South Bay Trail: Scenic waterfront walk attracts varied crowds

This waterfront trail is so spectacular that it's often packed with walkers. Runners and cyclists are welcome too — provided they don't mind the crowds that gather at South Bay Trail/Taylor Dock and Boardwalk.

Elevation gain: None.

Round trip: Up to 6 miles.

Difficulty: Easy. Boulevard Park and South Hill sections can be negotiated by wheelchair (the railroad running between them can't, however.)

Best time: Year-round.

Highlights: This route takes you along and over Bellingham Bay for a gorgeous look at the waterfront. Those with little ones can access small beaches. This corridor is a recreational and nonmotorized link between Fairhaven and the Interurban Trail to the south and downtown Bellingham and the Whatcom Creek Trail to the north.

Maps: Bellingham Greenways Guide Map.

Getting there: Starting at the bridge over Whatcom Creek near York Street and Railroad Avenue, follow Railroad Avenue until it ends as a path, which goes to Laurel Street and then over a trestle bridge. After crossing Wharf Street, the trail leaves the road, progressing south. To the left you pass two stairways with routes along Boulevard, and to South Hill and Western Washington University. At a railroad crossing, the trail moves into Boulevard Park. From there, it crosses one wooden boardwalk and then moves on to Taylor Dock and Boardwalk, which goes over the railroad tracks to 10th Street. From there, you can take a trail south to Fairhaven.