Local Adventures: Connelly Creek Trail

After my short hike in March on the Happy Valley Park Trail, I wanted to hike Connelly Creek Trail the next time we were in Bellingham, Washington. We had errands to run and I had a free hour or so I took advantage of it. And I hit it right at spring, with everything opening up in the forest. Since it had rained last week, the creek was running and no bugs yet.

See here for a map of the area, and of the trails.

I started at the Starbucks parking lot on Old Fairhaven Parkway, which is just off Interstate 5 (I-5) and is on the right side of the road. There are many medical offices here with ample parking – I am not saying you should park here, but that it exists – just covering the legalities and all.

I walked along 30th street and crossed Donovan. There are crosswalks to cross, and the whole way has sidewalks to walk on. It is an older neighborhood, and nicely quiet to walk.

The entrance for the Connelly Creek Trail is here.

There are a few junctions on the trail, but well marked. The side trails go out to neighborhoods, giving them access to it.

Overall the trail is wide and smooth, making it easy for all ages to walk on it, and to bicycle. I was shocked that every bicyclist I saw was on a real bike, not on E-bikes, which was refreshing to see. It wasn’t busy on a Monday morning, but I saw a good head count of people out walking dogs, on bikes and some using the trail to commute between areas – staying off the roads.

The trail crosses the creek a couple times. I could smell Skunk Cabbage opening up for spring.

The trees along the creek were in full bloom and the air was so clean back here.

Crossing the creek again.

The trail gently goes up and down, and then flattens out. The forest has many Cedars growing, and the deciduous trees are just opening up for the year.

If it were not for the sounds of I-5 carrying in the air, you would have thought you were in the country on this urban trail. The forest was filled with birds, including Pileated Woodpeckers loudly doing their job. I saw deer as well.

The trail reaches Taylor Avenue. Across the street is Joe’s Gardens, a very busy garden center. Here the trail does cross the road. Due to time constraints, I turned back. If you continue on, cross Taylor carefully (it’s on a curve) and walk up what looks like private property. Google Maps on satellite view shows it well.  The trail follows a wide driveway, then goes between 2 fields of theirs, and then continues into the forest once again, to get to Sehome Arboretum. I mean…it was hard enough to not go shop at Joe’s Gardens…hahahaha.

On the way back.

I spent more time on the way back ID’ing plants and noting what was growing back there.

Salmonberry was definitely very plentiful, with the access to fresh water. There will be good eating soon!

It was a relaxing walk, and I did about 1.2 miles in and out on the trail (not counting the sidewalk part).


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