Bloedel Donovan Beach Off-Leash Area in the city of Bellingham, Washington, is part of a trail-connected assemblage of nine parks that opens up a vast territory to dogs on leashes with fenced in sections scattered about that offer off-leash play time.
The nine connected parks, including Bloedel Donovan Beach Off-Leash Dog Area, Sunset Pond, Sehome Hill Arboretum, and the awkwardly-named Post Point Treatment Area, offer miles of hiking through jaw-dropping northwest scenery in a state that has long been admired for its environmental sensitives.
Do you have a Retriever, a Spaniel, a Lagotto Romagnolo (yes, that is a breed), or any other dog that loves to swim? This is such a dog-friendly community that the park system has a designated area in Lake Padden Park that includes a “dog water exercise area … (that) is signed for dog training/exercise.” How cool is that?
As such, even though the area is on the eastern edge of a city of 87,000 people, dog walkers are specifically reminded not to allow their dogs to disturb the wildlife, which includes a variety of ground-nesting birds, most prominently those prodigiously poop-producing geese that marginally fit into a city park system.
Bloedel Donovan Beach Off-Leash Dog Area is not on the ocean but is adjacent to Lake Whatcom, which features some not-to-be-missed guided kayak adventures. The city's rules for dogs at Bloedel Donovan Beach include requiring you to pick up after your pooch, disposing of all feces in appropriate trash bins, and removing your dog if they are in a conflict with another.
Female dogs in heat and those that are aggressive are not allowed in off-leash areas. Meanwhile, the off-leash section of Bloedel Donovan Park is open 6:00 a.m. to 10 a.m. year round, except in exceptionally wet weather, when it is left to the discretion of the park director to close off the area north of the parking lot. Still, the area south of the parking lot will remain open even if the ground is wet.