Monday, September 11th, 2017
Cornwall Park is Fun Place to Play on Bay to Baker Trail
Todd Elsworth

The latest segment of the Bay to Baker Trail was recently opened in north Bellingham, crossing through Cornwall Park.¬†‚ÄúThe new trail connection through Cornwall Park is already getting a lot of use. With playgrounds, spray park, picnic shelters, and disc golf, Cornwall is one of our most popular parks. The new trail is a great connection that bypasses the high use park areas and links up to the recently completed Squalicum Creek Trail,‚ÄĚ said Leslie Bryson, Bellingham Parks Director.

The first section passes through where the parks department headquarters used to be. Below is a photo that labels the building as Fountain Plaza. This is where the new trail passes through. It sure is a change for the better.

My daughter and her friend, Lila, got out on our bikes after school to go explore the new trail and have some fun in our neighborhood park. The wide gravel path will be able to accommodate many users.

The trail crosses through familiar grounds. To the left in the photo below is the playground and spray park. We are about to pass the main shelter area that we have hosted many birthday parties at for Violet’s friends. It’s fun to be able to ride through the park on this new trail!

The trail winds through the tall trees as it parallels the road to the north. The girls were having a blast riding on the flat gravel path. Usually, I take these two up to “shred Galby” so it was a nice reprieve for us all.

The trail leaves the park and crosses Birchwood Avenue onto Orchard Place. The trail picks back up on the other side and heads east and links up with Bug Lake and Sunset Pond. Here’s an earlier post about the Squalicum Creek Trail. The girls patiently posed before we turned around and went back into the park for what we came to do! Play Disc Golf.

We doubled back to the park and passed a¬†nearby monument that reads, “Here passed the Old Telegraph Road which followed the telegraph line planned to connect the United States with Europe by telegraph, a project abandoned with the completion of the Atlantic cable. Over this pioneer outlet to the north, thousands of prospectors filed into the Fraser River gold fields, 1858-1859. Erected by Chief Whatcom Chapter, Daughters of the American Revolution 1941.”

It’s just not a trip to the park without stopping to play in the creek. We found some bark boats, rigged with leafs for sails that we launched down the falls!

We set out for a bit of disc golf! When we arrived, we saw a sign that informed us of the Whatcom Disc Golf Club which hosts Disc Golf Weekly Events Tuesdays ~ 5:00 pm. Meet at the shelter at the back entrance to the park off Cornwall Avenue. Random doubles is a great way to improve your games. All skill levels are welcome.

With discs in hand, we headed out on the course. The white monument on the course is “Dedicated to the Grand Army of the Republic. Department of Washington and Alaska by the Womens Relief Corps Sons of Veterans their axially school children and citizens of Bellingham 1931.” The girls thought it would be more fun to cover their faces and give a shout out to local sporting goods store, Yeager’s Sporting Goods. These inexpensive frisbees were a great way to see if the girls would like this activity, without shelling out too much for a fancy disc golf collection. Although, I think that the real deal is in our near future.

We round our way through the course, laughing at how bad we really were at this. But hey, we’re just out for a bit of fun! The large cedars on some of the holes are protected by long sticks. We sure love our trees here in Bellingham!

As our Parks Director pointed out, there is much to choose from in the park. There are four tennis courts also set in a deeply wooded setting. The courts are well maintained and see a lot of use!

Nearby is another classic sport! Horseshoes! Interested in pitching horseshoes? Check out the Bellingham Horseshoe Club. Join them on Monday at 5:00pm. For info call Gene Kuiken Р360-927-9893. State web: www.wshpa.com. Everyone is welcome. With or without experience.

Not interested in the sporting side of the park? That’s okay too. There is also a nice network of trails that loop around the park. Below is a set of stairs that lead you up to some nice footpaths that are also fun to explore and get your daily dose of nature.

A historical note:¬†At the main entrance, off the Guide Meridian, a signs reads, “Cornwall Memorial Park – This park was given to the people of Belligham in the year 1908 by Bertha James Cornwall Fischer of thetas city in memory of her father. Pierre Barlow Cornwall a California pioneer whose faith, interest and activities in the development of bellingham were outstanding.”

For more fun outdoors ideas 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.