Horseshoe Bend Hike

Friday, November 4, 2016  9am – 5pm

This is an easy out-and-back walk along the spectacular North Fork of the Nooksack River. The trail winds through lush old growth forest following the river upstream. See whitewater gushing over boulders, mushrooms, moss and an occasional kayaker. Round trip distance is only about 3.5 miles, so there is time for optional sightseeing afterwards. If you haven’t seen the Nooksack Falls, now is your chance. Other attractions in the area include the famous big trees at mile 44, and a nice view of the Nooksack, often with eagles, from the Mosquito Lake bridge. Meet at 9.00 a.m. for carpooling at the Safeway parking lot at Sunset and Orleans, or at about 9:45 at Maple Fuels. For further information contact Owen Bamford ( or call 360-393-3481.


Trip Report


According to my records, 17 people showed up for this trip, including a welcome though brief appearance from Herm and Linda Bakke. After a delayed start from the Safeway parking lot and a stop in Maple Falls, the party was finally reunited at the trailhead and set off along the North Fork of the Nooksack. The river roared satisfactorily, the moss drooped and dripped, and the party became strung out along the trail into small groups and individuals. Even with all the recent rain, the trail was in good shape except for one mud hole, and the few steep sections were not too slippery. (However, there are some spots where the trail is seriously undercut by erosion. If you do this trail, watch where you are walking and stay away from edges, unless you can see there is something holding them up.)
After lunch, we all retraced our steps, pausing often to admire the variety and abundance of fungi. Most of us then drove the few miles up the road to look at Nooksack Falls, hoping for a spectacular show, and were not disappointed. A huge volume of water was coming over the falls and down Wells Creek, and many pictures were taken. A final detour on the way back was to the bridge on Mosquito Lake Road, in the hope of seeing salmon and eagles, but they were both absent, so after a brief stop we headed back to Bellingham.

As always, thanks to all who came along.