Deming Homestead Eagle Park is an excellent stop along the Nooksack River. This park is among the 14 Whatcom County Parks that have been formed with Whatcom Land Trust’s involvement.
From the parking area, a 0.2-mile gravel trail extends to open picnic areas to the east. A 0.1-mile gravel trail also heads to the west from the parking area crossing a bridge and connecting with a 0.4-mile loop trail.
From December through March, many bald eagles gather here to feed on spawned out salmon carcasses that wash up on the sandbars created by the channels of the river. As you might suspect, eagle numbers are better in years where there are strong salmon runs. In general, the best viewing is in the early morning and on cloudy days.
Interpretive signs along the way provide information about the eagles and their place in the river ecology. The Nooksack is a moving, living river so it has twisted and turned over the years through areas that were once used as farmland. Grassy banks line braided channels that meander through wetland sloughs lined by alders and cedars.
Spaced along the present edge of the river are seven large debris structures made of boulders and large logs bolted and chained together. As the river undercuts them, they sink in and form naturalistic habitat for salmon and slow the erosion process.
The mixture of forested and meadow areas offer a variety of habitat for animals that appreciate the river’s edge. Birders in the spring should look for spotted sandpipers, yellow-rumped warblers and harlequin ducks. Any time of year you are likely to see spotted towhees, bushtits, American dippers, Steller’s jays, dark-eyed juncos, and house finches.
Although elk are not common in the area, if you see them it will likely be along the lower floodplain of the South Fork Nooksack east of the town of Acme, both north and south of Mosquito Lake Road, which includes this park. The elk population in this area has more than doubled over the past 10 years so hopefully sightings will become more common.
History of the Homestead
This narrow valley bottom property was homesteaded by Peter and Martha Rensick as a dairy farm. The land was later inherited by their son Hank and his wife Lorrell Rensick.
The Rensicks gifted the property to the Trust in 2000. In 2002, Whatcom County Parks then assumed management and ownership in exchange for a 33-acre conservation easement that protects this park forever as eagle and elk habitat and for erosion control.