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Old 07-06-08, 12:53 AM   #1
J_DDavidson
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King County's BEST trails??

Just got my GF a new bike and I'm looking for some good trails to take her on since she is new to cycling and doesn't like riding on roads. We rode the Gilman trail on Friday and it was great, she really liked the smooth pavement without all the cars! Something similar in length, ~20+ miles round trip would be ideal. Anyone have any good ideas???

FYI - We live in the Issaquah area, so bonus points if you know somewhere close!!!

Cheers!
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Old 07-06-08, 08:06 AM   #2
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Why not find some backroads that she can learn on without dealing with rollerbladers or fat chicks walking three abreast(s) ? The Fall City/Carnation area might fit the bill.

You can load your bikes up and drive to the new bridge over the Snoqualmie River at Tolt Hill Road and park in the gravel at the intersection with West Snoqualmie River Road. Head south past the two golf courses, take a left at the "T" at SE 24 st, and continue on til you hit Red/Fall (SR-202). You can follow the highway into town, where the speed limit is low and cars are accustomed to seeing cyclists. You may be bashful about cycling roundabouts, but if you aren't cross the Snoqualmie and head north to the intersection of SR-203 and Neal Rd. Head up on Neal Rd. till it's re-intersection w/ 203, which is blocked off, as the road was undermined during flooding and is no longer open to cars.
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Old 07-06-08, 09:45 AM   #3
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Anyone have any good ideas???

FYI - We live in the Issaquah area, so bonus points if you know somewhere close!!!

Cheers!
Ride the Cedar River trail from downtown Renton out toward Maple Valley. Very slight uphill on the way to Maple Valley, then downhill back to your start.

For a long ride, you can do the loop around the south end of Lake Washington. Check bikely.com for exact route. It is mostly bike path, park, and painted bike lane.

When she gets more comfortable with traffic there are some nice roads connecting to the Cedar River trail without a lot of traffic...you could cycle out there from Issaquah.
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Old 07-06-08, 10:54 AM   #4
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Why not find some backroads that she can learn on without dealing with rollerbladers or fat chicks walking three abreast(s) ? The Fall City/Carnation area might fit the bill.

You can load your bikes up and drive to the new bridge over the Snoqualmie River at Tolt Hill Road and park in the gravel at the intersection with West Snoqualmie River Road. Head south past the two golf courses, take a left at the "T" at SE 24 st, and continue on til you hit Red/Fall (SR-202). You can follow the highway into town, where the speed limit is low and cars are accustomed to seeing cyclists. You may be bashful about cycling roundabouts, but if you aren't cross the Snoqualmie and head north to the intersection of SR-203 and Neal Rd. Head up on Neal Rd. till it's re-intersection w/ 203, which is blocked off, as the road was undermined during flooding and is no longer open to cars.
A little kindness, please. At least they are walking.

3 people abreast is an obstacle on the BG or Sammamish River Trail, no matter what their body size is.
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Old 07-06-08, 09:19 PM   #5
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centennial trail is a bit north (snohomish) but quite the nice trail. all the way to arlington (nearly), and a great converted train station snack stop a few miles out of snohomish, for the return trip and the obligatory ice cream break.
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Old 07-06-08, 11:22 PM   #6
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Ice cream breaks sound right up our alley!!
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Old 07-07-08, 11:17 AM   #7
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The Green River trail in Kent is a nice spin. If you can handle hard pack trails the Snoqualimie Valley trail from Fall City to Duvall is cool too.
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Old 07-07-08, 09:39 PM   #8
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centennial trail is a bit north (snohomish) but quite the nice trail. all the way to arlington (nearly), and a great converted train station snack stop a few miles out of snohomish, for the return trip and the obligatory ice cream break.
Sadly, the snack shack at Machias was empty when I rode by last Saturday. It was a great place for a mid-ride refreshment.
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Old 07-08-08, 08:16 AM   #9
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Sadly, the snack shack at Machias was empty when I rode by last Saturday. It was a great place for a mid-ride refreshment.
Yeah but you are just a quick ride from Lake Stevens were there are some great places to replenish and refuel.
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Old 07-08-08, 09:30 PM   #10
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this isn't in King, but the Foothills trail from Puyallup through Orting to Sout Prairie is a good 30 mile round trip.
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Old 07-09-08, 12:24 AM   #11
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This ride is part of my commute from Bellevue to Pioneer Square:

Start at the South Bellevue Park n' Ride lot. As you go south out the southern most lot, there's a trail. Follow it a couple hundred feet to the entrance to a small road. Go down the road and the trail will pick up again just past the building on the right. Follow along the trail and keep right at the bridge intersection and it will take you under I90 and then along the south side passed Enatai Park (another starting point) and then back under the I90 bridge. It will loop you around and on to the I90 bridge towards Mercer Island. You can stay on this trail all the way to Seattle. You will have to cross a few streets on Mercer Island, but other than that you're not on the streets. When you get to the Mercer Island P 'n R lot, continue on the trail/sidewalk west and the trail will pick up at the intersection again. Follow it around the bend and then climb the biggest hill on the ride. You'll go passed a ball field which also has a conveniently placed restroom. Keep left of the restrooms and continue your climb to the top of the ride. This is right next to tennis courts. Continue west passed the tennis courts and start down hill on the trail. This will come to a street crossing that will take you to the top of your ride down and onto the bridge deck. The trail runs along the north side of the bridge. Continue across the bridge and up the other side. As you leave the bridge on the Seattle side, the trail will wind out of sight to the left. It's not as bad as it looks since it's just a short climb and bend. Once there you will find a hidden gem... right above the I90 car tunnel is a bike tunnel. Continue through this tunnel into the park. You can cross MLK and continue along the trail passed the Colman School (now an African American Museum). This park will be the turnaround point as you start getting to streets at this point. MLK does have an on-street bike lane, but it's all climb as you head north, for a mile or so. I go this route home and take advantage of the down side of the hill.

It's not 20 miles, but it is very hilly. At 4:30 AM, I average about 13.5 - 14 mph through this section. My wife and I are new riders, but enjoy the views and parks from this ride. Plus there are some great hills to put your legs through their paces and push you to your lower gears. I've done this route about 10 times and I see improvement on each ride.

Here's a gmap of the route and it comes out to just over 13 miles in length:
http://www.gmap-pedometer.com/?r=2061216
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Old 07-10-08, 10:34 AM   #12
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My recommendations (coming someone who lives in issy with a girlfriend who is not quite as enthusiastic about cycling) are:
Lake Samammish- There are cars on it but there is a HUGE shoulder. Would be a good ride for you in a few more weeks when she gets a bit more comfortable. Also, start in Redmond at Marymoor park and head down the West side first then back up the east side. The west side is pretty lumpy so good to get out of the way first.
Green river trail
The trail that goes along I-90- I don't know what it is called but it parallels I 90 around bellevue.
There is a gravel trail that goes along I 90 if you have a mountain or hybrid bike. You can pick it up by Fred Meyer.
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Old 07-12-08, 07:44 PM   #13
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Here's a link to the King County bike map page:
http://www.metrokc.gov/kcdot/roads/bike/map.cfm
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Old 07-13-08, 08:31 PM   #14
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Props to AGuyNamedSteve, but I would suggest headind down to Lake Washington after coming over the bridge and riding along the lake until you reach the Renton City limits and then turning around. Very bike friendly route.
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Old 07-14-08, 01:18 PM   #15
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How much of the Burke Gilman did you do? Or did you do the whole thing?

The Lake Samammish Trail starts near Bothell, picks up where the Burke Gilman leaves off, and goes south to Marymoor Park, and is somewhat smoother and more scenic than the BG. Or you can put the two together into a loop (if you don't mind riding road part of the way) and ride about 35 miles around the Norther half of Lake Washington. I did this just last Saturday...

Left my place in N. Seattle, (I'll skip the details of how I got there), hooked up with the Burke Gilman near Ravenna Park, went North, then met the Lake Sam trail heading South to near Marymoor Park, took the commuter trail that prallels 520 from there (not my intended route, but I was on it and went with it), went through Bellevue and from there went to I-90 and followed the bike trail across Mercer Island, then took the floating bridge back to Seattle, then Martin Luther King Way North to the UW Arboretum then across the Montlake Bridge, then back to the Burke Gilman in the U-District.

I wouldn't mind doing that again, but with some other route besides riding along the 520 freeway - not exactly scenic! Just got off my route, but fortunately was on a bike trail anyway.

Anyway, check out the Lake Sammamish Trail, if nothing else.
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Old 07-14-08, 10:58 PM   #16
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Props to AGuyNamedSteve, but I would suggest headind down to Lake Washington after coming over the bridge and riding along the lake until you reach the Renton City limits and then turning around. Very bike friendly route.
Thanks,

I don't know that route. I ride from the Overlake/Bellevue area to the King County Courthouse to work and this is the main part of my ride that is off-street. However I did go to Triumph Multi-sport north of the bridge to check out their Banjo Brothers messenger backpack (too big at 2000, so I ordered the 1500).

Is there a good way, other than those stairs, to get down Lakeside Ave/Lake WA Blvd from the I90 bridge?
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Old 07-15-08, 08:05 AM   #17
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Thanks,

Is there a good way, other than those stairs, to get down Lakeside Ave/Lake WA Blvd from the I90 bridge?
At the west end of the bridge you can exit the trail climb one block up the hill go right and that will take you down to Lakeside.
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