Biking is one of the most popular activities in the Bellingham area on trails, tracks and city streets.Â Whatcom County also offers endless country roads and miles ofÂ trails to explore.
Bikes can be rented in Bellingham at Jack’s Bicycle Center and Fairhaven Bike and Ski, as well as in Birch Bay at Paddle and Pedal.Â 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 anÂ 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 mountain biking 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 WHIMPS (Whatcom Independent Mountain Pedalers).
WHIMPS 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.Â 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 severalÂ 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.
County roads offer sweeping views of rural splendor, Mt. Baker, and the waterfront. A Whatcom County Bike Map is available from Whatcom SmartÂ Trips.
Many wide flat trails in local parks and along the waterfront are great routes for families with young children. Todd shares a fun idea in his blog post: Start Your Adventure at Semiahmoo.
Each summer, the Tour de Whatcom draws nearly 1,000 bike riders to Bellingham. This popular event begins in the picturesque Fairhaven Historic District, and offers riders a choice of three distance routes for enjoying the surrounding Whatcom County in 25, 50 or 105 miles.
In September, the Mt. BakerÂ Bicycle Club hosts the Chuckanut Century Ride, with multiple distance options including 25, 38, 50, 56, 62, 100 and 124 mile loops. All versions begin at Boundary Bay Brewery in downtown Bellingham. Riders may then choose to travel either north to Birch Bay or south along scenic Chuckanut Drive past Samish Bay and Padilla Bay.
Also in September, Festival 542 (formerly known as the Mt. Baker Hill Climb) features a 24.5-mile ride up an elevation of 4,300 feet on the scenic Mt. Baker Highway 542 from the tiny community of Glacier to the road’s terminus at Artist Point. Riders may then choose to complete the loop back down for 50 miles, or ride up and down again to make 100 miles. The event is organized by Norka Recreation.
The Traverse is a multi-sport event for solo, tandem and relay teams. The event has a strong salmon theme running through it. Participants, aka Spawners, are encouraged to â€śThink Like Fishâ€ť as they go through the course. This is a community event that displays a wide range of athletic abilities from the hard-core to those out in costumes just for fun. The public is encouraged to come out and cheer on the Spawners. The event starts at noon at the Bellingham Farmers Market and makes itâ€™s way through Boulevard Park, Fairhaven, Lake Padden, around Lake Samish, to Fairhaven and Marine Park. Finishers complete the last leg together up Wharf Street to finish at Boundary Bay. The Bellingham Traverse Course includes a 5.5 mi. Greenways Run, 6 mi. Mountain Bike, 18 mi. Road Bike, 3.4 mi. Trail Run, 3.6 mi. Paddle, 0.65 mi. Team TREK to the finish.