Monday, June 11, 2012

Loop: Road 1000 and SST via Tetanus, Powerline, and Unnamed Trail / Return via Bonanza

Time: 1 hr 30 min
Distance: est. 2.5 miles

I mentioned seeing two north-side access trails, Tetanus and Bonanza, in my last hike. Today I walked a route that covered both of those trails, and got me to the eastern endpoint of Powerline Trail - or at least to the point where it deteriorates into the status of "orphaned trail"!

It was the first blue-sky morning in many days, as we wait in Bellingham for a belated summer. As usual, I over-dressed and spent most of the hike with my fleece jacket draped over one shoulder.

Instead of parking at Birch Street trailhead, we parked on the side of the road where Birch Falls Drive meets Birch Street. Walking up Birch Falls Drive, a trail almost immediately cuts to the left, crossing a short bridge (over Hannah Creek, I believe it is), and then veering right. This is Tetanus, a scary-sounding name for what is a fun, smooth, and beautifully woodsy trail.

Raney is really enjoying this project! She gets to check out unexplored side trails and, I'm sure, lots of new smells as we explore these new-to-us pathways.

 Tetanus terminates at Powerline, where we turned left. We walked past the Bonanza junction, and past a small trail called Brown Dog. (None of these trails are marked, by the way. You need a map for this to make sense!)

Just past Brown Dog, an unnamed but well-maintained trail cuts right, to the south. Maybe some would call this an extension of Brown Dog, but there is a dog leg (no pun intended) once Brown Dog hits Powerline before you encounter this trail. 

We followed this trail south for perhaps half a mile, when it terminated in a T at another trail (shown in some maps as Road 1000, but largely overgrown into a pleasant walking path). Turning right brought us back to SST. The dual mountain bike jump ramps shown in the picture below mark the point where this path meets SST.

Below, a side trail coming off of SST is marked as being down for maintenance. Whatcom Mountain Pedalers does all the maintenance of these trails - a remarkable achievement performed completely by volunteers.

Following SST back to Powerline, we then took Bonanza Connector back to the car. Bonanza was pretty wet in places, my hiking boots and Raney's paw prints sinking deep into the soggy loam.

Bonanza parallels Tetanus and ends at Bonanza Way, which leads to Lakeway Drive. Plenty of housing construction going on in this area - watch for moving equipment as you pick your way back to the trailhead.

 Powerline is one of the few trails where you don't need a map or signposts!

A small bridge leads off to Bonanza Way.

These trails (Tetanus and Bonanza) are a better, drier way of accessing SST, compared to following Powerline off of Ridge Trail. I'm sure I'll be on them again as I figure out how to efficiently hike into the upper reaches of Galbraith Mountain.

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