Teddy Bear Cove — Bellingham, WA

Beach side of Teddy Bear Cove. Photo Credit: Sara Zacapu

The soft sand pressing along your feet and a smooth breeze. Once you parallel on Chuckanut Drive and glance over to your right and see the sign that says “Teddy Bear Cove” — you have arrived at your destination. Down the trail you will notice all the different imprints on trees and the abandoned items. You begin to come across steep hills, wooden stairs and as you end the zig zag trail and reach the train tracks, you are one step closer to the beach. People admirably collect a variety of distinctive rocks and pretty seashells. It is both a souvenir and a great way to add an aesthetic feeling to your room.

Beginning the trail down to Teddy Bear Cove. Photo Credit: Tyrus Reidt

As a new comer to Bellingham, Teddy Bear Cove has been an eye opening experience since the first day I was introduced to it in person. Teddy Bear Coves being located very close to Western and its perfect distanced hike — which is 2 miles’ roundtrip — makes it ten times better. (www.wta.org) I just recently became a part of the Bellingham community, and one of the first suggestions I got was to go visit Teddy Bear Cove. I had no idea what to expect, but I was exposed to something new every time.

The small trail down gives you a glimpse of the variety of views accessed while breaking in a little sweat. So make sure to bring along some comfortable shoes and a water bottle! Many people, like me love to watch the sunset. Teddy Bear Cove gives you the opportunity to get a good seat, whether it be from hanging on a tree to sitting on the sand, to catch the most astonishing sunset.

One disadvantage is that it can get a bit crowded in the evening from all the people anticipating for the sun to set. Even though parking can get a little rough due to the fact that it is a small parking lot, there is a way to avoid it. Why not enjoy the beauty of nature in the morning? An early morning hike with company to the Cove, patiently waiting for the sun to magically appear along the small islands. Imagine taking in a breath of fresh air while seeing the sun rays against the water making a reflection; now that is a view to remember.

Many of you may think, is there not Boulevard Park? Yes, indeed. Boulevard Park may have more parking space, but that means more people are likely to show up. Teddy Bear Cove expands enough for you to get alone time and contemplate life. Being in this environment is nothing compared to the park. Teddy Bear Cove gives more of an outdoor, isolated, relaxing feeling with all the different sounds and smells that come around.

Michelle and I living life to the edge while enjoying the different views. Photo Credit: Oscar Hurtado

Have you ever thought about how others see Teddy Bear Cove different from you? Having to observe, study and reflect on this particular area for a long period of time comes to show that there are multiple perspectives in Bellingham, Washington. I got the chance to introduce Teddy Bear Cove to one of my friends that just transferred to Western Washington University. I asked Michelle how she viewed the Cove and her perspective on the location. “I saw Teddy Bear Cove as just a sightseeing trail instead of an actual hike. But only because it was so small compared to what I usually hike. It seemed like a local ‘walk around to get lost’ kind of area, since you can literally go and explore anything you want. I see the Cove as having a purpose to provide a little taste of Bellingham through the sights as you continue to walk throughout the trail.” I then asked for her to name the area that she especially liked from Teddy Bear Cove. “My ultimate go-to spot down at the Cove would have to be the place where we got our panorama taken of us on the graffiti rock only because it can give you a literal over the edge feeling while you enjoy a beautiful view.

Many of you reading this right now, that do not go out and enjoy nature, are missing out on such a breath taking area. But don’t worry I don’t mean breath taking as in bears! Significance of the location can vary from person to person. For some just strolling independently to clear their mind is enough. While there are others who enjoy the company of some family or friends to share memories with. Perhaps, yours might be slightly different. Maybe it involves music.

“Sun is shining; the weather is sweet now.” I play this song when I find the spot I chose for the day and adore my surroundings. Sun is Shining by Bob Marley helps me to relax while I enjoy the Cove. The slow and calm song brings peace and joy to my body. This particular song gives me a soothing vibe while I take a mental panorama image with my eyes from corner to corner of Teddy Bear Cove.

Now moving on to one of the most commonly known reasons to visit Teddy Bear Cove, the multiple views and how each is unique in their own way. Some may enjoy the dry and isolated areas more than the wet and open areas. As for the events, having a small group of friends tag along for a bonfire on the shore is one event you would like to plan. Once you begin your little journey, you will start to notice all the different smiles and facial expressions Teddy Bear Cove brings to our community and visitors.

Did you know that the beaches surrounding Teddy Bear Cove are actual remaining’s of clam and other seashells? Ends up also maybe being the eroded remains of shell middens, piles from centuries ago. (Kulshan.com)

Teddy Bear Cove is not the most visited trail but after my weekly observations you can definitely start noticing a change in the connection you feel with the outdoors. Having access to the simple pleasures of nature, you can do a little of everything around you and you will leave satisfied with your trip.

One downfall that I could think of for this magnificent location is when the sun starts to disappear because the only light access has become dependent to your phone. There should be light poles of some sort all around Teddy Bear Cove for the people that stay after dusk.

As you can see on the left, my friend Michelle, who experienced her first time at Teddy Bear Cove, and I are admiring the sunset at the edge of the rocks.

Being surrounded by all the Madrona trees and the different types of plants bring a rare type of calm into one’s body. Especially with your closest friends, who would not love to go out and explore?

You can arrive at the Cove in search for nothing and end up finding everything, all in one place. Exploring the trails, and gazing along the shore, finding some unexpected new people you find a bond with are all just little things the cozy Cove brings to us. So as you begin walking up the trail to your car, start thinking about your next visit to Teddy Bear Cove and how you cannot wait for it to come soon.

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