Biking from Seattle to Redmond

Seattle and its Eastern suburbs are eternally separated by Lake Washington, but East meets West when biking from Seattle to Redmond along the Burke-Gilman and Sammamish River biking trails. The 27-mile trail system runs from Ballard in Seattle to Marymoor park in Redmond. The trail progresses from urban to suburban then to the quiet river valley stretching beyond Bothell, through Woodinville, and finally back to suburban as it reaches Redmond (a 54 mile round-trip). If you have very little time to spend in Washington state, and want to make the most of it, a day long bicycle trip along the Burke-Gilman and Sammamish River trails are an excellent way to get a taste of what the Pacific Northwest has to offer.

In the City of Seattle

Grab some coffee and a Bagel and hop on your bike at 8th Ave NW in Ballard. Follow the signs and bring your camera because along the way bikers pass some of Western Washington’s finest scenery, history, and landmarks. While in city, trail users follow the Ship Canal to Gasworks park, a Seattle landmark made globally famous by the movie Singles. From the park you will also notice out-of-town bikers taking pictures of Seattle’s houseboats, also brought to the big screen in recent years (Sleepless in Seattle).

North of Lake Washington

From Gasworks park, the Burke-Gilman trail takes riders along the Western shores of Lake Washington via Matthews Beach Park. Stop here for a view to the East side, and a walk along the freshwater beach, then continue North to Log Boom Park in the city of Kenmore. This park is worth a stop, and a perfect place to get another view of the water. Here, the Burke-Gilman becomes the Sammamish River trail, and continues on to the Park at Bothell Landing. This community park has several historic buildings, an amphitheater, and a nature trail.

Along the Sammamish River trail

After passing under a brief reminder of less tranquil forms of travel (a freeway overpass, and short stretch of highway), the Sammamish River trail guides bikers to Wilmot Gateway Park, in the city of Woodinville. In the summer, visit the Saturday Farmer’s Market in downtown Woodinville, then continue down the trail to take in spectacular views of Mt. Rainier as it provides the perfect backdrop for the Chateau Ste. Michelle winery and Woodinville wine country. The trail continues through the valley to Redmond, where it ends at Marymoor park. This park is a 640-acre park Mecca, and includes athletic fields, bike racing tracks, an off-leash dog area, a climbing wall, nature trails, and a space for flying radio-controlled airplanes.

Trail Courtesy

Redmond calls itself “The Bicycle Capital of the Northwest,” A well deserved title, so be wary of passing bicycles while taking in the scenery. Many people use the Burke-Gilman and Sammamish River trails as a commuting route, and you should expect a few riders to go whizzing by. Most regular trail users are respectful and will give you ample warning before they pass; it is advisable that you do the same for your fellow cyclists. Also be aware that people live near the trail, and in the evenings they like to take walks along Lake Washington or the Sammamish River. Practice general bicycle safety, leave yourself enough time to ride back to Seattle, and enjoy one of the finest trails for biking in the Pacific Northwest.

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