Bicycling

 

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. Below are a variety of descriptions and links for biking maps, trails, special events and bike shops. Also, read Todd’s Insider Blog posts featuring many biking and outdoors adventures.

Mountain Biking

Bellingham Park Trails

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.

Popular mountain biking trails within city limits include:

  • Cornwall Park Trail (1.5 miles) – in Cornwall Park
  • Interurban Trail (7 Miles) – Fairhaven to Larrabee State Park
  • Lake Padden Park Trail (2.6 miles) – around the lake
  • Railroad Trail (3.5 miles) – King street to Alabama & Vining St
  • South Bay Trail (2 miles) – connects Fairhaven, Boulevard Park and Downtown
  • Whatcom Falls Park Trails (3.5 miles) – trail in and around park
  • North Lake Whatcom Park “Hertz” Trail (3 miles one way) – runs along the east shore of the lake. Great Views and a waterfall.
  • Lake Padden single track trails (5.1 miles) – excellent single track trails connect with lake Padden Park trail. Access in park or parking lot on Samish Way about 1 mile south of park entrance.

Galbraith Mountain

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).

Civic Field Dirt Jump Track

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. 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.

Logging Roads and County Trails

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.

Road Biking

Bellingham

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.

Whatcom County

County roads offer sweeping views of rural splendor, Mt. Baker, and the waterfront. A Whatcom County Bike Map is available from Whatcom Smart  Trips.

Family Biking

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.

Annual Biking Events

Tour de Whatcom

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.

  • The 25-mile route leaves Fairhaven and travels through downtown Bellingham heading north. The ride continues on city streets and back country roads past water views to Ferndale’s Pioneer Park, then returns on the same route.
  • The 50-mile route begins and ends on the same 25-mile route, but extends the ride an additional 25 miles to Birch Bay and back, viewing Whatcom County’s northwestern shoreline as it reaches toward Canada. This middle distance rendezvous with the 105-mile riders in Birch Bay and joins the 25-mile riders as they return from Ferndale.
  • The 105-mile route is a true loop of Whatcom County. The ride begins in Fairhaven and heads south on back roads past Lake Samish to Alger, where it turns north and travels through thick evergreen forests to the east end of Lake Whatcom. Here the route continues north through Acme to Deming, where it takes a northwesterly angle through the small towns and gorgeous farmland of Everson, Lynden and Custer before reaching Blaine on the U.S.-Canada border. To complete the loop, the ride then heads south to Birch Bay and onto Ferndale, before returning to downtown Bellingham and Fairhaven’s welcoming Village Green.

Chuckanut Century Ride

In September, the Mt. Baker  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.

Festival 542

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.

Bellingham Traverse

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 “Think Like Fish” 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 it’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. 

Download Biking Info

Bicycling Links & Resources

Jack's Bicycle Center | 360-733-1955
1907 Iowa Street, Bellingham
jacksbikes1950@yahoo.com

Note: Listings marked with a have a photo and/or description when you hover your mouse pointer over their name.

Amazing Maps and Adventure Productions
2414 Cherry Street, Bellingham
360-224-7606
dsofield@amazingmaps.us
Bellingham Parks and Recreation
3424 Meridian Street, Bellingham
360-778-7000
Fairhaven Bike & Ski
1108 11th Street, Bellingham
360-733-4433
Kulshan Cycles
100 E. Chestnut, Bellingham
360-733-6440
Mount Baker Bicycle Club
PO Box 2702, Bellingham
360-752-1236
Tour de Whatcom
803 S Park Court, Lynden
360-739-9953
todd@nwactivities.com
Whatcom Independent Mountain Pedalers (WHIMPS)
PO Box 1011, Bellingham
 
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