Originally Posted by cwar
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.