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Old 11-17-11, 11:48 AM   #1
vandalarchitect
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Route advice: Issaquah - Redhook/Ste. Michelle - Gas Works Park

I'll be in the Seattle area this weekend with a friend and I'm looking for some advice on a route we might be doing. My friend is fairly new to riding, he hasn't done more than maybe 20 miles in one ride but he's caught the bug and I think he could handle something around 30-35 miles.

We're looking at starting in Issaquah riding along the east side of Lake Sammamish through Marymoor Park, along the Sammamish River trail to Chateau Ste. Michelle Winery/Redhook Brewery. Then, either continue on the Sammamish River Trail, or take the Tolt Pipeline Trail past Norway Hill Park and Blythe Park, to catch the Burke-Gilman Trail, head through UW and finish at Gas Works Park.

I'm not that familiar with the areas; I know Issaquah pretty well, I've been the Ste. Michelle/Redhook, and UW but never on bike. Because I don't know the trails and I want to make sure my friend has a good time I have a myriad of questions. Any help you could offer would be great.

Does this route seem reasonable? The Tolt Pipeline Trail looks like it has a couple of climbs, how are they? Would you take the Sammamish River trail or the Tolt Pipeline? Do the trails connect pretty well or will we be taking streets to make connections? Are the trails labelled? Are they continuous, no under construction bits (mapmyride and ridewithgps are both driving me crazy trying to follow the trails and not the roads)? Anyone have a map/cuesheet of this route or portions of it?

I've basically got cue sheets from seattlebiketours.org but without knowing the trails, they seem somewhat vague. Thanks for any help you could give.
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Old 11-17-11, 12:47 PM   #2
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A couple years ago, some friends and I did a very-small-group ride from Seattle, up the Burke Gilman Trail to Blythe Park in Bothell, then south on the the Sammamish River Trail, down the eastern side of Lake Sam, and into Issy, where we took some back roads to the I-90 Trail and returned home through downtown Seattle.

We wound up on the 'regular' roads once the BGT ended in Blythe Park, although this was short, and more through Redmond - this part was a bit harder to find. Those were the two points that were slightly confusing, although none of us had cue sheets or a map, just vague memories of having worked somewhere in the ballpark. It wound up being almost exactly 100 K / 63 miles, from Eastlake. If it's useful, I can probably find and send you a gpx file.

There's a detour on the Burke Gilman Trial right now, and you'll hit it on this ride. It adds a few miles.
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Old 11-17-11, 01:23 PM   #3
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The Tolt Pipeline is not paved. The hills are rather steep, exceeding 20% grade in places. I ride it on my Mountain Bike for a good workout, although there is no reason you could not ride it on a cross bike with cross tires.

Marymoor to the Samamish River Trail to the Burke Gilman Trail is marked and easy. Burke Gilman is closed in Lake Forest Park, a detour is provided but I have never used it.
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Old 11-17-11, 03:29 PM   #4
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Thanks for the heads up on the Tolt Pipeline. We won't be riding anything close to resembling cross tires so it looks like following the river is the better route.
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Old 11-17-11, 03:35 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Seattle Forrest View Post
A couple years ago, some friends and I did a very-small-group ride from Seattle, up the Burke Gilman Trail to Blythe Park in Bothell, then south on the the Sammamish River Trail, down the eastern side of Lake Sam, and into Issy, where we took some back roads to the I-90 Trail and returned home through downtown Seattle.

We wound up on the 'regular' roads once the BGT ended in Blythe Park, although this was short, and more through Redmond - this part was a bit harder to find. Those were the two points that were slightly confusing, although none of us had cue sheets or a map, just vague memories of having worked somewhere in the ballpark. It wound up being almost exactly 100 K / 63 miles, from Eastlake. If it's useful, I can probably find and send you a gpx file.

There's a detour on the Burke Gilman Trial right now, and you'll hit it on this ride. It adds a few miles.
It sounds like things should be pretty straightforward but if you wouldn't mind finding and sending that gpx I'd appreciate it. (I wouldn't waste a lot of time looking for it if you don't have it on hand)
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Old 11-17-11, 04:03 PM   #6
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I don't have it on hand, because I'm at work, but I know exactly where it out to be on a home computer. I'll dig it up tonight and shoot you a PM tomorrow.

But you'll have to refrain from judging me on my slowness. I was with two friends on flat-bar hybrids, and it's a no drop ride.
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Old 11-17-11, 04:44 PM   #7
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If you can get to Marymoor Park, you really don't need to worry about GPX files. Once in Marymoor, just follow the paved trail and it will take you to the Sammamish River Trail. When you get to Blythe Park in Bothell, watch the signs for the Burke Gilman trail (the trail has a few branches, if you end up on a road you have gone the wrong way, just go back and take the other branch). Stay on the Burke all the way to the UW or Gas Works - I assume that the detour in Lake Forest Park is well marked, but I have never ridden it so I cannot say for sure.
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Old 11-17-11, 06:00 PM   #8
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The BGT detour is pretty well marked, or at least it is going north, which is the only way I've done it since the construction. There's an orange sign with an arrow at each and every turn, but none between. A few times I started to wonder if I'd missed a turn somehow, and whenever that happened, I'd see the next arrow sign. I'd expect the same thing going south. But it's a long detour - six miles is what I keep hearing.

I had trouble figuring out where to go from Blythe Park. It wasn't much trouble getting onto the SRT, which I think ends in Redmond? This was a couple years ago, and I don't know the east side well.
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Old 11-18-11, 08:56 AM   #9
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Sammamish River Trail ends at Marymoor Park.
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Old 11-18-11, 10:44 AM   #10
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I wasn't able to find the gpx file; sorry.
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Old 11-18-11, 10:42 PM   #11
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No problem, thanks for all the help.
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Old 11-20-11, 08:01 PM   #12
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A ride I like to do it start in Marymoor park in Redmond and ride the Sammamish trail (paved) connects onto BirkGilman trail around lake wasington into Seattle. Instead of riding back on the same trail you can catch the #545 Bus on 520 right across the University bridge by Husky stadium (bus stop is on freeway) and it will bring you back to Redmond. Its about a 30 mile ride and can be done in about 4 to 5 hrs depending on how much site seeing you do. A little side trip to Gas works park on the Birk Gilman trail is worth the ride and is about 3 miles extra riding. The ride is all flat, lots of parks and places to stop and good views on a well paved trail.
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Old 11-20-11, 09:43 PM   #13
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Well it turns out that when I said that I thought my riding partner could handle 30-35 miles I was right. He bonked and bonked hard right at mile 35. I could tell he was hurting but thought we'd be able to push through the 5-6 miles left but we called our ride to come pick us up early.

No big deal though. He still said he had a blast and he feels good today, the day after, so he'll be back on the bike in no time.

The B-G trail detour was well marked. It was probably better that it took us through residential areas because when I picked up a little piece of wire and had to change a flat someone brought out a pump. Probably saved me about 5 minutes of pumping with my hand pump. Thanks again to everyone for the advice.
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