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  1. #1
    Senior Member Medic Zero's Avatar
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    Routes to/from Mukilteo Ferry from Seattle?

    .

    My lady and I are riding up to Whidbey and back over 2.5 days in a couple of weeks. Wondering if anyone has any suggestions regarding routes to/from the Mukilteo Ferry. Taking the Interurban up to HWY 525 then 28th to Mukilteo Speedway is the current plan for the route up there. I'm itching to explore the trail alongside the railroad that leads from Boeing to their railroad ferry, I'm curious if anyone has ridden this.

    I'm also curious about Japanese Gulch. It looks like the railside trail exits onto Mukilteo Way through the Tails and Trails park, but you can continue a little further to the north via Japanese gulch (after riding a short way to the NE on Mukilteo Way). Is this trail a feasible option for a couple of converted* mountain bikes, one carrying a couple of panniers?

    * Upright bars, fenders, a rack, and slick-ish tires (Vittoria Rando Pros, and Panaracer T-Serv Pro-Tex's, 26 x 1.5").


    On the way back a couple of days later I'm tempted to try and take a more scenic route than the Interurban. Anyone ridden Saint Andrews Drive? Are the hills on it tough? How about the hills on Olympic View Drive near Southwest County Park? Is Talbot Road easier?

    Anyone have a north-south street they prefer to ride to get through Edmonds?


    BTW, we live in Greenwood, and are pretty happy with the route from here to about North 200th Street. Its from there to Mukilteo that I'm wondering about.



    Many thanks!
    Last edited by Medic Zero; 09-08-13 at 02:39 AM.
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  2. #2
    Senior Member Medic Zero's Avatar
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    116 views!

    It looks like we'll get a chance to try out the trail alongside the railroad from Boeing, and Japanese gulch and try the scenic route on the way home. I'll write up a report here in the hopes it helps someone else!
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    I commute from from the north end to Everett. Northbound I take the Interurban to just past Alderwood Mall then left on Alderwood mall Pkwy /Manor Wy /28th to 148th. Left on 148th up the hill then a right to 29th Ave /Admiralty Wy and then a left on Lincoln Way to Mukillteo Speedway. I turn at Beverly Park Rd so I have not ridden further north on the speedway but there is a bike lane on the shoulder. I have not ridden the gulch trail but one of the commuters from Whidbey said he occasionally uses the trail for variety from the ferry dock. I have not seen him since you posted to ask any further. Any return route is more scenic (and quieter) than the Interuban.

  4. #4
    Senior Member Medic Zero's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by allan6344 View Post
    I commute from from the north end to Everett. Northbound I take the Interurban to just past Alderwood Mall then left on Alderwood mall Pkwy /Manor Wy /28th to 148th. Left on 148th up the hill then a right to 29th Ave /Admiralty Wy and then a left on Lincoln Way to Mukillteo Speedway. I turn at Beverly Park Rd so I have not ridden further north on the speedway but there is a bike lane on the shoulder. I have not ridden the gulch trail but one of the commuters from Whidbey said he occasionally uses the trail for variety from the ferry dock. I have not seen him since you posted to ask any further. Any return route is more scenic (and quieter) than the Interuban.
    Thanks!

    I looked at 148th, but it looked like 140th might be better. Can't recall why at the moment!

    Really appreciate the heads up about the gulch!
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    I recently rode from Port Townsend to Seattle via Whidbey and the Mulilteo Ferry. I am also curious what route people take from the ferry to the Interurban Trail. We started up the Mukilteo Speedway, but it sucked. It is uphill and as you get off the ferry there is a massive amount of traffic. We ended up turning left on 5th then taking the primitive trail from the Tails and Trails Dog Park to Boeing. I would not take this trail unless you are running at least 32's on your bike. Once we got to Boeing Field we were not sure what way to go. Google Maps makes it look like there are numerous roads you can take, but most of them are fenced off and part of the Boeing property. We ended up taking the Boeing Perimeter Road, then 75th to Hardeson, to Casino, then over to the Interurban Trail. This was not a very good route. Next time I may just take the residential streets east of Mukilteo Speedway to 44th, then get the trail/bike lanes from there.

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    Senior Member daihard's Avatar
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    Just curious, are you planning to ride in Tour de Whidbey?
    Badly-behaved cyclists are usually just cyclists with inadequate infrastructure. Or none at all. - Mikael Colville-Andersen

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    Quote Originally Posted by Medic Zero View Post
    Thanks!

    I looked at 148th, but it looked like 140th might be better. Can't recall why at the moment!

    Really appreciate the heads up about the gulch!
    I actually turn on 153rd and zig zag the residential streets up to Admiral Way. That section of Manor way is two lane without much shoulder. I like to minimize the time on that section with the morning traffic and school buses. I am sure it's different on a weekend.

    I also skip the Interuban between 185th and 200th and just go over to Meridian.

  8. #8
    Senior Member Medic Zero's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by daihard View Post
    Just curious, are you planning to ride in Tour de Whidbey?
    No, just a three and half day hotel to hotel ride with my girlfriend. Last mini-tour and mini-vacation before I'm stuck back in college + working full time for the next 9 months! I'll post a report in a few days. Just got back and then rode in to work, exhausted, have to work tomorrow after little sleep, then clean the apartment because there is going to be an inspection and the first day of school is Monday and I work that night...

    Discovered some interesting things though...

    More later...
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  9. #9
    Senior Member Medic Zero's Avatar
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    .

    Almost forgot I was going to give a little report on the riding conditions between Boeing and the Mukilteo Ferry, via the gravel road alongside the railroad tracks and then through Japanese Gulch.

    I wouldn't want to try it uphill/Eastbound, but we did okay going from Boeing down to 5th/Mukilteo Lane. At times the gravel was big, fist sized rocks that seemed to be several layers deep, it felt like I was hydroplaning over the surface of them as we were usually going downhill at a decent clip, but we did okay. It's difficult to slow down when you feel like your ride is just barely under control as it is, given the conditions (skimming over deep, loose gravel). This was on 26 x 1.50 tires that have very little tread (Panaracer T-Serv Protex and Vittoria Randonneur Pro's).

    I found most of the ride peaceful and fun, but my girlfriend finds riding on gravel supremely nerve-wracking, despite being a very experienced mountain biker. I think I came to the realization that despite the peaceful surroundings and mostly not-too-bad gravel, that she'd prefer a noisy highway where we have to take a lane to a gravel road in the future! O.o

    After a very short jaunt along 5th/Mukilteo we entered Japanese Gulch. We ended up walking our bikes on the main trail through this park. Loaded down with panniers and on slick tires we didn't have confidence in safely crossing/dismounting the little bridges and enjoyed the peaceful walk. Unloaded on mountain rubber it is probably ride-able by someone confidant in their skills, as long as they were headed downhill (northbound). My understanding is that there are mountain biking trails paralleling the main path through Japanese Gulch, but we didn't explore those this time. There also seemed to be hiking trails above us on the hillside as we were riding down the gravel road alongside the railroad before this. I believe those originate in the "Tails and Trail's" park in Mukilteo.

    Mind the railroad crossing just to the southwest of Japanese Gulch! The worst I've ever seen with WIDE gaps on either side of the rails in the wooden bed (not rubber, cement, or asphalt). Got us good! O.O


    Of course, a person could take the gravel road alongside the railroad down to 5th and then ride through Mukilteo instead of Japanese Gulch.

    On our way back, it was night time and the prospect of taking either of those two in the dark, uphill, was basically a non-starter, so we went down (UP!) Mukilteo Speedway. The grade on that seemed to go on forever! Also experienced the only time someone shouted at us from their car in over 90 miles of riding from Seattle to all over southern Whidbey and back.

    I'm interested in exploring the route up and over the hill through the neighborhood between Mukilteo Speedway and the railroad tracks sometime. It looks to be an even steeper climb than Highway 525 and entail a stupid number of turns to actually get through there, but has the benefit of not being on the highway, which lacks a bike lane for a good chunk of the climb.

    Although my girlfriend hates riding on gravel, I enjoyed the ride alongside the railroad tracks, other than a jogger and a couple of people out walking dogs the trail and road were deserted and it was very peaceful in the wooded gulch. It was difficult to modulate your speed on the long downhill over the gravel, but we did fine. I'd happily take it again, especially as an alternative to taking Mukilteo Speedway all the way to the ferry terminal.
    Last edited by Medic Zero; 10-05-13 at 07:04 AM.
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  10. #10
    Senior Member Medic Zero's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by allan6344 View Post
    I actually turn on 153rd and zig zag the residential streets up to Admiral Way. That section of Manor way is two lane without much shoulder. I like to minimize the time on that section with the morning traffic and school buses. I am sure it's different on a weekend.

    I also skip the Interuban between 185th and 200th and just go over to Meridian.
    Definitely don't bother to go up to 140th like we did! Turns out it is less of a street and more of a narrow private road through a small new subdivision. It has numerous evil triangular speed bumps. They do have gaps in them, but the gaps are tiny and hard to navigate and sharp sided. I scraped my rear tire on one of them and was afraid I was going to have a tear in the sidewall. Definitely better to get off at 148th!
    Last edited by Medic Zero; 10-05-13 at 07:07 AM.
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  11. #11
    Senior Member Medic Zero's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cwar View Post
    I recently rode from Port Townsend to Seattle via Whidbey and the Mulilteo Ferry. I am also curious what route people take from the ferry to the Interurban Trail. We started up the Mukilteo Speedway, but it sucked. It is uphill and as you get off the ferry there is a massive amount of traffic. We ended up turning left on 5th then taking the primitive trail from the Tails and Trails Dog Park to Boeing. I would not take this trail unless you are running at least 32's on your bike. Once we got to Boeing Field we were not sure what way to go. Google Maps makes it look like there are numerous roads you can take, but most of them are fenced off and part of the Boeing property. We ended up taking the Boeing Perimeter Road, then 75th to Hardeson, to Casino, then over to the Interurban Trail. This was not a very good route. Next time I may just take the residential streets east of Mukilteo Speedway to 44th, then get the trail/bike lanes from there.
    You say "primitive path" - did you take the path out of Tails and Trails that leads right alongside the rail road tracks and is a rough gravel road, or did you end up on the hiking trail that runs along the face of the hillside above it? Either fit the description, but I imagine the hiking path is rough going, while the gravel road along the railroad tracks is ride-able, at least from south to north, but I imagine it is difficult going uphill (southbound) through the sometimes deep gravel. To get to the railroad tracks you ride past the entrance to the park, around the gate and down the hill to the E/NE, then turn south on the gravel road. Don't go exploring to the north, once it crosses under 5th/Mukilteo it is a restricted area (either Boeing or military or both).


    There is apparently one route* through the neighborhood streets up and over the hill in between the Mukilteo Speedway route and the route on trail/gravel road alongside the railroad that leads into the backside of Boeing. I haven't taken it yet, but I've been eyeing it on the map for next time I go through this area from north to south. It looks like it is a steeper hill climb and it has a stupid amount of turns, but at least you aren't on Mukilteo Speedway/Highway 525! You probably did well to exit off that road when you did, we waited for the ferry traffic from our boat to pass and then headed up the hill, but before we made it to the top another ferry had arrived and we had to deal with all those cars passing us while we were taking a lane, because the bike lane comes and goes along there. Luckily there was another lane of traffic going the same direction that the cars could take adjacent to us, but it still wasn't fun!

    * The route I'm looking at is: 5th/Lincoln/6th/Washington/Goat Trail Road/Goat Loop Road/Lumley/70th St/48th Ave/73rd St/46th Ave/76th St/44th Avenue. After 44th Avenue crosses 84th there is a trail on the west side of the street that takes you to Mukilteo Speedway after traveling adjacent to Paine Field Boulevard for a bit. Here riding along Mukilteo Speedway isn't so bad, at first there is a trail on the west side of the road, and then there is a good bike lane alongside the Speedway, but getting to the Interurban from there isn't easy or pleasant if you take the most direct route.

    From there you can either make your way to the southeast over busy streets to the Interurban, or, if you aren't interested in the fastest way and want to take the scenic route, I can tell you how we went we when did it last:

    SW on HARBOUR PT Blvd for 1.3 miles
    LEFT onto CLUBHOUSE Lane for 0.6 miles
    LEFT into DUBLIN Court (@ planters in rd)
    LEFT onto 64th Ave W then SCENIC Dr. for 0.2 miles
    RIGHT to stay on SCENIC Dr for 0.1 miles
    LEFT onto MAPLEWOOD Ave for 0.4 miles
    slight LEFT onto PICNIC Point Ave for 0.9 miles
    LEFT onto 140th St. SW for 0.2 miles
    RIGHT onto 52nd Ave W. for 0.4 miles
    RIGHT at Beverly Park Rd/52nd Ave W. for 0.1 miles
    RIGHT onto NORMA Beach Rd. for 0.3 miles
    LEFT onto 56th Ave W. for 0.5 miles
    RIGHT onto 156th St. SW for 0.3 miles
    LEFT/south onto LAND Gulch Road
    detour on to beach? Not much further at all!
    continue onto 75th Place for 0.5 miles
    continue onto 76th Ave W for 0.4 miles
    RIGHT onto 171st SW for 0.2 miles
    LEFT onto TALBOT Road for 1.1 miles
    RIGHT onto OLYMPIC View Drive for 1.0 miles
    LEFT onto OLYMPIC Avenue for 0.9 miles
    Cross Main Street, just to the right is trail entrance at Yost Park
    (see trail map for Yost Park (online))
    Take Sword Fern Trail through Yost Park
    At Yost Park Road, go RIGHT/NW onto:
    Songbird Trail until it T's into Entrance Trail
    RIGHT onto Entrance Trail quickly puts you on:
    RIGHT onto WALNUT for 0.2 miles
    LEFT onto 9th Street for 0.5 miles
    continue onto 100th Avenue West for 1.1 miles
    continue onto FIRDALE Avenue for 0.4 miles
    continue onto 205th/244th for 244 feet
    RIGHT onto 3rd Ave NW for 0.2 miles
    LEFT onto NW 200th for 0.9 miles
    RIGHT onto the INTERURBAN

    Clearly I had this all printed out beforehand on cue sheets for us to follow!

    Harbour Point Boulevard is just a few blocks after the trail that parallels 44th puts you onto the trail alongside Mukilteo Speedway (almost a wide curvey sidewalk, set back a bit from the road, clearly visible on the satellite view) or if you got right across the intersection when the trail that parallels 44th and Paine Field Boulevard reaches Mukilteo Speedway that'd put you onto Harbour Place which is a quiet, wide, industrial road that leads right to Harbour Boulevard.

    The first real confusing spot on the above route is Dublin Court is very deceiving (although the turn onto Clubhouse Lane looks like you are entering a gated community don't let that put you off)! Just before Dublin Court you will pass two or three other super short cul de sacs on your left that are all identical and you will have the feeling you are traveling down a dead end street, BUT at the end of Dublin Court is a fence, with a gap in it, that a trail goes through, that puts you onto 64th/Scenic!

    If you are just looking to ride through, I'd avoid going through Meadowdale Park as we did. It's other name is Lund Gulch* and you lose a bunch of altitude going through here and will most likely have to walk your bike for portions of the trail. You then have to ascend out of the Gulch on a super steep road. I enjoyed it, but my girlfriend was eager to get home and sick of hills, so she was not having fun at this point! The park is beautiful though and a really nice slice of wilderness alongside a creek. It leads to a nice beach on Puget Sound, but for some reason the parks department pulled up the walkway that leads under the railroad tracks out onto the beach and has a sign up saying it is closed. There were people on the other side, and you can scoot along the edge of the tunnel under the railroad tracks out there or splash through the channeled creek at the bottom of the short little tunnel, but there wasn't a good way to take our bikes with us and there was a bum rummaging through the trash cans so we didn't want to leave them there unattended with all our gear on them, so we didn't actually make it out onto the beach.

    * For some reason Google Maps calls it Land Gulch, but I thought the local websites and signage were calling it Lund Gulch.

    The views along 76th, Olympic View, and Talbot Road were amazing! If you were skipping Meadowdale Park, but still otherwise following the above route, I'd recommend getting over onto Olympic View via east instead of west on Norma Beach Road/148th, then south on 48th Ave W and west on 168th St. SW. I was surprised at how not hilly a road with the name "View" was for the portions of that we were on, but I suspect it might be hilly on the portions before that if you went around Meadowdale Park instead of through it.

    My cue sheet actually read LEFT onto 9th Street for 0.5 miles OR LEFT onto 8th Street. When I saw 9th I turned and took it because I hadn't read the next line down. It was okay, but Google lists 8th as a bike friendly street. I don't know if it actually has a bike lane or is just quieter, but I did notice that in order to get over to it from Walnut, you have to take a funky street called the "8th Avenue Connector" that looks like a driveway on Google Streetview. I highly recommend eyeballing it with Google Streetview first if you decide to take 8th from Walnut instead of 9th, otherwise you'll never spot the 8th Avenue Connector as you roll on by!

    Yost Park was another pleasant detour, but parts of the route we took through it were so steep we were pushing our bikes. Again, if you just wanted to ride from Mukilteo to the Interurban without exploring parks, I'd advise going around Yost Park. My girlfriend was seriously sick of detours at this point so we didn't check out the second (Songbird) trail, when we saw the parking lot and the road leading out we took that!


    I'll probably take the above route again, except for perhaps detouring around Yost Park and maybe Meadowdale Park, the next time I am making my way south from the Mukilteo ferry dock. Then again, without two overloaded panniers on the front of my bike, Meadowdale might be rideable, and there are other routes to explore through Yost that may not be as steep. Even though it adds a few miles and some hills, you get some absolutely spectacular views (assuming it is clear out!) and it completely avoids Mukilteo Speedway, avoids crossing Highway 99, I-5, and Evergreen Way and taking some rather busy streets like Manor Way.



    The only other option I see, is that by playing around with it Google Maps, it suggests heading northeast out of the Mukilteo ferry dock on West Mukilteo Boulevard to Glenwood Avenue, then east on Madison which will put you onto the Interurban. Obviously this has the advantage of being far simpler then any of the other routes, although I'd advise taking a close look at the route along the Interurban, there's still a few places were the trail disappears for several blocks or is difficult to follow. Even though this route looks like doing two legs of a triangle compared to Mukilteo Speedway and has you going east for a bit rather than southerly like my route, I'd bet this is the fastest way. It's certainly the most straightforward, even with the handful of difficult spots on the Interurban.


    I'll likely be giving both the middle passage between Mukilteo Speedway and the railroad tracks, and the eastern dogleg route on Glenwood and Madison a try in the not too distant future. I'm going to be just shy of making 3500 total miles this year, so I need to get in a few longer rides and want to do some scouting around southern Whidbey anyway, so I may well check both these routes out late December if the weather isn't too foul. When I do, I'll report back on this thread as to how they were.
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  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Medic Zero View Post
    You say "primitive path" - did you take the path out of Tails and Trails that leads right alongside the rail road tracks and is a rough gravel road, or did you end up on the hiking trail that runs along the face of the hillside above it?
    We took the rough gravel road. It was fine, but with a fully loaded touring bike it was hard to maintain balance in some areas. Luckily I had 32's on the bike. I would not want to take this route with anything less.


    Quote Originally Posted by Medic Zero View Post
    * The route I'm looking at is: 5th/Lincoln/6th/Washington/Goat Trail Road/Goat Loop Road/Lumley/70th St/48th Ave/73rd St/46th Ave/76th St/44th Avenue. After 44th Avenue crosses 84th there is a trail on the west side of the street that takes you to Mukilteo Speedway after traveling adjacent to Paine Field Boulevard for a bit. Here riding along Mukilteo Speedway isn't so bad, at first there is a trail on the west side of the road, and then there is a good bike lane alongside the Speedway
    After I returned from our trip I took a look at alternate routes and the one you mentioned above is the one I was thinking I would take next time. Thank you for all of the great detail you provided in your post. I will definitely use this information the next time I travel through that area.

    It is a shame there aren't better options from the ferry. It really seems there should be a better connection from the ferry to the interurban trail.

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    There is another way to get to the start of the interurban trail. Turn onto left onto Mukilteo Blvd, the 1st signal up from the ferry, and go all the way to Colby turn right three blocks to 44th. There are some hills but not as bad as Mukilteo Speedway. There is also a bike lane until you get to Rucker. If you go left on the short dead end, 44th, you can pick up the trail at it's beginning. If you use Google map you can see the trail.

    macd55

  14. #14
    Senior Member Medic Zero's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cwar View Post
    We took the rough gravel road. It was fine, but with a fully loaded touring bike it was hard to maintain balance in some areas. Luckily I had 32's on the bike. I would not want to take this route with anything less.

    After I returned from our trip I took a look at alternate routes and the one you mentioned above is the one I was thinking I would take next time. Thank you for all of the great detail you provided in your post. I will definitely use this information the next time I travel through that area.
    You're welcome! I like to share what I've learned when I can so people know their options and can have better rides!


    It is a shame there aren't better options from the ferry. It really seems there should be a better connection from the ferry to the interurban trail.
    Agreed! It's amazing how many areas in our region have very limited through roads or options. I can't imagine it'll ever happen, but you'd think there'd be room along the railroad right of way along the water for a bike trail to bypass all that traffic and hills. I'm sure the railroad has no interest in this for a variety of reasons and that will probably always remain a track in use, but given that it is flat and isn't a highway, it'd be ideal for a cycle route to Mukilteo, even if it was fairly narrow and right over on the edge of the railroad right of way.
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