Spring is alive with Summer around the corner here in Bellingham and across Whatcom county. Residents however are wondering about what to do outdoors during this pandemic. There is one activity that has not been limited or closed this entire time and that is outdoor trails. One New trail currently under construction is the Bay to Baker trail.
The Bay to Baker trail is a new trail being worked on right now with the goal of connecting 74 miles of trails between Bellingham and the Mount Baker ski area.
This network of trails will be for the public if you are looking to hike, bike or even in certain trail areas according to the Whatcom County website have some horse trail opportunities.
The trail begins at Little Squalicum park in Bellingham and according to the Washington Trails Association the course of this trail goes through an abandoned railroad right-of-way and ends at the overpass under the Northwest Avenue bridge. Eventually if someone chooses to continue, can stay on Squalicum Way which then comes to an end at Cornwall park.
The road where Birchwood Avenue ends and turns to Squalicum Parkway towards PeaceHealth hospital, there is a trail right at that corner under construction that will be part of the Bay to Baker trail that goes under the Interstate-5 overpass and heads over to Sunset Pond.
Sunset Pond which is located on James Street Road behind the Goodwill and Safeway Stores has a finished segment of the Bay to Baker trail which also has had gone through an enhancement and restoration of fish and wildlife habitats as part of this trail project.
A local Bellingham resident who is in walking distance of the trail by sunset pond talked about even with Covid still happening, going on daily walks on this new trail has been an amazing opportunity to be outside and be out in nature especially when you can have it literally in your backyard. Another local resident was happy about what the city is doing in terms of taking action to restore and protect the habitat for wildlife around Squalicum creek.
This project is being funded by three sources, Greenway levy, Park Impact fees and the Washington Wildlife and Recreation Program Trail grant. There are plans to build other segments of the trail that eventually connect to the Barkley trail but as of right now these priorities are unfunded as the city focuses on finishing the segment of new trails near Sunset pond.
Other future projects and planning efforts include according to the City of Bellingham, acquiring the abandoned railway between Roeder Avenue and Meridian Street and acquiring land for a trail east along the railroad grade to the county line.
This New Trail is an amazing opportunity to be outside and explore what’s been done and worked on in creating new places to be out in nature and being protective of local habitats and the environment. For more information about the trail and the proposals check out the Washington Trails Association, https://www.wta.org/go-hiking/hikes/bay-to-baker-trail or the City of Bellingham https://cob.org/project/bay-to-baker-trail .