Wildlife Area Location

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

Wildlife Areas

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Whatcom Wildlife Area
Tennant Lake Unit
The 360-acre Tennant Lake unit, about one mile southeast of Ferndale, is mostly in the floodplain of the Nooksack River. Some of the lower portions flood annually. Tennant Lake itself is an 80-acre, shallow, peat-bog lake. One half mile south of this lake is Claypit Pond, formed as clay was dug up to manufacture brick and glass (prior to WDFW ownership). Fairly extensive swamp/marsh areas occur adjacent to both lakes.

Initially the area was primarily managed for waterfowl and deer hunting, and spiny-ray fishing. There is now also an interpretive center and scent garden for the blind, an observation tower, upland interpretive trail, an elevated wetland boardwalk trail, and a boat launch on the Nooksack River. These improvements, along with WDFW staff at the interpretive center, provide important recreational and educational opportunities for school districts and general visitors.

Tennant Lake Fragrance Garden

Tennant Lake Park - Interpretive Center and Fragrance Garden
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. 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.
Bird Watching Opportunites at Tennant Lake
Friends of Tennant Lake and Hovander ParkYou Can Get Involved!
The Friends of Tennant Lake and Hovander Park are local citizens and park lovers who work with Whatcom County Parks Department, the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife, and the Whatcom Parks and Recreation Foundation to support staff and programs at Tennant Lake and Hovander Park in Ferndale, WA.

Viewing Opportunities


  • Birds of Prey
  • Eagles
  • Shorebirds
  • Songbirds
  • Wading Birds
  • Waterfowl
  • Mammals

  • Deer
  • Small Mammals
  • Other

  • Butterflies
  • Reptiles/Amphibians
  • How to Get Here
    Access Site #1
    Driving Directions
    I-5 exit 262 (Ferndale). R (W) on Main St. appx 1 mile. Get in L lane - take immediate L after you pass under railroad tressle (Hovander Rd). From Hovander Rd, turn R on Neilsen Rd. Go appx 1 mi - ends at Tennant Lake parking lot.
    Parking/Restroom Information
    Parking lot and ADA restroom facility
    Other Information
    Closed during hours of darkness. Boardwalk closed during hunting season.
    Unique Features
    Half-mile wetland boardwalk, viewing tower, scent garden for the blind, interpretive programs, birding/dog walking trails, interpretive displays, three hunting blinds and year-round off leash dog walking area on south end of unit.
    Other Information
    No dogs on boardwalk. See kiosk for other dog use information.

    Maps for all hunting areas are posted at the HQ parking lot, and unit maps are up at Marine Drive, Slater Road, and Intalco parking lots.

    Wildlife Area Habitat Conservation Plans
    Weekender Report
    Wildlife Viewing Guides
    Accessing Washington's Outdoors
    Find a Water Access Site
    GoHunt - Interactive Mapping
    Green Dot Maps
    • Bird watching
    • Boating
    • Dog training/trials
    • Dog walking
    • Group events and tours
    • Hiking
    • Hunting
    • Wildlife viewing

    If you are Hunting or Fishing, remember to check all current regulations.

    Activities may include restrictions or require permits. Please see Public Conduct Rules for more information.