Washington’s Best Beginner and Intermediate Bike Trails
Cascade has compiled a list of the 28 paved and gravel trails you should ride this summer.
Explore Washington's history, landscapes, seascapes and more.
Bicycling is booming, and Cascade is working hard to create resources that help more people--especially new riders--experience the joy of riding a bike for health, wellness, and outdoor adventure.
One of these new resources is a list of 28 must-ride trails across the state. Washington is home to an incredible diversity of ecosystems and landscapes that can be explored by bicycle, from Anacortes to Yakima, Seattle to Spokane, and many spots between. Our list includes trails that pass through river valleys and cross sagebrush country, skirt scenic shores, and traverse urban corridors.
While we included a few advanced trails, such as the 130-mile Olympic Discovery and 288-mile Palouse to Cascades trails, we focused on paved and multi-use paths that are ideal for beginners or intermediates. These include the 3.4-mile Elliott Bay Trail in Seattle and the 37-mile Spokane River Centennial Trail in eastern Washington.
“Our mission is to bring people together to experience the joy of bicycling, so we worked hard to create a list that includes trails for everyone, from easier and flatter paved bike paths such as the Yakima Greenway, to dirt and gravel trails like the Snoqualmie Valley Trail,” says Communications and Marketing Director Sara Kiesler, who compiled the list of “Trails for Beginner Bicyclists.”
Riders pass through the Google campus on the Cross Kirkland Corridor, a key segment of the 42-mile Eastrail.
Some of the trails connect communities, such as the Bill Chipman Palouse Trail that goes between the college towns of Pullman, Wash., and Moscow, Idaho. Others, like the Green River or the Cedar River trails, follow scenic waterways and offer chances to view fish, birds, and wildlife.
Others are rich with history. The 4.7-mile Coal Mines Trail between Roslyn and Cle Elum follows a former rail corridor where coal was transported by the Union Pacific Railroad between 1886 and 1994. The Centennial Trail through Snohomish County ends at the Nakashima Barn Trailhead, named for the Japanese-American family that owned this land before being sent to internment camps during World War II.
Riding Lessons, Videos, and More
Our trails list is just one of the many assets Cascade has created to get more people new to bicycling into the saddle.
Looking to make friends and meet others who want to ride? Check out our big selection of “Leisurely” paced Free Group Rides. With COVID-19 restrictions relaxing as vaccination rates in Washington climb, joining a Free Group Ride is as “easy as pie.”
Need to brush up on your skills? Watch our educational videos on Instagram and Youtube, or check out our full calendar of Learn to Ride classes. Our Learn to Ride classes are fun, welcoming, non-judgemental, and inclusive.
Already know how to ride but want to expand your horizons? Check out our Learn to Ride Further classes, which are designed to help people obtain the skills to pedal beyond their neighborhoods.
One of the most bike-friendly states in the country, Washington is rich with opportunities to get outside and explore. See you on the trails this summer. Please wear a helmet, and stay hydrated