Tuesday, March 5, 2024

Fairhaven to Teddy Bear Cove

Pat on the Interurban trail

 Although it's kind of hard to see in this picture, all those branches are covered with frost as we began our hike today. (It's just regular hoarfrost.) When I woke to cold temperatures this morning, I knew I'd need to bundle up for the day's Happy Wanderers hike. Only twelve of us ventured out; yesterday we had about an inch of snow and today it was clear and, for us, quite cold (26°F). But the crisp air and sun made it feel warmer. We started from the Fairhaven tennis courts and went through the Hundred Acre Woods that brought us to the Interurban. Our final destination would be to Teddy Bear Cove.

Hair ice

Someone spied a bit of hair ice on a piece of wood. I've seen this before and know it's pretty rare and only appears after it's been really wet, saturating the forest and then turning cold. It's apparently caused by a fungus, which allows the moisture to extrude from the wood and stay in hair-like form for an extended period. It's also called ice wool or frost beard. The link will tell you all you might want to know about this pretty ice form.

Bridge opened once again

This bridge was felled by a tree falling across it three years ago, and it took them that long to rebuild it and open it once again to hikers. We went up the trail on the other side until we reached the Interurban trail again. From there, we made our way to Teddy Bear Cove. We crossed the Chuckanut Highway to reach it. The Cove was once known as a nude beach, but never formally acknowledged. I found this information online:

Historically, Teddy Bear Cove was once known as the area’s nude beach. Although never officially designated as such, you are now more likely to see families and college students appreciating the calm waters and spectacular views. 

Michael, one of the hikers

This sign is at the beginning of the short trip to the beach. Although it's not far, under a quarter of a mile, it's steep and I found it intimidating. Michael was very helpful to me and allowed me to hold onto his arm as I went down steps that had no railing. I only whined a little.

At the beach

Nobody was willing to take off their clothes and brave the cold water, but we would not have been the first to do so, according to the folklore that surrounds the Cove.

Teddy Bear Cove

It was quite a wonderful way to spend a sunny day in the winter. We ended up going somewhere around six miles in total, with an elevation gain around 1,000 feet in all. (I'm just guessing at the total, but from the way my hips felt, I'd guess that was about right.) I am quite happy to be home, looking out at the sunshine, and glad to have been part of the day's Senior Trailblazers excursion. 



  1. If I lived up in Bellingham, I would spend a lot more time exploring the San Juan Islands and the area around Bellingham Bay. That’s a fascinating part of the Northwest. I had to look up Teddy Bear Cove … what a great name! 😊 Thanks for sharing your Tuesday adventure.

  2. If you keep moving you can stay warm even when it gets quite cold.

  3. I like Teddy Bear Cove. I don't remember this place from your posts. Have you been here before?

  4. So glad you had an arm to hang on to. Friends are a wonderful thing to have. Especially friends who love the same things you do. :)

  5. 26F doesn't sound appealing to me. I would've stayed indoors. But, what a nice view of the water!

  6. A beach is always a great destination, nude or not. Lol

  7. That looks like a varied and very interesting walk.
    Steps without railings? Oh no, not for me anymore. On even short ones I have Tom's arm.


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