The Lummi Peninsula Loop is a rather extended version of my regular 10 mile Mixed Loop out of Ferndale. This loop takes you south from Pioneer Pavillion along Ferndale Road and then out and around the whole Lummi Peninsula before returning to Ferndale via the dirt trail along the Nooksack that leads into Hovander Park. It’s 24 miles altogether and at times can be a mixed bag, but it is overall a fun ride. This is not really a loop for a purely road bike, unless you skip the dirt portion and just return via Ferndale Road. This time I rode Whitey, which I think is the perfect type of bike for this route.
So as per usual at this time of year, I got excited about the prospect of a sunny ride and left too darn early for my hands to stay warm. I think my lesson ought to be that if I need to scrape the windows, I need to stop in at Wood’s for a cup of coffee while I wait for the sun to come up. I didn’t do that this time and so I had to take a couple of warm up stops.
Leaving from Ferndale is nice and quiet along the river, so many raspberry plants waiting for their 2018 start. The Red River variation of this loop is my favorite, but the price of riding along the nice little section of Red River Road is that you have to ride on Slater to get there. Fortunately the shoulder is wide and the section is short, just be quick and careful. The Red River Road routes you behind the Casino and gives you your first glimpse into the juxtaposed conditions on the Lummi Reservation. On this short stretch this morning I viewed trash, derelict vehicles, more trash, derelict motorhomes, floating trash, and ramshackle homes. I also saw ducks, geese, rode a beautiful tree lined road, saw half dozen Herons, and two Bald Eagles.
The Red River Road empties on to Haxton Way where you will find a state of the art pedestrian/bike path complete with solar lighting. You will also find more derelict vehicles. The path is nice and I rode it all the way to the big roundabout at Kwina Road. from there I continued along a very wide shoulder all the way to the ferry dock. A caution here, I’ve now decided to only ride the loop in this direction because now on 3 occasions I been chased by a couple of large, apparently very hungry, and very loose dogs in the same spot going down the last hill before the ferry dock. I prefer to be going down hill when encountering these dogs as I’ve found they have very large nasty looking teeth, but can’t do more than 20 or so miles per hour. Again, juxtapose, don’t look at the beautiful view on the right, look at the hungry dogs on the left.
After passing the dock you’ll be on Lummi Shore Road. The road is nice to ride and the views stunning. Lots of oyster shells on the shoulder had me wondering if Schwalbe ever tested their tires for puncture resistance to oyster shells? Perhaps they do, as I heard plenty of crunching beneath my tires, but no flats. The nice wide shoulders disappear at Cagey Road, but the traffic was light at this early Saturday morning time and the few drivers were pretty courteous. Also, the dogs along Lummi Shore were chained, fenced, low-key, or all three. Keep following Lummi Shore as you go inland along the edge of the Nooksack delta and then turn right/east on to Marine Drive.
After crossing the bridge at the Nooksack River, look left and you will see the trail that leads north along the river and to Hovander Park. The trail at this south end is pretty sketchy due to flooding, so have fun and maybe don’t crash. Again, watch out at Slater Rd. I took the obvious path under the bridge this time rather than cross traffic on the road. Then continue on the nicely groomed path through Hovander back into Ferndale. Go across the bridge, down Riverwalk Park and you’ll be done.