main Street bridge.
  4. Turn left onto the sidewalk of the bridge and walk your bike to the other side of the river.
  5. Turn left at the base of the bridge onto the Riverwalk.
  6. Continue on the small gravel trail at the end of the Riverwalk, or ride on Front Avenue for 2 blocks, whatever you are most comfortable with. You’ll see the back of the old log cabins in Pioneer Park.
  7. Turn right into the parking lot at Star Park.
  8. Turn left in the parking lot and ride to the other end.
  9. Turn right onto the access road, which will turn into Hanadori Trail, with the baseball field on your right.
  10. Follow the trail around the perimeter of the Phillip 66 Sports Complex. Enjoy the ride through the meadows around the park complex. Watch for Goldfinches who nest here.
  11. Exit the sports complex onto 2nd Avenue through the parking lot next to the American Legion.
  12. Continue on 2nd Avenue to the stoplight at Main Street. At this point you can choose to ride to Edaleen Dairy or Cruisin Coffee for a treat or head back to Hovander Park. (A) To go back to Hovander Park turn right onto Main Street. Skip to step #21. (B) To continue on, cross Main Street at the light.
  13. Follow 2nd Avenue as it veers left and turns into Vista Drive.
  14. Turn right onto 3rd Avenue.
  15. Turn right onto Washington Street. Follow Washington as it veers to the left and turns into 2nd Avenue.
  16. In 4 blocks, Edaleen Dairy will be on your left and Cruisin Coffee is on the right. Enjoy your treat at a picnic table in Griffintown Park next to the dairy.
  17. Head back using the wide path through the park. The trail ends at the railroad tracks.
  18. Turn right on Washington Street, crossing the tracks.
  19. Turn left on 3rd Street. Continue straight to the light at Main Street.
  20. Turn left on Main Street and ride back over the Nooksack River bridge. You have two options: (A) ride in the bike lane; or (B) walk your bike on the sidewalk.
  21. Cross the Nooksack River bridge and stay on the road bearing right onto Hovander Road (just before you would cross under the train tracks). Look for the large Hovander Park sign on your right.
  22. Turn right onto Nielsen Avenue. Ride about a mile, passing the entrance to Hovander Park.
  23. Turn left into the parking lot for Tennant Lake Interpretive Center and Fragrance Garden. There is always something amazing to smell here all summer long. Climb up the tower for a view of the lake and surrounding area.
  24. Turn left out of the parking lot back onto the gravel road.
  25. Turn right onto the first trail from the road.
  26. Ride about ¼ mile on this trail back to Hovander Park. Look for tadpoles as you cross the very low bridge. Be sure to say hi to the ducks and rabbits when you get back to the barn!

Great job! We hope you enjoyed your ride!

Ferndale Loop Map