There will be a series of DNR Trail Planning meetings specifically for Whatcom County! I met with the DNR’s State Recreation manager and we discussed items like low-hanging fruit, where groups are already recreating along with long-term/ bigger visions for other locations. This process will be long, but we really gleaned some great options during the trail policy committee that “could” help accelerate some items if things go smoothly.
From the DNR:
Planning for recreation in DNR’s northwestern forests DNR is embarking on a new planning project that will guide recreation on DNR-managed lands from the three forks of the Nooksack River to western Lake Whatcom for the next ten to 15 years. The plan will help DNR ensure recreation on DNR-managed lands in the Whatcom County area is fun and sustainable for years to come.
The planning meetings are set for some time in January. Please check the below Facebook sites for more information as they gets updated and stay tuned with us.
If you’re on the Book of Faces, you can join the events here:
WMBC Trail Director
First off, we’d like to thank everyone who has attended the reconveyance park planning meetings, written email responses or done both. It’s obvious that the mountain bike community is passionate about trails in this park and our numbers and well-crafted letters reflect it. More than 51% of people who have provided feedback (so far) are mountain bikers and if you looked around the room at every meeting, we have been well represented. Now is not the time to slack off….please send the parks department your feedback! The deadline is technically November 29th but we’re working on getting an extension. email@example.com
If you’ve not had a chance to review the Park’s DRAFT plan, it has made great strides in addressing many issues like various trail types, single-use and directional trails and incorporating user-built trails where they make sense. It also has a good balance for protecting our watershed. You can see the full plan here: http://www.whatcomcounty.us/DocumentCenter/View/13419
There are two issues in the DRAFT that we find as important and worth addressing. The plan doesn’t include trails in the Repeater Road area of Lookout Mountain and or Surfin’ Turf trail on Stewart Mountain.
Repeater Road (Access and trails):
There are currently 3 user-built trails that are extremely popular – despite the very steep climb. One issue is access to this area because Repeater Road goes through Sudden Valley – which is private land. The WMBC is working with Parks department to figure out solutions for access and work with the Sudden Valley Homeowners Association. We have scouted a Repeater Road to Lookout Road connector which is viable. There are also issues with having trails exit to Lake Whatcom Boulevard, however, there are possibilities for climbing trails and potential parking at the southern end of the park’s property.
Surfin’ Turf Trail:
This trail was the 2nd most mentioned trail behind Cougar Ridge and is the type of trail that people come to Bellingham to ride. We presented the parks department with routing adjustments and solutions to address their concerns almost 2 years ago and we still believe those suggested changes are viable. In the past meeting, there were 117 people that asked the park to incorporate user built trails into the park plan and this is one that many people have expressed a lot of concern about losing.
If these two items or others are important to you, please email the park and let them know that you’d like them to work to figure out solutions to these issues. firstname.lastname@example.org
We’d also like to let you know that we are pleased with the Whatcom County Parks staff. They have sat down with our board to learn about the bike community’s needs and work closely with our Trail Director. We’re excited for the opportunity to work together with the parks and also other user groups to develop a trail plan that includes mountain bike trails from the beginning of the planning process. The latest draft reflects that the park staff has been listening. There’s just that last couple of items that we’re working through.
Please join us this Thursday as Whatcom County Parks hosts a meeting to present and gather additional feedback on the newly formed Lake Whatcom Park Plan.
- Where: Bloedel Donovan Park
- Time: 6-8PM
- Facebook Event: https://www.facebook.com/events/999488456760710/
Over the past year, the WMBC and other user groups have been meeting with the Parks staff to give input about desired user experiences and trail types. Our community has continued to give them really well-thought input as well. As a result, we are excited about the updated plan and will provide additional comments on a couple of areas.
Again, we’d ask our members to show up (if possible), be respectful, ask great questions and give appropriate feedback. When you look over the plan, be sure to give the Parks feedback on what you like and what’s missing. If you can’t make the meeting, you can email the parks your input here: email@example.com
See you all there!
In what is fast becoming a PNW Classic, the 2015 Enduro of Subdued Excitement was blessed with perfect weather, tacky trails, a great vibe, fastastic sponsors, an incredible effort by our volunteers and trail builders and many of the fastest racers in the PNW.
With 187 racers sampling the Chuckanut Singletrack at Larrabee State Park, the race also served as a great reason to officially open up our new Double Down Trail – a trail we started constructing in April and, due to the extremely dry summer, we weren’t able to complete until recently. With the new trail opened up, it gave racers a full top-to-bottom run for our 4th and final stage of the race….a stage that took Lars Sternberg 8:22 to complete! By the smiles on the racers faces, I’d say the course and new trail were well received!
Post-race beers were served up courtesy of Boundary Bay, Chuckanut, Aslan and Kulshan Breweries and grub was served up from Tadeo’s taco truck. In the end, the race helped the WMBC raise more than $7,000 that will go directly back towards this winter’s trail building and planning efforts in Larrabee State Park and around Whatcom County.
After it was said and done, Lars Sternberg and Emily Sabelhaus were the fastest men and women on the day with Jimmy Schwend-Cloherty winning the juniors. Local Sehome Senior, Jason Eiswald, who dominated the Cascadia Cup this year jumped up to Pro and ended up on the podium in 4th place! Full Results can be found here .
Many thanks to Eric Ashley for the photos and the trailwork before the event. You can read Eric’s full write-up on Pinkbike here:
Thanks to everyone who came out to the 5th Annual Shoot the Trails Awards. A big shout out to all of the sponsors and volunteers who make this event so great! Without further adieu, The winners are:
1st Place Video: Kevin Menard “Over the Hill” https://vimeo.com/141695556
2nd Place Video: Kory Heptner “The Switch” https://vimeo.com/141282886
3rd Place Video: Brian Chapel “True Life Midfat” https://vimeo.com/141493266
Just wanted to congratulate and welcome our next batch of IMBA- ICP Level 1 instructors. Matt Burns, AJ Lear, Nate Hooch, and Gary Holboy will be helping run the after school mountain bike programs. Zoae Spackman will be involved in leading and developing the WMBC Joy Riders – our women’s bike club. Thank you Shaum’s March for being a rad instructor!
WMBC has been working with school districts and youth programs in Whatcom County to engage youth in the sport of mountain biking through service learning projects and group rides. Below is a list of programs that we have been and/or are currently involved with:
- Carl Cozier Mountain Bike Club
- Silver Beach Elementary Mountain Bike Club
- Birchwood Elementary
- Wade King Elementary
- Alderwood Elementary
- Fairhaven Middle School
- Whatcom Middle School
- Sehome High School
- Windward High School
- Lummi Nation Tribal School
- Mt Baker High School
- Boy Scouts of America
- Whatcom County Composite Mountain Bike Team
- WA State High School Mountain Bike League
Also available in Ferndale at Lenny’s Bike Shop. http://www.lennysbikeshop.com
For submission guidelines, click on Shoot the Trails under the events tab.
Last winter, the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) organized a committee of 17 trail advocates from around the state to assist them in creating trail policies for their agency. The group met monthly for 7 months with DNR Recreation staff to discuss many issues surrounding trails on state-managed lands. The WMBC’s Trail Director, Eric Brown, was one of three mountain bike advocates (along with Scott Tucker and Glenn Glover), however, the committee consisted of representatives from many recreation and conservation groups.
Important, the DNR has put together a survey for users. Take 5 minutes to fill this out! Please be sure to let them know that you’d like to have authorized trails on DNR lands in Whatcom County. Currently, there are ZERO designated trails on DNR-managed lands in Whatcom County!
You can read the Draft Trail Policy here below. This document is intended to help provide guidance to DNR staff with trails and recreation items.
You can learn more about the Trail Policy process here: http://www.dnr.wa.gov/TrailsPolicy
The types of items discussed in the trail policy are:
- Use of existing trail standards such as USFS, IMBA, etc. where applicable.
- Working better with trail user groups to build/maintain trail networks.
- Identifying pre-existing / non-designated trails and networks that have opportunities to be adopted by user groups.
- The extent of trail planning should vary by area and need. Not all trail planning need to be district-wide that often take years and are cost prohibitive.
- Desired Trail experiences for each user group is critical.
- Working more effectively with adjacent land owners/managers.
- Ways to resolve trail conflicts and issues.
Take 5 minutes to let the DNR know that trails in Whatcom County are important to you!
Saturday, October 17th at Larrabee State Park
Sign up NOW! Registration is LIVE!
Racers can expect 4 stages with approximately 3,800 feet of descending and overall times should be in the 20-30 minute range. The overall course is about 16 miles long with lots of pedaling between stages. Racers should plan for 2-4 hours of saddle time.
Friday, October 9th, 2015: The course will be announced.
Thursday – October 15th, 2015: Online Registration Closes at noon. ***NO Friday or DAY OF REGISTRATION.
Friday, October 16th, 2015: Packet Pickup 3 pm – 6 pm at the Larrabee South Day Use Shelter. A $20 deposit is required for your timing chip at packet pick up.
The course will be marked by the 15th, but all of the trails and roads will be open to traffic and user groups will be notified of riders. Warning signs will be posted around the park, but PLEASE use proper trail etiquette as this is a popular area for hikers and equestrians.
Saturday, October 17th, 2015
8:00 am to 9:00 am: Packet Pick Up – A $20 deposit is required for your timing chip at packet pick up
9:20 am: Riders make their way to Start
10:30 am: First Rider Starts
1:00 pm: First Riders Finishing. (Estimation)
Larrabee State Park
245 Chuckanut Drive
Bellingham, WA 98229
From I-5 soutbound:
Take exit #250, and turn right onto Fairhaven Pkwy. Go to second stoplight. Turn left on SR 11/
Chuckanut Dr. Stay left at next stoplight, and drive six miles to park entrance.
From I-5 northbound:
Take exit #231. Turn right onto SR 11/Chuckanut Dr., and drive north 14 miles to park entrance.
Click here for a map.
The Discovery Pass is required in Larrabee State Park. Click here for purchase information.
Larrabee has 51 standard tent sites, 26 utility sites, eight primitive sites, one dump station and six showers (four ADA). Four showers are open Oct. 1 to May 1. Utility spaces have sewer, power and water. Maximum site length is 60 feet (may have limited availability). A working train track runs through the park and west of the campground. Campers are advised to check in at the registration booth upon arrival. To make a reservation, visit online or call (888)
CAMPOUT or (888) 226-7688.
Learn more here:
Accommodations in Bellingham:
If for some reason a participant has to withdraw from the race:
- 50% of the registration fee will be reimbursed up to one month from race date
- No refunds will be given within one month from race date.
If the event has to be cancelled due to natural disasters (storm, flooding, etc) a portion of your entry fee will be refunded.
Just to get folks in a Bellingham State of Mind:
Many thanks to our generous Sponsors!
Just a little reminder that there is a October 5th deadline for video and photo submissions for the 5th annual Shoot The Trails awards. This is our biggest event of the year and a community favorite so get your submission in and be part of the show.