March 24, 2010

Day 11 - 365 Things To Do In Bellingham, WA - Squalicum Beach

Squalicum Beach is one of Bellingham's relatively unknown parks. It is a small area of sand and gravel beach, a century-old abandoned pier, an area with great views of the bay and islands.  It is a a great place to get outside to watch the sun set over the bay. Even on a cloudy day, the views of Bellingham Bay and the islands are incredible.

But be warned that the area, beautiful as it is, has the stigma from the past, Little Squalicum Park is an EPA Superfund clean up site. Portions of the park and Little Squalicum Creek have been contaminated by chemicals from past operations at the Oeser Co.,  a wood treating business adjacent to the park, that contaminated water and soils.

That disclaimer out of the way, the times I've been there Ihave never noticed a smell but some have told me they have noticed it at times.  Another nice thing about this beach is that at on low tide you can walk all the way to the Nooksack River tide flats, (be careful the tide doesn't come back in.)  There are trails that take you to the new Squalicum park as well. This will really be another gem when the city gets it cleaned up. It is a dog friendly off leash area.

You can get there by heading down Roeder Ave past Squalicum Harbor, and keep going straight when the road curves to the right and becomes Squalicum Parkway. or from the trail at Eldridge and Lindbergh.

The park is in the city's site for an upgrade. Their is a master plan in place that calls for developing play areas, a picnic shelter, places for quiet contemplation, expanding parking at the Marine Drive trailhead for up to 27 vehicles and building restrooms there. The proposal includes wetland enhancements and the creation of a marine estuary. The plan notes that structures and facilities "will be low key and blend with the park's natural setting to "maintain the park's uncluttered and natural appearance"

Posted in Birchwood, Columbia
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