Nine Nearby Leaf Crunching Run/ Hike Favorites

Here are some of our nearby favorites that will be ablaze in fall colors soon!

Excelsior Pass
A few years ago I hiked Excelsior Pass with a friend on a crisp, clear day in the first week of October. It was quite the climb (over 3,500 feet in the first 4 miles), but well worth the effort. Once out of the Evergreen, we were greeted with the vibrant red of turning blueberry bushes and a spectacular view of Mount Baker.

South Bay & Arroyo Trails
Two favorite leafy runs, the nearby South Bay and Arroyo trails, make quite a show with massive golden dinner plate size Big Leaf Maple leaves in the fall. I grew up with a variety of maples back in New England and their color pop and spectrum is world famous, but I am astounded every year by the scale of our Big Leafs here in the PNW and take a moment even on a run to slow down or stop and admire them in their autumn grandeur. The Arroyo trail Big Leafs wow me even further with their fleecy warm coats of emerald moss providing a beautiful contrast to the “raining” golden leaves.

Cedar Dust Trail/Galbraith Mtn.
One of my favorite fall runs has to be Cedar Dust Trail on Galbraith Mtn. My first fall in Bellingham, I remember a particularly cold, but clear day with my teammates. There was a thin layer of snow that covered everything but the trail and it was beautiful winding through the section of tall grass as we looked down on Bellingham.

Berthusen Park/Lynden
Berthusen Park trails always seem so quiet and peaceful. The mix of Maples, Oaks and Alders provide light, crunchy, colorful leaves on a dry Autumn day. I love trying to connect all the soft dirt loops into a big tour of the park. It’s such a great meditative place for a solitary jog or a walk with my dog, Luna

Interurban Trail
I’ve always considered the section of Interurban Trail from Old Fairhaven Parkway to Old Samish Hwy. to be the gateway to the Chuckanuts and in the fall it’s at it’s most dramatic. As you head south, the trail is at a slight incline and is mostly straight. Branches brimming with fall leaves arch over the trail and with a near constant barrage of falling leaves on the trail, it looks like you get to run through a golden, blazing tunnel far into the distance.

Salmon Woods Trail
Nothing reminds me more of Fall XC than the Salmon Woods trail near Civic Field. When I was introduced to this area, it was caked in warm-colored leaves that crunched with each step. It brings back a lot of nostalgia from a familiar park trail I frequently ran back in high school, so I come back to Salmon Woods whenever I feel like reliving those memorable runs with my teammates.

Western Washington University Campus
I think a slow stroll is best to get a gander at all of the spectacular varieties of trees on campus! They’ve got over 70 species and so many are fiery and bright as autumn progresses. I love This Website – – providing mobile tree tours all over campus.

North Lake Whatcom-Hertz Trail
10k out and back trail right on the lake. Lots of leaves and colors.

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