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The South Bay Trail is a tourist's dream and a sweet summer spot for locals. The small city of Bellingham, 20 miles from the Canadian border, lies between 10,781-foot Mount Baker and Bellingham Bay and is home to Western Washington University. You'll find easy access to San Juan Island cruises and the Alaska Inside Passage cruise, as well as access to Vancouver, British Columbia.
In the early 1890s, this former line of the Bellingham Bay and Eastern Railroad hauled coal, logs, and lumber from 68 mills to developing West Coast cities. Today, the 2.5-mile trail provides an easy waterfront tour between downtown and the artisan community of Fairhaven, home to many shops, cafés, farmers' markets, and the Fairhaven Village Green, site of weekly outdoor summer movies and music. Two trails—the Interurban and Railroad—connect at either end of the trail.
You can access the trail in Fairhaven and from anywhere in Boulevard Park. Parking, restrooms, and water are available in the park. A southward journey takes you over the bay via Pattle Point trestle and historic Taylor Dock. A northward trip winds you through Boulevard Park, past a waterfront coffee shop (with Wi-Fi), pocket beaches, and play areas, and across tracks (cross carefully). The linear park trail makes for a peaceful journey among trees and foliage, with intermittent views of the bay, Lummi Island, and the San Juan Islands. You'll pass through the residential outskirts of the restaurant and retail district and arrive downtown, with cafés, a brewery, and other entertainment spots.
The trail ends at Maple Street, just west of Railroad Avenue, where you'll find a farmers' market (open Saturdays), art walks, and the sweet ambience of the area surrounding Western Washington University campus.
To access the trail in Fairhaven from Interstate 5, take Exit 250 for State Route 11/Old Fairhaven Parkway toward Chuckanut Drive. Head west on Connelly Avenue/Old Fairhaven Parkway/SR 11 S, and continue for 1.4 miles. Continue straight onto Donovan Avenue, and then continue to the right onto 10th Street for 0.2 mile to Mill Avenue. Parking is available near Fairhaven Village Green.
To access the trail in Boulevard Park, take I-5 to Exit 250. Head west on Connelly Avenue/Old Fairhaven Parkway/SR 11 S for 1.5 miles, and turn right at the 12th Street light. In 0.2 mile, bear left onto Finnegan Way, which becomes 11th Street. In 0.5 mile, turn left onto Bayview Drive into Boulevard Park.
To reach the northern terminus at Maple Street, take I-5 to Exit 253 heading toward Lakeway Drive. Turn right onto King Street. Turn right onto Lakeway Drive. In 0.4 mile, take a slight right onto E. Holly Street. After about 0.3 mile, turn left onto Railroad Avenue and look for parking along the side as you head toward Maple Street.
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