Near Acme, at the confluence of Skookum Creek and the South Fork of the Nooksack River lies the 135-acre Edfro Creek Preserve. It is a very accessible forest, with a wild quality but a nicely-maintained out-and-back trail of about 4.7 miles.
Once known as the “Thousand Puddles Trail,” and formerly used by ATVs, it is now much-improved -- hikers can expect to keep their feet dry on trail, which is mostly gravel for the first mile or more. The first mile is on the Preserve, and then hikers continue for another 3.7 miles into Department of Natural Resources (DNR) property.
From the trail you can appreciate wonderful views of the Nooksack River as you stroll through lush second-growth forested wetlands among maple, cottonwood and alder trees.
The Lummi Nation has planted conifers along the river and trail, and the canopy of the moss-covered trees offers protection on rainy days. Watch out for nettles along parts of the trail.
A little over half a mile up the trail is a pond formed by beaver activity. You’ll see evidence of beaver activity on the small trees in the area.
In the right season, you might spot hooded mergansers bobbing in the river, kingfishers defending their territories along the shore, and an occasional bald eagle roosting in their nest. There is evidence of elk passing through (tracks, beds and droppings). Several species of bats have been noted to use the property. Morels, oysters and other mushrooms have been found there too. Anglers also occasionally fish for silver salmon migrating up the river.
Most days, you’ll not see another person on the trail, feeling like you have it all to yourself.
The DNR portion of this trail was clearcut around 2011 and is less maintained than the first mile of trail, which parallels the South Fork Nooksack River, running close to the river, crossing small creeks along the way. The first mile of property was purchased from a logging company by Whatcom Land Trust and protected as the Edfro Creek Preserve.
The trail has been much improved since its Thousand Puddle days. Since at least 2015, the Trust has partnered with the Washington Conservation Corps to conduct trail improvements. Others also help maintain the trail, including the Whatcom Chapter of Back Country Horsemen, who participate in regular trail maintenance activities to keep it accessible.