The route is rarely used, but it could be Whatcom’s newest trail

If you rode the cyclocross leg of the Ski to Sea Race, you’ve already seen it – but a route normally closed to the public will be open Saturday for a walk/ride that could become part of a new trail system near Bellingham International Airport.

A Port of Bellingham committee has proposed a trail system that would connect Marine Drive and Slater Road, in an area that’s usually accessible only to Ski to Sea athletes participating in the cyclocross leg of the annual relay race.

Saturday’s open house, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., will give walkers and cyclists a chance to try the 1.75-mile trail (round trip) and get information about the plan. The route will start on Kope Road, an airport access road that runs parallel to Interstate 5.

To get there from northbound I-5, take the Slater Road exit, cross over the freeway and turn left on Rural Avenue, then left onto Kope Road. Parking will be available.

Port and Whatcom County Parks and Recreation Foundation representatives will be on hand to answer questions. Kids also will be able to go on a nature scavenger hunt, make paper airplanes or watch real ones land at the nearby airport.

New trail at Lake Whatcom Park

Volunteers are needed from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday to break ground on a new trail at Lake Whatcom Park, to coincide with National Trails Day.

County officials hope to build at least 27 miles of trails on the site on Stewart Mountain, which was created by the transfer of 8,844 acres of forest land around Lake Whatcom from the state to the county in 2014.

Volunteers must register for the work party at the Whatcom County Parks & Recreation website. A similar work party is scheduled June 10 to finish the project.