Thinking about hitting one of Seattle’s many bike trails? Now that spring’s here, the breeze in your face as you zip past gorgeous scenery is going to feel great. In fact, May is Bike Everywhere Month, and one way to celebrate is to get out on Friday, May 19 for Bike Everywhere Day. Long-distance cyclists might do the grand-daddy of local trips, taking the Burke Gilman Trail from Golden Gardens to the Sammamish River Trail in Bothell and beyond. For those with more moderate ambitions, here are routes that still provide a sense of accomplishment, fun, and visual payoff. Don’t forget to stop and stretch!
Duwamish Trail to Alki Beach – 8.5 miles one way
Start near South Park along the 3-mile Duwamish Trail, which parallels Puget Park and the West Duwamish Greenbelt (where you might spot fox, hawks and bald eagles). Connect with the Alki Trail near the West Seattle Bridge and finish at Alki Beach Park, with beautiful views of Puget Sound and the Olympic Mountains.
Gasworks to Matthews Beach – 7 miles one way
Pick up the Burke-Gilman Trail at Gasworks Park, head east and pedal past the University of Washington campus. (A slight uphill grade begins here and adds a bit of challenge.) The trail bends north and continues through the neighborhood that hosts Magnuson Park, worth a detour downhill if you don’t mind coming back up to rejoin the trail. A couple of miles north of the Magnuson area, Matthews Beach makes a lovely stopping or turning around place. Very popular trail; consider going early or late in the day.
Seward Park Loop – 2.4 miles
This is one occasion you won’t mind going around in circles! The Seward Park loop trail feels miles away from it all. You can look for eagles, see old growth forest, and immerse yourself in the watery presence of Lake Washington, which surrounds Seward Park on nearly all sides. Extend your trip by several miles by heading up to Mount Baker Park Beach along the Lake Washington Boulevard Trail.
Bonus tip: A portion of Lake Washington Boulevard is closed to motorized vehicles from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on scheduled Bicycle Sundays from May to September. Seattle Parks and Recreation invites everyone in the community to bike, jog or stroll along the boulevard between the Seward Park entrance and Mount Baker Park’s beach during these times.