WDFW LogoWashington Department of Fish & Wildlife

Wildlife Area Location

Richard Kessler
5975 Lake Terrell Road
Ferndale, Washington 98248
(360) 384-4723

For more information on
Wildlife Areas, please contact
the WDFW Wildlife Program.

Phone: 360-902-2515
E-mail: wildthing@dfw.wa.gov


Parking Information
A Discover Pass or
Vehicle Access Pass
on ALL WDFW Lands

Learn more

Wildlife Areas

Whatcom Wildlife Area
Tennant Lake Park
Interpretive Center and Fragrance Garden

The shores of Tennant Lake resound at different times with the clatter of migratory birds, the whispers of birdwatchers and the laughter of children discussing the wonders of wetlands. This 624-acre site includes a shallow lake surrounded by extensive wetlands, fields, forest and riparian zone.

Mounted wildlife, displays and maps interpret the surrounding flora, fauna and natural process at work at Tennant Lake. Two “kid’s rooms” provide hands-on activities for children of all ages. An on-site naturalist is available to answer questions. The center is open year round, but hours vary according to season. The Tennant Lake Interpretive Center is operated under the joint management of the Washington State Department of Fish and Wildlife and the Whatcom County Parks and Recreation Department. The Whatcom Parks and Recreation Foundation and the Friends of Tennant Lake provide program support. Year-round programs are made possible through public and private donations and fees generated by program participation. Field trip opportunities and outreach programs are available. Contact the Center (360-384-3064) or visit the Whatcom Parks and Recreation Department website for complete information.


Interpretive CenterInterpretive Center
In the Interpretive Center mounted wildlife, displays and maps interpret the surrounding flora, fauna and natural processes at work at Tennant Lake. Interpretive displays provide hands-on activities for children of all ages. An on-site naturalist is available to answer questions.


Observation towerViewing Tower
A 50-foot tower gives visitors an unobstructed view of Tennant Lake and the surrounding wetlands. From the tower Mt. Baker to the east creates a backdrop for nature observation. A monitor at the base of the tower allows those in wheelchairs to experience the sights from up top. Pan, tilt, and zoom functions on the camera provide the disabled visitor a range of viewing possibilities.


Boardwalk through the wetlandsWetlands
An elevated boardwalk provides visitors a unique perspective of a spectacular wetland. The boardwalk meanders through swamp and marsh habitats along the edge of the lake providing views of birds, vegetation and aquatic animals. The boardwalk is open from mid-January through early-October.


Fragrance gardenFragrance Garden
Adjacent to the Tennant Lake Interpretive Center is the award winning Fragrance Garden. Visitors are encouraged to touch, smell and enjoy the beauty of the over 200 plants. The raised beds are wheel chair accessible and have a unique Braille system that provides plant identification for the blind.


Boardwalk Loop Trail: Approximately 1-mile round trip, with beautiful views of Mt. Baker and Tennant Lake. Watch for Beavers, Great Blue Herons, and Frogs. The boardwalk loop trail is closed during waterfowl hunting season (early October - end of January)

Hovander Homestead Trail: Approximately ½ mile one way, this trail leads over to Hovander Homestead Park from the Tennant Lake Parking Lot. Much of the trail borders a slough providing an opportunity to observe Wood Ducks.

River Dike Access Trail: Approximately ½ miles one way, the River Dike Access hooks up with the River Dike trail, a nice level walk surrounded by deciduous trees and open fields; keep your eyes open for woodpeckers.