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Posted on: April 21, 2014

14-017 State Parks announces dedication of Rock Trail at Larrabee State Park

The Washington State Parks and Recreation Commission invites the public to a dedication and opening ceremony for Rock Trail at Larrabee State Park in Bellingham.

The opening event for Rock Trail is scheduled for 10 a.m. Saturday, April 26, at Cyrus Gates Overlook parking lot at Larrabee State Park, 245 Chuckanut Drive, Bellingham. Parks officials, including Park Manager Paul McEvers, will lead the event, and representatives from the partner organizations and volunteer groups will be on hand, as well. An opportunity to hike the new trail will follow.

Rock Trail is a 1.2-mile hiker-only trail with dramatic features that include 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 will provide a shorter hiking route between Cyrus Gates Lookout and Lost Lake. Currently, the only other hiking route to Lost Lake is 4 miles long.

Parking for the event will be at the Lost Lake parking lot, and a Discover Pass is required. Free van shuttles will take event participants from the parking lot to the dedication site.

Rock Trail was constructed with financial backing from an R.E.I. grant provided to the Chuckanut Conservancy for materials, design and construction of a stairway for the trail. Washington Trails Association (WTA) provided time, materials, tools and leadership for the project. The WTA, along with volunteers from the Chuckanut Conservancy and the Mount Baker Club, contributed thousands of hours to complete the trail.

The idea for the trail first came up in the 1990s when the Chuckanut Mountain Trails Master Plan was presented for the greater area. The plan was never adopted. Local recreation activist and trail guide author Ken Wilcox had been involved with trail design as part of the proposed plan. He recommended the Rock Trail to Scott Chalfant, then manager at Larrabee State Park. In Jan. 2011, the agency approved the trail project, and participating groups organized many work parties to complete the work.

Driving directions to the Lost Lake parking lot: If heading south on I-5, take exit No. 250, and turn right onto Fairhaven Parkway. (From I-5 Northbound, take exit 250 and turn left onto Fairhaven Drive.) Go to second stoplight and turn right onto State Route 11/Chuckanut Drive. Stay left at the next stoplight, and drive 6 miles to the main park entrance. Lost Lake parking lot is ½ mile south of the entrance.

Larrabee State Park is a 2,683-acre camping park with more than 8,000 feet of saltwater shoreline on Samish Bay near Bellingham. The park features two freshwater lakes, coves and tidelands. The park is well-known for its trails and sunset views.

Stay connected to your state parks by following Washington State Parks at www.facebook.com/WashingtonStateParks, www.twitter.com/WaStatePks_NEWS, www.foursquare.com/WAStatePks and www.youtube.com/WashingtonStateParks. Share your favorite state park adventure on the new State Parks’ blog site at www.AdventureAwaits.com.

The Washington State Parks and Recreation Commission manages a diverse system of more than 100 state parks and recreation programs, including long-distance trails, boating safety and winter recreation. For more information about parks and services, visit www.parks.wa.gov/events/.

Support state parks by purchasing your annual Discover Pass today, and enjoy a whole year of outdoor fun on Washington’s beautiful state-managed recreation lands. For more information, visit www.discoverpass.wa.gov.

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