Lummi River

Ferndale, Washington

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The Lummi River, marked “Red River” on some maps, is a highwater overflow channel of the Nooksack River. Channelized and diked, it may be an unappealing river at first glance, but it makes an excellent bird-watching trip—especially in the winter, when it has everything from snowy owls and both trumpeter and whistling swans to peregrine falcons and bald eagles, a dozen species of ducks, and both Canada and snow geese. It offers views of Mount Baker and the Canadian peaks and refreshing winds off the Strait of Georgia. Note: Permission to boat the Lummi River must be obtained from the Lummi Indian Tribal Council. Put-in and take-out points are continuous for most of the Lummi from North Red River Road and South Red River Road, which run along opposite sides of the river. It is possible to launch a lightweight boat almost anywhere along the runnable route, but the unpaved lower end of South Red River Road is badly choked with tall weeds in summer and early fall, making access difficult.

Lummi River Professional Review and Guide

"The Lummi River, marked “Red River” on some maps, is a highwater overflow channel of the Nooksack River. Channelized and diked, it may be an unappealing river at first glance, but it makes an excellent bird-watching trip—especially in the winter, when it has everything from snowy owls and both trumpeter and whistling swans to peregrine falcons and bald eagles, a dozen species of ducks, and both Canada and snow geese. It offers views of Mount Baker and the Canadian peaks and refreshing winds off the Strait of Georgia. Note: Permission to boat the Lummi River must be obtained from the Lummi Indian Tribal Council.

Put-in and take-out points are continuous for most of the Lummi from North Red River Road and South Red River Road, which run along opposite sides of the river. It is possible to launch a lightweight boat almost anywhere along the runnable route, but the unpaved lower end of South Red River Road is badly choked with tall weeds in summer and early fall, making access difficult."

Activity Type: Birding, Flatwater Kayaking & Canoeing
Nearby City: Ferndale
Distance: 3
Skill Level: Easy to Moderate
Duration: 1 to 2 hours
Hazards/Cautions: Low water, tides, man-made debris
Best Times: Year-round
Local Contacts: Lummi Indian Tribal Council
Local Maps: USGS Lummi Bay; NOAA Charts 18423, 18424
Driving Directions: Directions to Lummi River

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May 2018