Situated to the south of downtown Bellingham, Happy Valley is a beautiful suburban neighborhood that still has not been completely developed. Part of its charm comes from its proximity to undeveloped nature in the form of open lands and large parks. It is also near one of the largest universities in the state. You will only find a few businesses around the edges of the community, including a few restaurants, a vet for Fido, and a grocery store just outside the perimeter.
This region tends to have a fairly mild climate with only the occasional severe weather event. But because of Bellingham’s location, it is prone to some very cold spells that do not affect the rest of Western Washington. Still, you will probably be more affected by the rain for walking than you will by snow or cold. Summers are also generally mild with only a few very hot days per year.
Happy Valley is not completely flat but neither does it have a lot of sudden elevation changes. Instead, the hills are quite gradual with plenty of level ground for walking on. This makes the terrain perfect for a number of different levels of fitness. The area is very pleasant for walking in with lots of green surrounding the space. There are paths through the undeveloped woods in the center of the neighborhood which can be used for walking your pup as well. In fact, they will likely enjoy the chance to get off the concrete and onto unpaved trails where there are tons of smells and other things to explore!
If you do decide to walk the neighborhoods, only some of the streets have sidewalks and some of the streets with no sidewalks or shoulders can have quite a bit of traffic. These may not be the best choices for walking with your dog.
While not designated officially as a greenway, there is a path with lots of trees and grass that runs through a large part of the neighborhood. This is technically undeveloped land, but someone has put a trail through it, making it an ideal place to take your dog for a walk. The trail is under a canopy of trees which makes it especially nice on a warm summer day.
Happy Valley Park also has a large spread of trees and walking paths going through it. There are also some green fields here where Fido might be able to stretch their legs a bit.
Also worth noting is the proximity of Lake Padden Park to the Happy Valley neighborhood. While there are parks that are much closer, this park is quite large and has an abundance of trails, a lake, and a large dog park where you can let your pup run safely.