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Old 10-12-11, 02:33 PM   #1
Seattle Forrest
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Has anyone been on the Chief Sealth Trail...?

I'll probably regret posting this. One of my favorite regular rides goes south along the shore of Lake Washington, usually to Seward or Beer Sheva Park. Sometimes I'll go all the way down to Renton and follow the I-90 Trail home, over Mercer Island. But a lot of the time I'll climb Beacon Hill, and this means crossing the Chief Sealth Trail, either right before Beacon if I climb Orcas, or near MLK if I'm further south.

The Chief Sealth Trail is almost always empty. In the two years I've enjoyed it, I may have seen a total of 20 other people there, and so I've renamed it to Empty MUP Lane.

Better yet, it's moderately hilly ( most of the hills are about 8 %, says my Garmin ) and there are a lot of nice S-curves. When the trail is empty - almost always - the turns are fun to navigate at speed. On a clear day, it's got an interesting mix of nice scenery ( the south end of the lake, and the Cascades & Rainier in the background ) and the local housing. There are some nice gardens in the summer.

This is a short, enjoyable trail, and I like mixing it into my longer rides.

Here are some photos of the trail.













Here's a map, although it's out of date - they've extended the trail from Beacon to 15th, where you have a view of the Olympic Range and part of the Sound.

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Old 10-12-11, 06:08 PM   #2
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Yep. Good ride if you just want to get some quick miles in. I live down by Seward Park so my route is usually counter clockwise (More down hill than up). You are right on the trail, hardly see anybody there. Great pictures. I see they have finished the addition to the trail but i don't really understand it. Seems easier just to stay on Beacon and pick the trail up a little further south. Do you know if the new addition will connect some how with the new bike trail they are putting in the "jungle"?
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Old 10-12-11, 09:08 PM   #3
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Looks like a nice stretch.
I think that is the trail that I saw from the airport-bound Sounder train. I made a mental note to look it up when I returned but it must have been blown off my mental desk like all the others. Thanks for sharing your secret getaway. Ya, you'll probably regret it.

Last edited by percy kittens; 10-12-11 at 09:09 PM. Reason: I'm just bitter about my tail light.
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Old 10-13-11, 10:34 AM   #4
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all the time, just watch out during school in/out times
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Old 10-13-11, 11:53 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by gageplate View Post
Yep. Good ride if you just want to get some quick miles in. I live down by Seward Park so my route is usually counter clockwise (More down hill than up). You are right on the trail, hardly see anybody there. Great pictures. I see they have finished the addition to the trail but i don't really understand it. Seems easier just to stay on Beacon and pick the trail up a little further south. Do you know if the new addition will connect some how with the new bike trail they are putting in the "jungle"?
What's the jungle?

I used to ride on Beacon Ave a lot more, but I don't like it much these days. It's a nice road, but with street parking, the travel lane is pretty narrow. Makes me nervous. I tend to weave through the side roads to get where I'm going lately, to avoid Beacon. Or, if I'm not feeling 100 %, sometimes the hill will take a bit out of me, and (I hate to admit it) I'll take that cracked path in the grassy center of Beacon, puttering along at 14 mph. Sometimes I'll do that anyway on clear days, because there are some great views of the Olympics.

I've heard the ultimate goal is to connect the Chief Seath Trail to downtown.

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all the time, just watch out during school in/out times
Yeah ... there's a school right by Beacon, so it looks like it could be a zoo. I mostly do this route on weekends, and every now and then on summer evenings. So that's never even been a consideration for me - but it's a very good point.
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Old 10-13-11, 02:04 PM   #6
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the jungle is a homeless encampment in the greenbelt

one of the two times i was hit by a car was on beacon/15th (the other was downtown)

getting to the trail in rushhour/car time does suck. the trail is more busy during weekdays, weekend, it is empty as a ghost town
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Old 10-16-11, 06:52 AM   #7
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Thanks for posting this! I regularly ride from where I live in Greenwood down to where a friend lives near the airport. Lately I've been getting there and thinking to myself "I'd like for this ride to be longer". That trail looks like a nice way to vary the ride down there and add a little time and miles to the trip.
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