Action Alert: Whatcom County Parks wants your input!

Hi folks!

Many thanks to everyone who made it out for the 2nd Trail meeting for the Lake Whatcom Reconveyance on Wednesday, March 18th. We had another stellar turnout and a packed house…it’s obvious there is a lot of passion for the new park.

IMPORTANT: If you didn’t make it to the meeting (or would like to make additional comments), take 10 minutes to email your feedback to Whatcom County Parks (parks@co.whatcom.wa.us).  See below for more info.

In the meeting, Rod Lamb (park planner) showed 3 different trail alternatives (1-3) with 1 providing the least amount of trail mileage and 3 providing the most trail mileage. We then broke out into a commenting period about the alternatives.

The three alternatives provided are guidelines and were intended to create discussion and feedback. As such, they NEED feedback on what they’ve put together so far: specifically, please let them know what you liked, what’s missing and what you’d like to see in the future park. The three Alternative Plans can be found here: http://www.co.whatcom.wa.us/625/Lake-Whatcom-Reconveyance

Some potential items to mention to the County:

Alternative 3:
We support a modified version of Alternative 3 for Stewart and Lookout Mountains that creates the most trail mileage and looks at user-built trails, has better routing options and different trail designations.

Lookout Mountain Alternative 3: http://www.co.whatcom.wa.us/DocumentCenter/View/8015

Stewart Mountain alternative 3: http://www.co.whatcom.wa.us/DocumentCenter/View/8012

Types of trails:

  • We’d like to see a percentage of directional trails for mt. bikes (single use) and for the other user groups where they make sense. When done well, these are absolutely compatible with our goal of protecting the watershed.
  • We’d like to see different difficulty levels for the various user groups in the park – from rugged/advanced trails to beginner/family level of trails. There are zero single-use or advanced level mt. bike trails on any of the alternatives that were presented.
  • Loops and destinations are preferred. We like to ride/hike to waterfalls, lookouts and interesting geological formations and we also prefer riding loops (when possible) over an out-and-back trail.
  • A hiking trail with an “Ascending-only” designation for mt. bikers. This is a relatively new, but successful designation working in other areas (Squamish BC, as an example) and allows mt. bikes to only ride UP a trail. It also means there is one more user group who is willing to build and maintain said trail(s), while eliminating user conflicts. These often work best near trailheads due to the amount of traffic.

Connectors:

  • Connectors into Galbraith (this was highlighted in the meeting by Parks already).
  • The ability to utilize the trail from the South Lookout Tower across private timber land down to Cain and Squires Lake. An easement would be necessary here, but it’s a must have.

User-built/ Pre-existing Trails:

  • This is an obvious hot button with every land manager and trail advocacy group, but whenever possible, looking at the pre-existing trails on a landscape and the ability to bring them into a trail network is a pragmatic approach.  Often times, that does mean serious modifications and/or re-alignment of the trail routing. That has worked successfully in many other communities like Sedona, Leavenworth , Moab and Jackson Hole
  • So, with that, what pre-existing trails do you currently recreate on and like to see brought into the system? These are not secret to park staff, so name them or mark them on a map and send them with your email.

For more background, here are the public comments from last April’s meeting:
https://kevinmenard.files.wordpress.com/2015/03/lake-whatcom-planning-mtg-public-comment-042914.pdf

View of Lookout and Stewart Mountains flanking Lake Whatcom.

View of Lookout and Stewart Mountains flanking Lake Whatcom.

Public Service Announcement regarding parking at Galbraith Mountain

Public Service Announcement (please share):

With the unseasonably warm and dry winter, the trails have been busier than ever this “winter”. As a result, the trailheads on Galbraith Lane and Birch Street have been packed with cars on the weekends (and busy on the weekdays).

Two things:
1. We got notice from our Galbraith Lane neighbors that people have been parking on the North side of Samish Way on weekends. Although technically not illegal, this is very dangerous for the residents who can’t see when they’re leaving the neighborhood and it also removes anywhere for riders (and their dogs) to get safely back to their car without having to ride on the road (50 mph). We’ve put up signs explaining why this is an issue, but if you could please let folks know if you see them parking there, it would be MUCH appreciated.

2. Riders who are using the Birch St. access, if you can either A. ride from home or B. park at Whatcom Falls Park on the weekends, that would be ideal. I know most locals ride to the trailhead from home, but in a time crunch, we all drive from time to time, so let’s extend more courtesy to our Birch St. neighbors.

Thanks all….part of what makes our community so rad is the fact that we are great stewards of the mountain and courteous to our fellow neighbors. Long-term, we’re working on better parking solutions….

Advocacy Alert: Lake Whatcom Trail meeting, Wednesday, March 18th

Hi folks!

Please join us next Wednesday (March 18th) as Whatcom County Parks will be holding their 2nd community meeting to gather public input about recreational opportunities in the Lake Whatcom Reconveyance.

For those not familiar with this land, it’s the 8,800 acres on Lookout and Stewart Mountains (see below maps) that was transferred from the DNR back to Whatcom County after a rather lengthy (8 year) process. Over those years, many of you showed your support at county council meetings and in your well-written letters, so we need your follow-through to show support for trails that will provide an amazing recreational experience for mt. bikers and other trail users alike.

Some items to consider in next week’s meeting:
• Does the county’s initial plan align with those locations or trails where you currently recreate?
• What kind of experience do you want to see on these lands? Loops, destinations, camping, multi-use trails, single use trails, a more rugged experience, family trails, etc?
• Do you currently recreate on these mountains? If so, if you are riding/hiking/running on trails or areas currently, be sure to let the County know about those areas/trails. Feel free to be specific.

Meeting Details below:

When: Wednesday, March 18th at 6:30 PM
Where: Bellingham Senior Activity Center, 315 Halleck Street, Bellingham

Please join us for the second community meeting to discuss the Lake Whatcom lands that were transferred to Whatcom County through reconveyance. Staff will present updated information on recreational opportunities, constraints and conceptual trail plans. Participants will be asked to provide comments and suggestions on the proposals. Updates will be posted to the Whatcom County Parks & Recreation website.

Please share this information with anyone you feel may be interested in participating. Maps of the area are below:

Reconveyance_Overview

Lookout_Mountain_Reconveyance

Stewart_Mountain_Reconveyance

SST Build Day Recap

We had a glorious day on Saturday working on the middle of SST/Golden Spike. Thanks to Andrew Trimakas for planning the day, the 35 volunteers who gave up a day off the bike and the Fanatik Crew who showed up in force! We’re loving seeing all of the younger riders and the rad parents who bring their kids out to help these days. Sure, it means you often need to leave early or aren’t quite as productive, but the parents and the kids all seem to really love it.

We ended up getting the area above and below the rock rolls totally buffed and we altered the step up after the big rock roll above the road crossing. The old jump was easily overshot and the corner after was pretty abrupt for the speed. The new step up is much bigger and the line ties directly into the other side of the road. That exit and the section below the road is all new, so please, as always, look before you leap!

Many thanks to Eric Ashley for the great pics and digging all day!

Transplanting ferns on the old line.

Transplanting ferns on the old line.

Craig and Oso moving dirt.

Craig and Oso moving dirt.

Smiles all around on this glorious day in the woods!

Smiles all around on this glorious day in the woods!

Justin, Dale and Garrett were working on the new connector into the trail.

Justin, Dale and Garrett were working on the new connector into the trail.

Hawk and crew getting the step up figured out early in the day.

Hawk and crew getting the step up figured out early in the day.

Riley moving dirt.

Riley moving dirt.

Lots of dirt moved on Saturday.

Lots of dirt moved on Saturday.

Zack was riding his bike all morning!

Zack was riding his bike all morning!

Jon and Giovanni getting the step up zone dialed in.

Jon and Giovanni getting the step up zone dialed in.

Jon getting the step up shaped.

Jon getting the step up shaped.

Delilah clearing the new entrance below the road.

Delilah clearing the new entrance below the road.

Alex moving lots of dirt.

Alex moving lots of dirt.

Fanatik 10 Year Anniversary Celebration – Saturday March 14th

Fanatik Bike will be celebrating their 10 year anniversary on Saturday, March 14th.  Festivities will go from 9-5PM and proceeds from their raffle will go to the WMBC.

Fanatik 10 year Anniversary

Fanatik 10 year Anniversary

This Saturday – SST build day sponsored by Fanatik Bike

Fanatik-Final-Logo_198

Hi all,

Just a reminder that we’ll be giving SST some more love this Saturday with the fine folks at Fanatik Bike. Because of the expected number of people, we’ll be meeting at the Padden parking lot by the off-leash dog park and ballfields. Also, if you have a preferred shovel or rogue hoe, please bring one!

Trail: SST
Meeting Time: 9:00 AM
Meeting Location: Padden Ballfields

If you want to ride up and meet us, we’ll be staging on the road that is between two rock drops.

High School Mountain Bike Team Accepting Riders

WSCL_WebLogo

Whatcom County’s High School Mountain Bike Team in Association with the Washington Student League.

“Our mission is to promote youth development, confidence, leadership, health and public stewardship through mountain biking and positive outdoor experience and to and create a foundation for lifelong cycling enjoyment.”

– Washington Student League

The team is open to anyone who is a Whatcom County high school student grade 9-12. Basic bike riding skills recommended. There are also volunteer opportunities for parents and bicycle minded community members. This is a great way to help out and give back to the community, as riding bikes ties together personal wellbeing, stewardship, and camaraderie!

An excuse to ride your bike! Meet new people, explore new trails, build your riding skills. The Whatcom Composite mountain bike team’s main focus is riding and skill development. The idea, most of all, is to ride bikes and have fun! There will be opportunities for racing, though it’s not a requirement. The League puts on four races a season, and we will plan to attend each one!

Spring 2015 – The goal is for students to ride 2-3 times per week. Practices will take place on two weekday evenings per week (4:30pm-6:15pm once daylight savings arrives), with a longer ride on the weekend. The tentative schedule is Tuesday/Thursday and Saturday or Sunday, though that may change depending on what team members deem most doable.Rides will take place on various trail systems, including Galbraith & Chuckanut mountains.

Contact Becca Margulies at 541-261-1225 or becca@bexdsgn.com for more info!

Evolution Trail Day Recap

It’s been awhile since we gave one of the most popular trails on a mountain some much needed love. Thanks to Burlington Physical Therapy for sponsoring the day and also to Fairhaven Pizza for donating half of the pizzas to feed our crew. We focused mainly on the lower section reshaping jumps, adding dirt to features and berms as well as reworking a couple jumps. Definitely worth getting up there and experiencing how good that trail is running right now.

Evolution trailday this Sunday – Sponsored by Burlington Physical Therapy


Join us this Sunday to continue giving Evolution some upgrades.  The plan is to work bottom up and give the whole lower half a full overhaul.

Our sponsor will be the good folks at Burlington Physical Therapy and our plan is to meet at the Galbraith Lane parking lot off Samish Way at 9 and drive up from there.  Bring your bike if want to ride after!

Saturday (2/21) Trail day on Bottle Opener

The good folks at the Mt. Baker Bicycle Club are sponsoring Saturday’s trailday. Weather looks good, so come out and help get Bottle Opener in good order for the year. We’ll be meeting at the Galbraith Lane at 9 AM and driving up from there. If you want to ride out, bring your bike and catch a ride up. Or alternatively, ride up and join us. If we have enough folks, we’ll work up Keystone as well.

Also, the Fragrance Lake Half Marathon is happening on Chuckanut this Saturday. This would be a good day to stay away from Larrabee as the trails will be full of racers.

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