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Squires Lake —April 2007

Perhaps you've wondered what Alger was like as you speeded by on your way to Bellingham or Vancouver, B.C. Here's a great hike, only five minutes off of I-5, and afterwards, you can gas up and grab a snack in Alger. Pick a cloudy day in the middle of the week and you will enjoy the peacefulness of the county park knows as Squires Lake.

The trailhead is at the north end of the parking lot. It begins with a few mild switchbacks and then makes a long, nearly level traverse along the hillside where Dicentra formosa (Pacific Bleeding Heart) has broken through the pressed leaf litter of Acer macrophyllum (Bigleaf Maple). In greater abundance are the Tolmeia menziesii (Piggyback Plant) and Atrichum selwynii (Crane’s-Bill Moss).

Approaching a lake from below is always exciting to me as I try to construct how the water "stays put" above me. But the overture soon ends, the canopy falls away, the curtain rises, and Squires Lake rests at the end of a fairy's wand that won't stop firing. Circle the lake clock-wise, and you will sense all of those special places — the cedar groves, and places where the combs of deer fern, fronds of cedar and Dicranum moss gather. There are park benches among the Juncus sp., Water Parsley and Swamp Lantern where you can sit, lie or kneel and kiss the day.

Map and Directions: Heading north on I-5, about ten miles north of Mount Vernon, watch for the Alger exit. Turn right and proceed about 1 mile to the town of Alger. In Alger, turn left at the stop sign onto old 99 and drive for about 1.8 miles. Watch for the green sign for Squires Lake parking lot. Go to http://www.co.whatcom.wa.us/parks/trails/squireslake_trail.jsp to find a map.



Updated: July 3, 2016
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