Five family-friendly trails to check out
A bike rider on the Burke Gilman Trail

*Update: As of March 25, all regional trails in King county are closed.*

In the midst of updating King County on recommendations to keep the community healthy through social distancing during the COVID-19 pandemic, County Executive Dow Constantine said bluntly, "Going for a bike ride is still OK."

As the sun shines this week, I’m dreaming about getting outside and going for a bike ride to enjoy a naturally social distancing activity. Biking can help keep my spirits up, create space, get me some exercise, and allow me to enjoy and explore my community. As long as I am practicing SMART riding, I can keep myself and my family safe, and ensure hospital beds are saved for those who need them the most.

Here are five family-friendly rides I’m considering: 

  1. Green River Trail

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This serene and peaceful 19-mile trail winds along the Duwamish and Green rivers. It starts in south Seattle at Cecil Moses Park and extends to Kent, almost to Auburn, with views of the river, parks, and more. Currently, we’re working with officials to extend the trail north into the South Park neighborhood of Seattle. By riding to the Black River Riparian Forest in Renton, bicyclists can check out the progress on the Lake to Sound Trail while they’re at it! When finished, the Lake to Sound Trail will connect five South King County cities, light rail, Rapid Ride bus service, and the Tukwila Sounder, serving as a major hub for riders in the future. It also will connect to four regional trails – Eastrail, Cedar River, Interurban, and Green River. 

  1. Eastrail

This exciting trail has been a top Cascade priority over the last few years, and there’s more progress to explore along the 42-mile corridor. Today, riders can enjoy sections of the Eastrail in in Redmond (check out the Redmond Central Connector), Kirkland (on the Cross-Kirkland Corridor), and in Renton (explore the Lakefront segment). This is a great trail for a leisurely expedition with the kids or to ride with wider tires, as much of the trail is gravel.

  1. Interurban Trail (South)

This 14-mile trail connects Tukwila to Pacific via Kent, Auburn, and Algona along the historic route of the Puget Sound Electric Railway. While the trail winds through commercial and light industrial areas, it offers views of majestic Mount Rainier on a clear day. The Interurban South Trail can be accessed from the Fort Dent Park in Tukwila, or from the Green River Trail.

  1. Burke-Gilman Trail

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This classic 19-mile favorite runs from Golden Gardens Park in Seattle (minus the Missing Link) all the way to Bothell, past lots of green space and a mix of urban landscapes. Eventually, it connects to the East Lake Sammamish Trail outside of Bothell and on through Woodinville to Redmond. This trail is usually very busy with bike commuters, walkers, and others, but with good social distancing practices via bike, we can all stay safe.

  1. Snoqualmie Valley Trail

This 31-mile packed gravel trail threads along farmland and past a waterfall towards the Palouse to Cascades Trail, which heads east toward the Idaho border. It’s a bit long and bumpy for younger kids, but for adults with experienced teenage riders, it could be a perfect chance to get out and enjoy the quiet. Folks on horseback share the trail, but on a recent sunny Saturday it was perfectly quiet and had few visitors.

Sara Kiesler's picture
Sara Kiesler