King County Trails Series–White River Trail

December 28, 2013 Leave a comment

My wife and I have started walking the King County Trail system (http://www.kingcounty.gov/recreation/parks/trails.aspx) here in Seattle since our daughter left for college (although for this trip she’s home for Christmas break), and I’m sharing the experience here with descriptions and pictures. You can find a great map of all these trails free for the downloading there.

So far we’ve walked the following trails:

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    The path is wide, easy to walk, and has pretty good scenery along the way – except for a short stretch of road-views.

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    There are a few places to stop and rest, and someone even decorated the trees for this time of year.

     

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    Along the path is a disc-golf course (I love these – so fun to play, free, and better for the environment than golf) so you’re warned to watch for flying frisbees.

     

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    There’s also another park along the way, so we stopped in the dry to have a quick picnic lunch, even though this wasn’t a very long hike today.

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    This is a great trail if you’re close to Auburn, it’s short, and has a lot of visual interest.

    Categories: Travel Tags:

    King County Trails Series – Alki Trail

    December 21, 2013 Leave a comment

     

    My wife and I have started walking the King County Trail system (http://www.kingcounty.gov/recreation/parks/trails.aspx) here in Seattle since our daughter left for college (although for this trip she’s home for Christmas break), and I’m sharing the experience here with descriptions and pictures. You can find a great map of all these trails free for the downloading there.

    So far we’ve walked the following trails:

    We had our daughter back with us for Christmas, so she got to walk with the family again! We had been visiting some folks in Seattle, so no Dog this week.

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    As you walk along the path you’re near the road, but far enough from it to feel safe.

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    After a short walk, you’re where you can see the water quite well. We even caught some divers from a training school – but it was about 40 degrees out and cloudy, so I have no idea how they could stand the water that cold.

     

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    As you walk you also get some great views of Seattle. We saw several folks taking pictures of family against the backdrop.

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    In just a couple of miles you come to Alki Beach. You could park here and start walking south instead of north as we did. In fact, there are several places to park

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    This was a great walk – highly recommended.

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    Categories: Travel Tags:

    King County Trails Series – East Lake Sammamish Trail

    December 17, 2013 Leave a comment

    My wife and I have started walking the King County Trail system (http://www.kingcounty.gov/recreation/parks/trails.aspx) here in Seattle since our daughter left for college, and I’m sharing the experience here with descriptions and pictures. You can find a great map of all these trails free for the downloading there.
    So far we’ve walked the following trails:

    Last week we walked the East Lake Sammamish Trail. We drove to the southern end of the trail and parked on Gilman Road in Issaquah. Here are the details of the walk:

    • Type of Trail: Concrete, paved, wide
    • Distance: About 3 miles for this part of the trail – we walked down and then back this trip, about 6 miles total.
    • Time to walk: It took us about 2 hours for the 6 miles.
    • Slope and gradient: Very flat – Very easy.
    • Permitted: Walking, Running, Biking, Pets allowed.
    • Crowd density: Light. At the entrance where we started we saw very few people, only a few more mid-way, and a few more towards the end of the walk when it warmed up. I assume that since it goes through several neighborhoods and a park, it gets more traffic in the summer. Very safe, mostly road views at the southern end, easy walk.
    • Location: Lots of places to start – we started on Gilman Road in Issaquah, near the junction with Front street.

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    It was wicked cold when we got up for this walk – 13 degrees. We decided not to take the dog with us on this one – she’s older and I just wasn’t sure it was a good thing for her. She was *not* happy – she LOVES the trails.

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    We started at the same trailhead we left off of the last time we were in Issaquah.

     

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    It’s a short walk through the first part, which winds around to the right of Lake Sammamish.

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    The first main street crossing brings you up behind a storage facility behind East Lake Sammamish road.

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    From there, for at least a couple of miles, you’re right next to the main road. It’s not particularly picturesque, but it’s very well maintained and wide.

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    Did I mention it was cold? By 10 a.m. it was in the 20’s, so at least it warmed a bit.

    In about 2.5 miles in we came to the East Lake Sammamish Park, which is pretty large and has restrooms as well.

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    We walked about a half-mile more along the back of a few neighborhoods. The path at this point turns to packed earth, but still wide and good enough for walking or biking.

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    And on the road home, it was still sunny, but still quite chilly.

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    It’s a good walk, and certainly wide and safe, but not the prettiest of locations with the proximity to the road. Makes for a great commute for those who live nearby, however! Would love to have paths that are this nice close to my home.

    Categories: Travel Tags:

    King County Trails Series – Rainier Trail

    December 6, 2013 Leave a comment

    My wife and I have started walking the King County Trail system (http://www.kingcounty.gov/recreation/parks/trails.aspx) here in Seattle since our daughter left for college, and I’m sharing the experience here with descriptions and pictures. You can find a great map of all these trails free for the downloading there.
    So far we’ve walked the following trails:

    This week we walked the Rainier Trail. We drove to the southern end of the trail and parked at the Issaquah High School on 2nd Avenue in Issaquah. Here are the details of the walk:

    • Type of Trail: Concrete, paved, wide
    • Distance: About 3 miles for this part of the trail – we walked down and then back this trip, about 6 miles total (with the quick jaunt on the side trail ).
    • Time to walk: It took us about 2 hours for the 6 miles.
    • Slope and gradient: Very flat – Very easy.
    • Permitted: Walking, Running, Biking, Pets allowed.
    • Crowd density: Light. At the entrance where we started we saw very few people, and it was interspersed with traffic from time to time. Very safe, extra-pretty views, easy walk.
    • Location: Lots of places to start – we started at the Issaquah High School parking lot on 2nd avenue in Issaquah.

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    Just a couple of blocks from the High School (which is nicer than most fancy venues you’ll see anywhere – wow) is the southern entrance to the trail.

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    The trail is wide, paved, neat and very pretty. I’m told it follows the route of the old train tracks through Issaquah.

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    In just a few minutes of walking you’re in to the middle of the town – which has lots of art installations, a train museum, and is really interesting.

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    Issaquah is like many Washington small towns – it has a history based on logging and trains. But they’ve done a great job at preserving the “feel” of it and it’s a wonderful place to visit.

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    With the wide paths, downtown route, and sights to see, not to mention a few bathrooms along the walk Smile this would be a great walk with children. It ends at the bottom of the Sammamish Trail, which we’ll walk next week.

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    We weren’t quite ready to stop, so we took one of the side trails at that junction and walked a bit further. This one intersects a busy road, so we turned around there.

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    Categories: Travel Tags:

    King County Trails Series – Cedar River Trail, top part

    December 2, 2013 Leave a comment

    My wife and I have started walking the King County Trail system (http://www.kingcounty.gov/recreation/parks/trails.aspx) here in Seattle since our daughter left for college, and I’m sharing the experience here with descriptions and pictures. You can find a great map of all these trails free for the downloading there.

    So far we’ve walked the following trails:

    This week we walked the lower part (unpaved) of the Cedar River trail.

    We drove to the northern end of the trail just before the 405/169 junction, parked the car at a park in Renton and walked from there. Here are the details of the walk:

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    After we parked we walked along the river past a dog-park and arrived at the Cedar River Park.

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    When you get to the park – DON’T do what we did. Smile Going north, there is a trail that peels off to the right, and the other part of the trail *appears* to continue straight.

    Go to the right.

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    If, however, you think (as we did) that the trail head continues on, you’ll get a nice tour through downtown Renton. Stay to the right and you’ll be fine.

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    If you get lost, just look for the Renton Airfield, which is near Boeing.

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    As you get close to the water, the trail is really nice. Lots of areas to stop, restrooms and more.

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    A great walk – highly recommended.

    Categories: Travel Tags:

    King County Trails Series – Cedar River Trail, bottom part

    November 28, 2013 Leave a comment

    My wife and I have started walking the King County Trail system (http://www.kingcounty.gov/recreation/parks/trails.aspx) here in Seattle since our daughter left for college, and I’m sharing the experience here with descriptions and pictures. You can find a great map of all these trails free for the downloading here: http://www.kingcounty.gov/operations/GIS/Maps/VMC/Recreation.aspx#6366BDAC031C4B179A0225581D55A339

    So far we’ve walked the following trails:

    This week we walked the lower part (unpaved) of the Cedar River trail. 

    We drove to the northernmost end of the trail (which is just before the fork of the Cedar River Trail at the south end), parked the car at a small park in Maple Valley and walked from there. Here are the details of the walk:

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    Walking to the right from the parking spot, about ten minutes in after the pavement gives way to packed dirt we came to the same turning point as the Green to Cedar trail – this time we kept straight on.

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    Once again, the trail is well maintained, wide, and easy to walk.

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    This trail has more woods and river views – much less in the way of neighborhoods.

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    Traffic was pretty light today (it was fairly cold and grey) but from time to time we met some fellow travelers – although they had a slightly different mode of travel than us.

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    There are neighborhoods, but not as tightly packed – and the homeowners have some pretty nice views.

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    At the southern end of the trail is a really nice park. It’s very large, has picnic areas, bathrooms, and is very large.

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    We stopped here for lunch – olives, hoagies, fruit, and sweet tea. And of course some water and food for Casey.

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    The park also has a Salmon run and a Kayak racing competition area. Beautiful views of the water.

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    The return trip was a little colder and  wetter – so we suited up and headed back for the car. A great walk, and a good walk with pets and kids.

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    Categories: Uncategorized

    King County Trails Series – Cedar to Green River Trail

    November 9, 2013 Leave a comment

    My wife and I have started walking the King County Trail system (http://www.kingcounty.gov/recreation/parks/trails.aspx) here in Seattle since our daughter left for college, and I’m sharing the experience here with descriptions and pictures. You can find a great map of all these trails free for the downloading here: http://www.kingcounty.gov/operations/GIS/Maps/VMC/Recreation.aspx#6366BDAC031C4B179A0225581D55A339

    So far we’ve walked the following trails:

    This week we walked the Cedar-To-Green-River trail, which is a branch off of the Cedar River Trail. 

    We drove to the northernmost end of the trail (which is just before the fork of the Cedar River Trail at the south end), parked the car at a small park in Maple Valley and walked from there. Here are the details of the walk:

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    This is a great trail to walk, especially if you have a family. It’s wide, easy, and has some great views. We parks in Maple valley and there’s even a port-a-potty at the park. the park is also next to the river, so it’s a good view right from the start.

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    Just after the park is an entrance to the paved part of the Cedar River Trail – it’s a bit steep, but there are packed earth steps to reach it. If you’re carrying a stroller or it’s particularly wet you might want to pass up the park, drive a little further north on 169 and pull over where you see the bicycle stands. In either case, turn to the right to head towards the split.

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    The trail is very easy at this stage, and splits to the unpaved parts. We walked the Cedar to Green River trail this week, next time we’ll walk the unpaved part of the Cedar River Trail.

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    At first the trail hugs 169, the main road through Maple Valley, but it’s far from the road and pretty quiet.

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    After about 30 minutes or so you’ll come to the back-side of Lake Wilderness Park (http://www.maplevalleywa.gov/index.aspx?page=111), which is really nice – and you can start the trail there if you wish. There are also lots of hiking trails off of this location.

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    After the lake, the scenery follows the back of some very nice neighborhoods, and the trail gets a little more crowded.

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    At the end of this section, you arrive at “Four Corners” in Maple Valley, and there are lots of restaurants and fast food places and grocery stores, so you could do a picnic there if you wanted. Since this wasn’t far enough, we decided to walk the length back to get our distance in. The trail actually continues for a bit, but it got dark on us and started raining so we turned around. All in all, a great trail with awesome scenery and a lot of places where you could stop such as the park or Four Corners.

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    Categories: Uncategorized
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