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Whether you’re staying at Hotel Bellingham, Washington, for business or a getaway, you can take a moment to explore the area’s outdoor recreation. From the glaciers of Mt. Baker and the greenery of the surrounding national, state and county parks, to the currents of the Nooksack and the Salish Sea, we are a world-class outdoor recreation playground. Welcome to Basecamp Bellingham. We’ll see you outside.
Biking is one of the most popular activities in the Bellingham area on trails, tracks and city streets. Whatcom County also offers endless country roads and miles of trails to explore.
Bikes can be rented in Bellingham at Jack’s Bicycle Center and Fairhaven Bicycle, as well as in Birch Bay at Paddle and Pedal. See contact info below.
The following is a list of ideas for local trails and bike events, as well as links to maps and guides.
Printed city trail maps are available at the Visitors Information Center .
The Bellingham Parks and Recreation Department also has an extensive Bellingham Trail Guide available in pdf format.
For an insider's perspective also read Best Bets for Mountain Biking in Bellingham by Todd.
Popular gravel trails and off-road trails within city limits include:
Ranked among the Top 10 places to ride in the nation by Mountain Bike Magazine, Galbraith Mountain is the area between Lake Padden and Lake Whatcom officially named North Lookout Mountain. Galbraith Mountain is privately owned land and the trails are maintained for non-motorized use by volunteers in the local group WMBC (Whatcom Mountain Bike Coalition)
WMBC also maintains the Bellingham Dirt Jump Park at Civic Field, located near the skate board park on Puget Street one block south of Lakeway Drive. The park includes a variety of jumps including 2-foot, 3-foot, 5-foot and 7-foot for riders of all ability levels. A 15-foot high roll produces the needed speed for the runs.
Some trails on Chuckanut Mountain are available for biking, as well as US Forest Service and logging roads in the region. Contact a bike shop or the Forest Service for details.
Bellingham in general has several streets with designated bike lanes. For low traffic biking, there are several neighborhood, waterfront and park routes. Squalicum Harbor is a great place for a short scenic ride. The city has published a Bellingham Bicycle Routes map , which designates the best roads for biking and proximity to connecting trails. Favorite local road routes and weekly rides information is maintained by the volunteer organization Mount Baker Bicycle Club .
County roads offer sweeping views of rural splendor, Mt. Baker, and the waterfront. A Whatcom County Bike Map is available from Whatcom Smart Trips.
This area is officially recognized as the most northerly “Important Bird Area of Washington.” The pristine, shallow marine habitat with extensive intertidal mudflats is adjacent to the U.S.-Canadian border in Blaine, WA. Loons, Brant, Dunlin, Great Blue Herons, Red-breasted Mergansers, Bufflehead, mallards, ducks, grebes and many other migrating aquatic birds are common here in great numbers, carefully eluding Bald Eagles and Peregrine Falcons who nest high in the surrounding evergreens. Take I-5 Exit 276 for Marine Park and Exit 274 for Semiahmoo. Excellent site for tideland birds, especially in winter. Some of the species that nest in the area include: Cormorants, Canada Geese, Gulls, Blue Herons, Hooded Mergansers, Bald Eagles, Mallards and Peregrine Falcons. Migrating or resting varities include: Loons, Grebes, Brants, Scoters, Ducks, Gulls, Terns, Sandpipers, Goldeneyes, and many more. Best birding is 2-3 hours before incoming tides.
Take I-5 Exit 266, Grandview Road. Drive west 8 miles and follow signs to the park. Likely saltwater species include Common Loon, Western Grebe; Surf, White-winged, and Black Scoters; Harlequin Duck, Northern Pintail, American Wigeon, and Brants. Ring-billed, Bonaparte's and Glaucous-winged Gulls are possible, as are Wood Ducks and Bald Eagles. Spirng and fall shorebirds include Greater and Lesser Yellowlegs, Black Turnstones and Marbled Godwits. Winter waterfowl viewing is excellent.
Features 54 acres of forest, bluff and beach, with a 3/4 mile trail to spectacular viewpoints of the Strait of Georgia. A switchback path descends from the bluff to access a windswept cobbled beach. Find upland wooded habits and shore birds. Bird list is same as Birch Bay State Park. No dogs allowed. Take I-5 Exit 266 Grandview Rd. and drive west 8.5 miles then curve left on Koehn Rd.
Year-round hiking is a hallmark of the Bellingham region, with easy proximity to the Mount Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest and the Chuckanut Mountains, as well as miles of opportunities within Whatcom County. Bellingham offers an extensive system of hiking trails through city parks and greenways, where both water and mountain views are plentiful.
Below is a list of trail names and descriptions, resources, and insider blogs to inspire you. For a comprehensive guidebook, try “Hiking Whatcom County” by Ken Wilcox . The Bellingham Visitors Information Center at 904 Potter Street is open 7 days a week, 9 am to 5 pm offering maps and directions to help you get into the great outdoors.
For additional fun ideas visit Todd's Insider Blog on Outdoor Recreation .
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