Our brand ambassadors, Beers at the Bottom, had a can of Day Hike Summer Ale at Point Whitehorn for #TwoBeersInTheWild! Follow their adventures as we share them on our blog, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Grab a 6-pack of Day Hike Summer Ale and a Discover Pass at The Woods before heading outside.
Region: Puget Sound & Islands
Difficulty of Hike: Easy
Distance Round Trip: 2 miles
Did you encounter any of the following on your hike? Wildflowers, Edible berries/plants
Road conditions to trailhead: Road suitable for all vehicles
Bugs: No bugs
Trail Condition: Trail in good condition
Distance from Seattle: 109 miles
To celebrate Memorial Day weekend, a day considered to many to be the kick-off of summer, we hit the beach! Having grown up here in Washington state, I think both of us can count on one hand the number of non-rainy Memorial Day weekends we remember from our childhoods. Which is what made this sudden stretch of 80+ weather so surprising— but very welcome.
We are itching to get out on some of our favorite trails; but after a harsh winter, it’s going to take a few more weekends like this one to melt out all the snow in the backcountry. We decided to take it easy instead, with a 1 mile (one-way) hike out to the beach and a cookout after!
Just south of Birch Bay, Point Whitehorn is a great little day hike that combines a shady forest walk with tidepool exploration and sandy beaches at low tide. The 54-acre park was acquired by Whatcom Land Trust and turned into a Marine Reserve that offers 2 miles of public beach— plenty of room to throw out your beach towel.
The hike itself is as easy as they come: the ADA accessible trail is well maintained, flat, and scenic as it winds for 0.8 mile through mature forests. There’s interpretive signs along the way with information on the local flora and fauna. On our hike we spied plenty of bleeding hearts, and berry bushes in bloom including thimbleberry and blackberries. The toughest part of this hike (and the end of ADA access) is the stairs leading down to the beach— it get a little steep here, but nothing too strenuous.
The tide was low when we visited, leaving plenty of sandy beach for us to relax on. We walked about a half mile beyond the trail to get away from the Memorial Day weekend crowds, watching a sea kayaker pass by; the gorgeous outlines of Lummi and Orcas Islands on the horizon as a backdrop. With the tide out, little pools had also formed and we were able to observe sea anemone, crabs, sand dollars and a couple of flatfish all waiting for the tide to return and take them back out to sea.
One part of drinking responsibly is making sure you adhere to the rules and regulations of the public lands where you hike. Most city and county parks do not allow alcohol without a permit, and state parks allow it only in campsites and designated picnic areas. Since Point Whitehorn is a Whatcom County park, we left the beers in the cooler during our hike, and later headed down the road to Birch Bay State Park for a cookout on the beach!
Birch Bay was packed for Memorial Day weekend, but we found an ideal picnic table by the bay to enjoy our dinner and #TwoBeersInTheWild. With San Juan Island and snowy Canadian mountain views, it was the perfect end to our little adventure. Until next time, happy trails!