Apr 22 – Sunday: Horseshoe Bend Hike – Four to six miles depending on trail conditions.
Not many trails bring you to the edge of the rough and tumble Nooksack River. This will be a relatively easy stroll, with short bursts of uphill on a possibly muddy path. I want to stop briefly here and there along the way to enjoy the beauty of the river and moss covered trees. (After all, it is Earth Day) If you are in a hurry, better to do this yourself on another day. Those wanting to carpool should plan to leave the Safeway Parking on Sunset Dr at 9:00 (park in the center of the big lot away from store entrances) $5 suggested ride share. The leader will meet at the trail head at 10:15-10:30 to allow for a pit stop in Glacier for those who want it. For those members hesitant to drive up a forest road, this is a good opportunity to step up and be a driver. Your Aunt Betty’s ’65 Buick would have no trouble getting to this trail head. The parking area is adjacent to the Hwy, just across a river bridge right after mile 35 (opposite the Douglas Fir campground). The WTA says a Northwest Forest Pass is required. Bring food and water, and think about hiking poles. Rain or shine – we are the Mount Baker Club!
The first mile is one of the sweetest little hikes around. The forest trail closely follows the swift flowing Nooksack as it cascades over rocks and boulders of all sizes. Mile two gains elevation and at times moves a bit away from the river’s edge, but still within sight. At about two miles the trail tended to peter out and in places was littered with windfall, making footing somewhat dicey. After turning around, the twelve of us found some logs in the sun for a quick lunch break, and were back to the parking lot in about two and a half hours. Chilly at first, the sun was shining bright and strong through the trees, and soon we were shedding layers. A lovely hike, even if you have only a half hour to spare on the way down the highway. I and another member completed the local trifecta by visiting the big trees and Nooksack Falls, both in the next ten miles of the Mt Baker Hwy.