Over last summer, and even a bit through winter, this loop became one of my goto loops. I can ride it from my house or it’s almost as easy doing from the Haggen parking lot. It’s basically a loop through Ferndale via Smith & Noon roads and then hitting as many trails/paths as I can link together to bring me back to Ferndale.
What keeps me coming back to this loop is that it is a good workout with hills along Smith, Noon, Britton roads as well as just over 30 miles in most renditions of this route. I do try out adding and subtracting bits and pieces here and there depending on weather, mood, or just an idea of what might be fun. This time I added in the Northridge Neighborhood & Klipsun Trails as a substitute for part of Britton and Northshore roads. After droning along Smith and Noon’s long straight pavement section the trail was a welcome diversion, trails are just a lot more fun, and interesting. I can’t ever remember running across anything interesting along Smith road…this morning I witnessed a speeding yahoo in his pickup passing uphill in a blind no passing zone…but not really interesting.
However, riding the trails has yet to become boring and I am not sure it ever will as the trails run right through the middle of Bellingham where there are no shortages of interesting people. Just today, I saw people with multiple leashed animals and headphones, elderly people with packs and ski poles not letting time slow them down, obviously hungover people of all ages contemplating life as they zig-zagged down the path, dozens of toddlers scouring the parks for plastic Easter eggs, and just because there is the weird end of the spectrum…a guy on Squalicum Parkway checking out some road kill…maybe Easter Dinner?
Another notable, for me at least, was the tunnel under Barkley Blvd. I had no idea it was there, but it is just one more example of Bellingham’s tenacity towards putting in connective trails even when they don’t seem possible. This tunnel is safe, clean, well-lit, protects kids, dogs, etc from the well travelled road above, yet doesn’t slow the traffic a bit. Good example for other towns and trail builders.