Monday, June 5th, 2017
Free Trail Talks in Fairhaven Park and Tours of the Chuckanut Community Forest
Todd Elsworth

On the south side of Bellingham is the quaint district of Fairhaven. It is known for the fun shopping and dining opportunities that abound in the area. Check out our Fairhaven page to see details. If you’re into history, check out FairhavenHistory.com. If you’re into nature, join this summer’s Trail Talks in Fairhaven Park.

Recreation Northwest has started offering free, monthly guided walks for the public to show off the labyrinth of trails in this urban forest and highlight its community stewardship project in Fairhaven Park.

Summer 2017 Trail Talks take place on Sundays at 11:00 a.m., June 25, July 23 and August 27. Starting at 11:00 a.m., the Trail Talks will show off this special piece of property, endearingly known as the “100 Acre Woods.” If you haven’t been into the network of trails in the forest, now part of the larger Fairhaven Park, this is your chance for a tour with Recreation Northwest staff.

We meet at the trail head, just past the upper pavilion in Fairhaven Park. You just have to show up with a smile and your boots and other day hike essentials. April Claxton and I are co-directors Recreation Northwest. She will lead the June tour and I’ll be back on for July and August. We like to laugh and have fun on these walks (and in all the work we do) as evidenced in the fun font and title of our logo “Trail Talks with Todd”. (Yes, this title was influenced by Nature Walks with Chuck for you old Almost Live fans, rest assured I don’t replicate his behavior!)

Many Bellingham locals are excited to go in and explore the wonders hidden in this urban forest, but are hesitant because they don’t want to “get lost”. If you’re visiting from out of town or not familiar with the intricacies of the network of trails that crisscross this landscape, we will help show you around. Our walks last 1 ½ hours and cover approximately 2 miles. We hope you’ll join us.

We also have Fairhaven Park trail maps (PDF) to guide you.

Click on map for PDF

Click on map for PDF

Why is Recreation Northwest offering these guided walks?

We have had the pleasure of working as stewards of Fairhaven Park for the past three years. We chose this particular park due to the impact we have with the trail run leg of our Bellingham Traverse, which takes place in September. As part of our stewardship work, we’ll also talk about upcoming construction of a new section of limestone trail and a boardwalk that will connect Fairhaven Park and the Chuckanut Community Forest.

The new trail and 40 foot boardwalk will allow for improved and more enjoyable access for people as well as protecting this important habitat for wildlife and the ecology of the forest. The current trail will be abandoned and planted with native species to discontinue the impacts to the wetland and begin the restoration process, enabling the wetland to function in its natural state.

This photo is the current status of the trail that we are working to fix. Wear your boots…

Fairhaven Park Trail is a Community Effort

Our friends at Village Books are showing their support for our trail fundraising campaign by honoring us through their new “Round it Up” campaign on in-store purchases beginning June 9 and running through August. We are also indebted to the Fairhaven Lions, Stones Throw Brewery, Brio Laundry, WECU, La Fiamma, Trayvax and our other sponsors and donors for their continued support.

Please join us this summer for our guided tours to learn more about the trails and lend a hand at our work parties for this project. Our mission is to promote outdoor recreation and bring people together to enjoy, preserve and improve the places where we play. I am honored to be able to do this work for our community.

If you’d like to go it alone, take a self guided walk with these maps in hand:

Fairhaven Park Trail Related Events

Stones Throw Brewery – Pop UP Beer Garden

Friday, July 21 – Sunday, July 23
Benefit beer garden “Behind the Bus” at Fairhaven Fish & Chips in partnership with Stones Throw Brewery and Outbound to raise money for Recreation Northwest at the corner of 11th and Harris.

Fairhaven Park Trail & Boardwalk Work Parties

If you like to dig in and get dirty, trail work parties are a part of the culture in Bellingham. Here are the dates we have to work on the Fairhaven Park Trail:

  • Saturday, August 5
  • Saturday, August 12
  • Thursday, August 17
  • Thursday, August 24
  • Saturday, August 26

Community Shopping programs

  • Village Books “Round it UP”: During the months of June, July, August, you can round up your purchase to the next dollar, five or ten to help our campaign to build the trail!
  • Community Shopping Day at Community Food Co-ops: Recreation Northwest was also selected to be the beneficiary of the Community Food Co-ops Community Shopping Day in August. This effort also supports our stewardship work.

For more outdoor adventure ideas in the Bellingham region, see the full list of Todd’s articles.

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About the Author:

As the Executive Director of Recreation Northwest and the founder of the Bellingham Traverse and co-founder of Kulshan Quest Adventure Race, Todd promotes outdoor recreation and brings people together to enjoy, preserve and improve the places where we play. He enjoys biking, hiking, paddling, skiing and will try anything twice. Get connected at RecreationNorthwest.org.