My Suggestions: Biking from Vancouver to Bellingham and on to Seattle
Alternate Route Ideas.
My other bike trips and things.
Aprox. 160 miles total. 60 to
Bellingham, 100 Bellingham to Seattle.
Starting in Downtown Vancouver
Pictures of Downtown Vancouver from Harbour Centre.
Many quiet residential streets; that parallel busier arterials; make nice riding. Heading south from Downtown, the bridges have bike paths. Cambie St. Bridge is especially nice, partially because it's south end puts one just a few blocks west of Ontario St. Follow path around under south end of bridge then cross over 2nd Ave and head east on 5th to Ontario St.
Ontario goes all the way south, across town, to the Fraser River area. Stoplights, with special activation buttons for bikes, gets one across busy arterials. It is really nice. See bicycle sculpture in Queen Elizabeth Park along the way.
After crossing busy Marine Drive, follow Ontario down to industrial area, looks like an alley. Head east on Kent Ave.
Photo of path near Kent Ave.
Kent takes one all the way to Vancouver city limits at Boundary Road.
Go east on Marine Way (not Marine Dr.) through Burnaby; busy but real good shoulder. This will bypass Burnaby.
Head up hill past entrance to Queensboro Bridge. Follow Stewardson way and then find 7 Eleven bike path under Sky train (the elevated railway you will see ahead of you. it curves down from the north.)
Follow 7 Eleven trail across bridge that crosses railroad tracks and puts one down near riverfront. Bridge is at Third St.
Follow along New West Minster waterfront a ways, then cross back over tracks just before parking garage.
Head through downtown New West Minster to area above north entrance for Pattullo Bridge.
Pattullo Bridge a big red arch
Find big red arch of Pattullo Bridge ahead (just past cable stayed sky train crossing).
Head up to bridge deck and sidewalk across Pattullo. It is on west side of bridge.
Bike paths off south end of bridge
Off onto 110 Ave. on south side of Sky Train Station and building supply store. Head east Rejoin Sky Train path and head up hill.
Head south along west side of Sky Train stations on Surrey Parkway.
Then, after Sky Train Stations, turn left (a bit east) and get on King George Highway.
Farmlands to border
Follow King George Highway all the way to border. I just discovered it has a good shoulder until Whiterock. Then shoulder is a bit rough, but still paved. This route is a new discovery for me. King George Highway is broad and traffic is a bit slower than along Hwy. 15. Just before border, King George enters Highway 99, which turns to I-5 in US.
At US Customs we don't have to wait in car line
Cross at Peace Arch Crossing. Find your way across waiting cars to sidewalk by customs building. Bikes and pedestrians don't have to wait in the car line!
Park bike; walk into office and report to customs. Door is on east side of building. They now ask for a copy of your birth certificate or a passport going either into US or Canada.
Border agents are usually okay about bikes. If you are not a citizen of the country you are entering, be prepared to answer questions like, "Where will you be staying?" "When are you planning to return to your home country?" "How much money are you carrying?" "Do you have a job in your home country?" "Any convictions on your record?" "What is the purpose of this trip?" They seem to want to make sure you will not become a drain on social services in the country you are entering. I have found that definite travel and return plans sound good to border guards. This is if you are either a US, or Canadian citizen. It may be different for people from other nations.
In Blaine, exit I-5 and head south on main street called Peace Portal Drive. Turn left and follow H street all the way to the intersection with highway from truck crossing.
Bypassing Blaine on a zig zag of quiet roads
Find Odell St. which goes behind a commercial area that is just east of the truck route.
South on Odell to Sweet Road.
East on Sweet.
South on Stadevold.
East on Haynie Rd.
South on Valley View to I-5 Birch Bay Lynden Road entrance.
I-5 Shoulder much better than lousy Portal Way
Then head south on I-5 shoulder. Yes, it's legal. Portal Way is an alternative to I-5, but lousy. No shoulder and fast traffic also. At least I-5 has a big wide shoulder.
I-5 shoulder to exit 263 (Portal Way Exit) in Ferndale.
If you have aversion to I-5 cross it to the west and head south on Portal Way. It has a poor shoulder north of where it crosses I-5.
Exit at first Ferndale exit. South on Portal way to Eaton; or Sumerset then to 2nd Ave. to downtown.
Then head east out Main St. Across Nooksack River. Head east to Labounty Road, near Haggens Supermarket. Head south on Labounty. Cross I-5 to east at Smith Road. Head south again on Pacific Highway.
At Bakerview Road turn right. Head south over freeway to Bennett St.
See my bicycle map of Bellingham.
Head South on Bennett to Marine Dr. Then head east into town on Marine which becomes Eldrige.
Eldridge becomes Holly and heads down a small hill.
Turn left on F Street and then left again on Roeder Ave. by waterfront. Head east until Roeder becomes Chestnut St.
East on Chestnut to just past Railroad Ave.
Right turn down Alley between Railroad and State. Head south, alley becomes bike path. Follow path through Boulevard Park, Or one can head south on State Street and the Boulevard.
Photo essay of South Bay
Ride up south access road for the park. At top of small hill, turn right just before road reaches Boulavard. This it 10th. Follow 10th street for a while and then a bike path again to Fairhaven District. Jog east 2 blocks to Chuckanut Drive. Head south just as far as Old Samish Highway, then head east on Old Samish.
Out old Samish and along lake
Follow out to Lake Samish and along east side of lake.
Down into Skagit Valley
At South Lake Samish exit go under I-5 to old 99. Take this back way into Alger, WA.
Stay on 99 all the way to Cook Road. Head west on Cook to Ershing Road. Head south on Ershing. Cross Chuckanut and continue south on Avon Allen Road.
Cross Hwy. 20
Head east on Hwy. 536 into Mt. Vernon Busy, but good shoulder.
South through Mt. Vernon
Bridge across Skagit River. Sidewalk on right side of bridge.
South on 1st in downtown Mt. Vernon; or head 1 block west to street along river.
Keep going south along Cleveland to Blackburn Road.
East on Blackburn to railroad tracks then south out old highway 99
99 is frontage road along I-5; good shoulder all the way to the town of Conway.
Highway 534 east to Highway 9.
South on 9 a little ways to find new north
entrance for Snohomish Centennial Trail.
Snohomish County Centennial Trail to Snohomish, WA.
Everett / Seattle
Continue south into Snohomish after trail ends. Once downtown one can find bike path along Snohomish River behind downtown buildings on south side of street.
Cross river on Airport Way, then take Snohomish River Road to S. 3rd Ave. in Everett.
Go north on S. 3rd to 41st. Street. Cross I-5 and then find Interuban Trail heading south. Or one can ride south on Colby and find Interuban farther south.
Follow Interuban all the way to city of Shorline. Follow trail signs, it's easy to loose, but trail is real good, if you can stay on it. Part of the way, trail takes you along 76th Ave. W. in Edmons area.
After Interuban Trail ends, follow Meridian Street south into Seattle. Then street becomes Wallingford Ave. N. It goes around a little lake (all you can see is houses), then continues south to Greenlake area in Seattle.
Some Alternate Routes
I wanted to let you know
that I did this route 2 days ago and it was great.
It is nice to see that others are just as interested in cycling as myself. I had started cycling about a year ago now. I was in college and needed something fun to do when I wasn't studying, and I didn't have the money to take Cancun vacations. I was going for my masters in education at the time, and needless to say I was constantly in the library. I joined a local gym and began spinning. I found that spinning used muscles I didn't even know existed. I now am interested in starting to cycle outdoors. I know this will take time, and I am not ready for a journey like this one, but I am excited to train and one day complete this route.
I think it is important for everyone to know that anyone can get a bike and start learning. There is so much joy from cycling. You can do what I did and start inside, and then when you take it to the road and see the beauty the world has to offer, it is that much more exciting. Also, if you like travelling you can sometimes find excursions that involve cycling. I am planning a vacation soon, and while I was looking through Jamaica vacation packages I found some fun activities. Whether you are an athlete, an accountant or a student studying their AACSB accredited online MBA, you can do this.
I want you to thank you for your effort in detailing the routes. it's perfect! As a cyclist, I understand well the difference between biking on a pleasant road or path vs. biking on a highway. Your detailed instructions will certainly be a help for me, even if I just take the bike for a leg of the trip.Shiraz
currently in Toronto, Ontario