Visitors to Larrabee State Park near Bellingham, the first in the state park system, have a new trail to check out.
The 1.2-mile Rock Trail hiker-only trail has features including a 50 million-year-old sandstone rock formation, streams, cliffs, a log bridge and views of Mount Baker and the Twin Sisters peaks. The trail also features a 100-foot staircase that descends into a steep ravine.
The trail provides a shorter hiking route between Cyrus Gates Lookout and Lost Lake. Currently, the only other hiking route to Lost Lake is 4 miles long.
The trail was built with financial help from an REI grant provided to the Chuckanut Conservancy for materials, design and construction of a stairway for the trail. Washington Trails Association provided volunteer time, materials, tools and leadership for the project. The WTA, along with volunteers from the Chuckanut Conservancy and the Mount Baker Club, spent thousands of hours building the trail.
The idea for the trail first came up in the 1990s when the Chuckanut Mountain Trails Master Plan was developed, but never adopted. Recreation activist and trail guide author Ken Wilcox had been part of the trail design in the proposed plan. He recommended building the Rock Trail to Scott Chalfant, then manager at the park. In January 2011, the agency approved the trail project, and participating groups organized many work parties to complete the work.
The camping park covers 2,683 acres with more than 8,000 feet of saltwater shoreline on Samish Bay. The park includes two freshwater lakes, coves and tidelands. It has 15 miles of hiking trails.