Set in a blue cove between Bellingham and Blaine, Birch Bay State Park feels private and secluded without being far from urban life.
Stroll along the rocky beach and take in dramatic views of the North Cascades Mountains and Canadian Gulf Islands. Or head up the Terrell Marsh interpretive trail to a rare saltwater and freshwater estuary teeming with birds and wildlife, including great blue herons.
Low tide reveals a wide mudflat with a treasure trove of clams and other shellfish that can be harvested in season. Bring out the pails, shovels, mud boots and licenses, and start digging! If you prefer to swim, Birch Bay is known for its relatively warm water, and if you'd rather be on the water, the park offers excellent crabbing, windsurfing, sailing and paddling.
Staying overnight? The friendly campgrounds, basketball court and environmental education programs in summer ensure fun for the whole family. If you're looking for a side trip, the U.S.- Canada border town of Blaine and the fascinating Peace Arch State Park are only 9 miles north, and the lively university city of Bellingham is 20 miles south. You can always spend an evening in town and return to the beachy bliss of Birch Bay.
Birch Bay State Park is a 664-acre camping park with 8,255 feet of saltwater shoreline on Birch Bay and 14,923 feet of freshwater shoreline on Terrell Creek. The Terrell Creek Marsh is one of the few remaining saltwater/freshwater estuaries in north Puget Sound. A natural game sanctuary sits at the park's north end.
PICNIC & DAY-USE FACILITIES
The park has six sheltered and 120 unsheltered picnic tables. There is one kitchen shelter with electricity and water that is on a first-come, first-served basis, and one reservable picnic shelter without electricity that can accommodate up to 150 guests.
0.5 mile of hiking trails
WATER ACTIVITIES & FEATURES
Personal watercraft use
OTHER ACTIVITIES & FEATURES
Fire circles (6)
Located in Whatcom County on Puget Sound, Birch Bay has one boat ramp.
Launching a boat at a state park requires one of the following:
An annual launch permit (Natural Investment Permit; or
An annual Discover Pass and a daily launch permit; or
A one-day Discover Pass and a daily launch permit.
The park has 147 standard sites 12-by-12-feet in the forested camping area, 20 partial-hookup sites, two primitive sites, a trailer dump station, eight restrooms (one ADA) and 18 showers (two ADA). Maximum site length is 60 feet (limited availability). Campsites are reservable for arrival dates from May 15 - Sept. 15.
Check-in time is 2:30 p.m.
Check-out time is 1 p.m.