Volunteers, forest service crews rebuilding trail linked to century-old Mount Baker Marathon

An overgrown trail with a link to the Mount Baker Marathon, a storied race that occurred a century ago, is being cleared out and rebuilt as part of a Bellingham ultra-runner’s dream of launching a new version of the competition.

Daniel Probst knows first-hand why the Ridley Creek Trail needs a makeover. He and other runners attempting an epic run, hike and climb from Bellingham Bay to Mount Baker and back had to crawl under logs and clamber over trees, more than 30 of them, that had fallen across the trail.

Also, about half of the trail had turned into a creek bed and was nearly unrecognizable, he said. No wonder, then, that it took the runners two hours to travel 2 1/2 miles.

Probst spent months planning the marathon attempt from the Bellingham, WA waterfront to Baker and back, which included the Ridley Creek Trail. The 3 1/2-mile route enters the Mt. Baker National Recreation Area and Mt. Baker Wilderness, and links up to Mazama Park.

The trail work, which started this year, is a combined effort of the U.S. Forest Service, Cascade Mountain Runners and the Washington Trails Association.

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