New route will connect Chuckanut Mountain trails

Huckleberry-Raptor Ridge connector will be open to mountain bikers, hikers, runners and horses

THE BELLINGHAM HERALDNovember 15, 2013 

A new 1.2-mile section is being added to the Chuckanut Mountain trail system, with half going over an old road bed and the other half through undisturbed forest until its end near the Raptor Ridge overlook.

Set to be completed by next spring, the new route will link the Huckleberry and Raptor Ridge trails.

"It's going to be a nice connector," said Tom Chisholm, trail program coordinator for Whatcom County Parks and Recreation Department.

It also will bisect what is now a loop formed by other trails.

The route will be open to mountain bikers, hikers, runners and horses.

It has been part of a trail master plan for the area going back to 1996, and is the last one from that plan for the county to complete.

Volunteers led by the Whatcom Chapter of Backcountry Horsemen of Washington State, which builds and maintains trails, are making the trail a reality.

"It wouldn't have happened without their effort and their energy," said Chisholm of the organization, which is working on the project with the parks department.

Jackie Yereance, who lives nearby and is a member of Backcountry Horsemen, was part of the trail-planning effort for the 1996 master plan.

She is organizing the volunteer effort to build the trail.

"The project also owes a great deal to everyday walkers and hikers that frequent Chuckanut Mountain and have been wanting it for a long time, and also to the running stores," she said in an email.

Those stores are Fairhaven Runners & Walkers, which contributed money to the trail project, and Klicks Running & Walking, which is selling T-shirts and giving 100 percent of the purchase price to help pay for the trail project.

Birch Equipment also is renting a mini-excavator at cost for the trail building.

TO DONATE

Money is still being raised for the project to build a 1.2-mile trail link between Huckleberry and Raptor Ridge trails on Chuckanut Mountain.

A rough estimate puts the trail-building cost at $2,000.

To help:

-- Buy a Chuckanut Mountain T-shirt from Klicks Running & Walking, 1431 N. State St. in Bellingham.

-- Make a tax-deductible donation through Whatcom Parks and Recreation Foundation by going to its website at wprfoundation.org and contributing via credit card or PayPal. Or send a check to the foundation at P.O. Box 29963, Bellingham, WA 98228. Include a note indicating that the money is for the Huckleberry to Raptor trail project.

Reach Kie Relyea at 360-715-2234 or kie.relyea@bellinghamherald.com.

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