Point Roberts Loop: Cycling a Forgotten Piece of the USA

Point Roberts is a weird forgotten piece of the USA. It is landlocked by Canada, but lies south of the 49th parallel, the arbitrary border line. By any reasonable account it should have been part of British Columbia, and not Washington State. As ridiculous as it sounds, the school buses, garbage trucks and US postal service vehicles all travel from the rest of Washington State, cross the border into Canada, and then cross the border again into Point Roberts.

Like many residents of the lower mainland of British Columbia I have often been to Point Roberts. Why, you ask? Well, to pick up packages of course. The USA is the land of shopping, and as such has lower prices, free shipping, lower taxes, and all that good stuff. There are a number of businesses in Point Roberts whose sole reason for existence is as a place for Canadians to pick up their treasured packages.

Anyway, it so happened that I had to go to Point Roberts again. I often bring my bicycle, to bypass the lineup at the border, but this time I decided to go exploring. It turns out that it is possible to make a loop right around Point Roberts. It’s a scenic cycling loop, with some beautiful open beaches, views of Mt. Baker and many bald eagles. The roads are quiet, and the feeling is reminiscent of the San Juan Islands. This is a great place to get away from the city without taking a ferry or going very far. Here are some photos I took along the way.

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Diefenbaker Park is a perfect spot to start and end the ride, just before the border

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Who knew washrooms could be turned into art?

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One of the advantages of cycling into Point Roberts is avoiding the ever present border wait – cyclists are instructed to pass the cars and go directly to a border guard on the left

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A remaining sign from the ultimately successful struggle to stop the construction of five mega radio transmission towers in Point Roberts

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Keep an eye out for the fire hydrants in Point Roberts – each is different!

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Bay View Drive leads directly down to the ocean, what a beautiful descent!

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As you zoom down the road, look out for bald eagles on the trees above

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Low tide on Bay View Drive – a nice spot to relax, with benches conveniently situated all along the waterfront

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Who said mailboxes have to be boring?

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Low tide on Bay View Drive

 

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The “Point Roberts Flag”

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Pebbles on South Beach

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Rent a bike, buy a vaporizer: Pedal Pushers Bike Rentals on Gulf Road, the center of Point Roberts

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View from Lily Point Park. There are some small trails that lead to secluded viewpoints. I had a picnic and a nap at one of them while admiring this view and watching the bald eagles soar.

 

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South Beach: no picnics, no fires, no fun. Since when did beaches become private? Some things should remain public forever.

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Lighthouse Park and Mt. Baker behind. Supposedly one of the best places in the area to see whales. Seems like a pretty windy place. Camping is allowed, and there is shelter from the wind.

Thanks to Let’s Go Biking for the map:

View larger map

Posted in British Columbia (and nearby), Cycling & Cycle Touring, Outdoor Recreation, Trip Reports, Western USA | Leave a comment