We've been getting a bunch of emails regarding recent signs and trees blocking the Surfin' Turf trail on Stewart Mountain. Here's a bit of backstory for you all.
Before the Lake Whatcom Reconveyance was approved and the County took over Lookout Mountain and Stewart Mountains from the DNR, the WMBC, WTA, Backcountry horsemen and trail runners met with the County to discuss the pre-existing trails on both landscapes.
At one meeting in particular, large maps were laid on a table and every known user-built trail was scribbled on a map including Brown Pow, Surfin' Turf, Cougar Ridge, Chanterelle (which was a dh bike trail then) along with other known trails on both mountains. During the trail planning meetings, the mountain bike community was asked and responded to which trails they used the most with Cougar Ridge holding the most mentioned spot and Surfin' Turf (SnT), taking the number 2 spot.
Knowing the trail's importance to our community, but also the challenges to sanctioning SnT, our team hiked and scouted the side of Stewart Mountain to determine 3 reroutes to areas that, even then, were showing their wear due to the sustained steep grade of the trail. After several weeks of bushwhacking, we determined 3 reroutes that would greatly reduce the overall trail grade while also increasing the overall length of the trail (and still keeping the fun factor, of course).
We proposed the changes to the County Parks staff and management initially in 2015 and several times after, but the County has instead decided that a hiking trail to create a loop would be more desirable for the community (you can read that proposal here). We believe the ridge to the South of SnT would also work for a hiking trail and end just slightly further down the Hertz trail would
The County put the new hiking trail out to bid in late 2021 and will start construction through the Surfin' Turf area in Summer of 2022 with the intent to complete the 4.6 mile hiking trail 2023. Information for that new trail can be found here: https://www.co.whatcom.wa.us/bids.aspx?bidID=402
Of course, if you'd like to comment to County Parks or County Council, you can do so at:
Thanks and, of course, always be civil in your comments.