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Trail Running On Chuckanut Mountain In Bellingham Washington
About a hour and half north of Seattle sits the laid back city of Bellingham, Washington. Home of the Greater Bellingham Running Club and the Greater Bellingham Trail Runners club.
One of the most popular trail running systems in the area is on Chuckanut Mountain. Several trail races are held on Chuckanut Mountain each year including the Chuckanut 50K and the Chuckanut 30K. These races are attended by some of the best trail runners in the area as well as recreational runners of ever size and shape. Even Scott Jurek, of ultra running fame has run in the Chuckanut 50K!
Larrabee State Park
The best place to start exploring the trail running routes on Chuckanut is at the Larrabee State Park.
Larrabee is part of the Washington State Parks system so you must have a Discover Pass to park there. They can be obtained on line and cost $30 for the year. The Discover Pass is good for all State Parks in Washington State. You also have the option of purchasing a day pass for only $10.
Park in the lot a Larrabee, there are public restrooms available and some water fountains to fill your water bottles if necessary.
Most of the trail races put on by the Greater Bellingham Trail Running Club start at the Clam shell, a small stage near the main parking lot, this is where you should start your runs as well.
If low key well maintained trails is what you are looking for then the Interurban trail is for you.
There is 7 miles of trail that start in Bellingham's Fairhaven Neighborhood and goes out to Larabee State Park.
It makes a nice round trip mountain bike ride of 14 miles if you go out and back.
And added benefit is Fairhaven has some really great, affordable restaurants where you can refuel after your run or ride.
Fragrance Lake Trail
The Fragrance Lake Trail is the most popular trail in Larabee State Park. It's two miles of uphill on well maintained trails terminating at a beautful lake.
You can walk around the lake before heading back down to add roughly another mile to your hike.
Total distance if you include walking around the lake is about 5 miles round trip.
Two Dollar Trail
There is a less know Trail that also leads to Fragrance Lake called Two Dollar Trail.
To find the entrance to this trail google Cleator Road. Drive about a 1/2 mile up Cleator road and you will see some parking spots and an entrance to the trail.
Two Dollar Trail is better suited for running than the Fragrance Lake Trail which is a bit too steep for most to run.
If you're more adventorous you can venture past Fragrance Lake and continue onto what is known as "Chinscraper".
Chinscraper is named for it's steep, steep incline. It's only about a mile long but it will get your heart rate right up there by the time you pop out at the parking area at the top of Cleator Road.
You can also drive to the top on Cleator Road, but it's a rough bumpy ride.
Make it to the top of Chinscraper and you can reward yourself with a run on the Ridge Trail.
To get to the Ridge Trail simply run down Cleator road about 1/4 mile and you will see the entrance to the Ridge Trail on your right.
The Ridge Trail is about 3 miles long and has spectacular views. It's fairly flat and makes for some fun, although technical trail running.
Lost Lake Trail
Lost Lake Trail
If Chinscraper is more than you want to deal will you can also head up to Lost Lake once you have passed Fragrance Lake.
The Lost Lake Trail takes you to the backside of the Mountain where you can stop at Lost Lake or continue on to one of the many other trails that branch off from there.