Getting away without getting away…
These warm September and October weekends are perfect for a walk along Birch Bay, a small protected, shallow bay located just north of Bellingham. Aaron and I often think of Birch Bay when we want to feel like we’ve gotten away without getting away. We take our Westy, a picnic lunch, a good book or a deck of cards, and make a day of walking and relaxing in this warm, walker-friendly community. We estimate our walk on this day at about 6 or 7 miles. We parked our van just across the street from the Birch Bay Visitor’s Center and walked south, through the town of Birch Bay and on to Birch Bay State Park, where we turned around and walked back. Going in this direction, we were walking against the wind, or uphill, first and with the wind, or downhill, on the way back. We appreciate doing the work first.
During the first few miles, the bay is on the right and summer homes, condominiums, and restaurants line the left side of the road. You can access the shore all along the way in this stretch.
Just after the restaurant/condominium stretch and before you get to Birch Bay State Park, there is a section where houses, small motor inns, and condominiums line both sides of the road. I had the thought that I wouldn’t see the bay again until we reached the state park. I was delighted to discover that about every 6 – 9 houses was a public access to the rocky beach.
Birch Bay State Park is a wide open area dotted with picnic tables and fire rings. Parking passes are required to park here. Many groups were out enjoying the sun and surf.
I’ve seen so many rose hips on our walks this fall. I think it’s a good year for them. They line a section of the road in the park.
On our way back to our van, we saw volunteers scouring the beach for trash. Cool.
The drive to Birch Bay is about 40 minutes from Bellingham. The warm temperatures, fresh salty air, and relaxed community atmosphere make this walk a perfect autumn day trip.
All the Best,