Oct 212018
Trails in Washington State: A Bikespedition Goal
Fun moment on our 2018 spring bike touring vacation: Having Ian Mackay roll out to meet us on the Olympic Discovery Trail.

The goal of bicycling in every county in Washington state gives me one thing to shoot for. As I wrote that post I realized how often my clearest memory of biking in a particular county is tied to its trails.

So why not set an additional goal — one I hope takes a lot longer because I expect the state’s trail networks to keep growing and growing until they all connect — of riding every named trail in the state? Every trail-ish, that is.

First, some parameters.

  • Trail segment name has to be officially recognized by some agency.
  • Paved trails only unless I choose to include a gravel or soft-surface trail suitable for biking without having to go to a fat bike (although what an awesome excuse to check out a fat bike at long last). I’ve been talking for a while about getting a bike that would serve for gravel/touring/commuting….
  • “Riding” means riding enough of it to have a sense of what the trail feels like, not just tires to ground in the trailhead and off to the next one. It doesn’t necessarily mean I rode the entire length so I may need to go back.
  • Trail needs to be at least a mile long, or if it’s shorter it’s the beginning of a planned longer trail.

TrailLink, created by the good folks at Rails to Trails Conservancy, provided a robust starting point for this list. Their interface and app let you sort by activities and trail surface as well as location. It doesn’t list every trail in the state, though, so I did some additional searching. Another useful list of Pacific NW trails curated by Dan Crawford gave me some more. And for the last five and a half years I’ve worked with bike and trail advocates from around the state so I have great news items showing up in my social media feeds on a regular basis.

Below is a first run at my Washington trails list. As with my #BikeIt list for riding in every county in Washington state, I’m using boldface to indicate those I’ve already ridden.

Some links go to maps or information on the TrailLink site, which is handy for the reviews people post. Some go to a site maintained by a Friends of This Trail group, a news article with some interesting information, or my own post about riding a particular trail. I’ve included a location in parentheses where that isn’t part of the trail name. You’ll also find a list of bike maps linked on the WSDOT site.

Some trails are being developed in segments that result in multiple listings for the same trail name, different chunks. Imagine when these all connect!

A few things you’ll notice: Washington state loves its riverwalks, greenways and rail-trails, and the state Centennial celebration resulted in more than one trail dedication. My first trail volunteer work was on the North Idaho Centennial Trail Committee working to extend the Spokane River Centennial Trail and I’m happy to have ridden both Centennial Trails in Washington.

  1. Alki Trail (West Seattle)
  2. Apple Capital Recreation Loop Trail (Wenatchee and East Wenatchee): Love riding this and stopping at Pybus Market for treats pretty much every time I’m there. Slide show in my post from a 2014 visit.
  3. Appleway Trail (Spokane Valley)
  4. BPA Trail (Federal Way)
  5. Basich Trailway (Aberdeen to Cosmopolis)
  6. Bay to Baker Trail (Bellingham)
  7. Bay to Baker Trail (Everson)
  8. Bay to Baker Trail (Maple Falls to Glacier)
  9. Bear Creek Trail (Redmond)
  10. Ben Burr Trail (Spokane): I’m not going to boldface this one until I ride the newly paved surface and the extension to the Spokane Centennial Trail; I rode it when it was a shorter gravel segment. Here’s a bit of history.
  11. Bill Chipman Palouse Trail (Pullman): Here’s a writeup by someone who biked it a few years ago.
  12. Bonneville Power Trail (Auburn)
  13. Burke-Gilman Trail (Seattle)
  14. Burnt Bridge Creek Trail (Vancouver)
  15. ByPass Shelterbelt (Richland)
  16. Cascade Trail (Skagit County)
  17. Castle Rock Riverfront Trail (Cowlitz County)
  18. Cedar River Trail (King County)
  19. Centennial Trail State Park (Spokane County)
  20. Chehalis Riverfront Walkway (Aberdeen)
  21. Chehalis Western Trail (Thurston County): Has the first bike roundabout in the state. How cool is that? Some fun photos in the slideshow on this article from 2014
  22. Chelatchie Prairie Railroad Trail (Battle Ground)
  23. Cheshiahud Lake Union Loop (Seattle)
  24. Chief Sealth Trail (Seattle): May have ridden a bit of this but I don’t remember for sure
  25. Children of the Sun (Spokane County): I rode at the ribbon-cutting for this one — need to go back to ride more as it gets extended
  26. Coal Mines Trail (Kittitas County)
  27. Columbia Plateau Trail State Park (Spokane County)
  28. Columbia River Dike Trail, AKA Captain William Clark Park Trail and Cottonwood Beach Trail (Washougal)
  29. Coweeman River Trail (Cowlitz County)
  30. Cowlitz River Trail
  31. Cross Kirkland Corridor (King County): Got to ride this one right after it opened with Cong. Suzan DelBene and tons of other happy trail promoters and bike riders who share the vision of the entire Eastside Rail Corridor.
  32. Cushman Trail (Gig Harbor)
  33. Des Moines Creek Trail (King County)
  34. Discovery Trail (Pacific County): Rode in late March 2023 on vacation
  35. Duwamish River Trail (King County): Part of my regular commute route when I lived in Seattle
  36. East Aberdeen Waterfront Walkway
  37. East Lake Sammamish Trail (King County)
  38. Elliott Bay Trail (Seattle)
  39. Evans Creek Trail (Redmond)
  40. Fennel Creek Trail (Bonney Lake)
  41. Ferry County Rail Trail: Definitely on my list thanks to the tireless efforts of trail volunteers
  42. Fish Lake Trail (Spokane County): I’ve ridden this a number of times, including on a wildly cold New Year’s Day with my sweetheart
  43. Foothills Trail (Pierce County): Hard to believe I haven’t ridden this one yet. Foothills Rails to Trails Coalition keeps it growing.
  44. Frenchman’s Bar Trail (Vancouver)
  45. Golden Tiger Pathway (Ferry County): Connects to the rail trail
  46. Grand Avenue Greenway (Pullman)
  47. Grandview Trail (Pierce County)
  48. Green Lake Trail (Seattle)
  49. Green River Trail (King County)
  50. Green-to-Cedar-Rivers Trail (King County): Currently in design but I’m putting it on here
  51. Greenbelt Trail (Clarkston): This connects to the Lewiston Levee Parkway. Since I was born in Lewiston and lived there until I was about 12 I’ll be sure to ride the whole thing.
  52. Guemes Channel Trail (Anacortes): Rode just the tiniest bit of this on an old mamachan when the community held a dedication event; looking forward to going back when more of it is done.
  53. Highway 500 Trail (Vancouver)
  54. I-90 Trail, also known as the Mountains to Sound Greenway Trail (King County)
  55. Interurban Trail (Bellingham)
  56. Interurban Trail North (King County)
  57. Interurban Trail South (King County)
  58. Issaquah Highlands Trail (King County)
  59. Issaquah-Preston Trail (King County)
  60. Keene Road Trail (Bellevue)
  61. Klickitat Trail: Gravel trail, true, but lots of mileage that makes it a worthwhile ride.
  62. Kulshan Creek Trail (Mount Vernon)
  63. Lacamas Heritage Trail (Camas)
  64. Lakeland Hills Linear Park
  65. Lake Tapps Parkway Trail
  66. Lake to Sound Trail (King County)
  67. Lake Washington Trail (King County)
  68. Larrabee Trail (Bellingham)
  69. Larry Scott Trail (Port Townsend): This is a segment of the Olympic Discovery Trail with its own name so I figured I’d better put it on the list; rode it during our 2018 bike touring vacation and again on Day Three of the Sea to Sound ride
  70. Liberty Lake Stateline Trail (Spokane County): Really a continuation of the Spokane Centennial Trail.
  71. Liberty Lake Trail (Spokane County): And no, these aren’t the same trail (until they connect)
  72. Lowell Riverfront Trail (Snohomish County)
  73. Lower Yakima Valley Pathway (Yakima County)
  74. Marymoor Connector Trail (Redmond)
  75. Melrose Connector Trail (Seattle): OK, so this breaks my requirement for a minimum length but it really is a trail and I rode it often when I lived in NE Seattle. One of the places where at rush hour you can be pedaling above I-5 and look down at the trapped drivers below.
  76. Naches Trail (Yakima County)
  77. North Creek Trail (King County)
  78. Olympic Discovery Trail, Blyn to Elwha River
  79. Olympic Discovery Trail, Spruce Railroad trail: This portion was closed when we stayed at Lake Crescent on our 2018 trip. In 2023 I got to experience it during the Sea to Sound ride on Day One
  80. Olympic Discovery Trail East, Port Townsend: That 2018 trip gave me a crack at multiple segments of the trail
  81. Padden Parkway Trail (Vancouver)
  82. Padilla Bay Shore Trail (Skagit County)
  83. Palouse to Cascades Trail (formerly known as the John Wayne Pioneer Trail) (cross-state): Finally got to ride it at the best possible event—April 8, 2022, at the grand opening and dedication of the Beverly Bridge that provides a sorely needed safe crossing of the Columbia River
  84. Percival Landing Trail: Added this one to the list when I realized the boardwalk I’ve been biking on since moving to Olympia in 2020 is actually a named trail. It’s not paved the whole way and it’s just a shade under a mile in length but I’m counting it.
  85. Powerhouse Canal Pathway (Yakima): I actually may have ridden this one — trying to remember.
  86. Prairie Line Trail (Tacoma): This one’s a shorty for now but there’s more to come.
  87. Preston-Snoqualmie Trail (King County)
  88. Puget Power Trail (King County)
  89. Puyallup Riverwalk Trail
  90. Railroad Trail (Bellingham)
  91. Rainier Trail (Issaquah)
  92. Redmond Central Connector
  93. Redmond Ridge Trail
  94. Richland Riverfront Trail
  95. Riverfront Trail (Castle Rock)
  96. Riverwalk Trail (Puyallup)
  97. Ruston Way Path (Tacoma)
  98. SR 520 Trail (King County): Rode a bit of it before it opened thanks to my job, rode it on opening day. World’s longest floating bike/walk path!
  99. Sacajawea Heritage Trail (Tri-Cities)
  100. Salmon Creek Greenway Trail (Vancouver)
  101. Sammamish River Trail (King County)
  102. Scott Pierson Trail (Pierce County)
  103. Seattle Waterfront Pathway
  104. Ship Canal Trail (Seattle)
  105. Snohomish County Centennial Trail: Trail Coalition of Snohomish County supports the expansion of the trail network.
  106. SoDo Trail (Seattle), called the Busway Trail on Dan Crawford’s site (signage on the trail reads SoDo)
  107. Soos Creek Trail (Kent)
  108. Sound to Olympics Trail (Kitsap County)
  109. Soundview Trail (Tacoma): connects to the Grandview Trail so I could do aloop and check them both off.
  110. South Bay Trail (Bellingham)
  111. Spokane Iron Bridge: This is one of those ones that would be too short for my parameters but I’ve already ridden it. Plus it’s cool.
  112. Squires Lake Trail (Whatcom County)
  113. State Route 20 Arboreta Trail (Burlington)
  114. Sumner Link Trail (Pierce County)
  115. Thea Foss Waterway Esplanade (Tacoma)
  116. Tommy Thompson Trail (Anacortes): Rode it when we celebrated the designation of US Bicycle Route 10 at an Anacortes Open Streets event, and again on a 2018 bike touring vacation
  117. West Campus Trail (Federal Way)
  118. Westport Dunes Trail
  119. West Seattle Bridge Trail
  120. Whitehorse Trail (Snohomish County): I rode only a tiny, tiny bit at an event celebrating progress toward completion; have to go back!
  121. White River Trail (Auburn)
  122. Willapa Hills Trail: I can knock this one out if I Ride the Willapa in June.
  123. Woodland Trail (Thurston County): Had a great ride from the Amtrak station in Lacey to downtown Olympia Sept. 2018 using the Woodland Trail and Chehalis-Western. What a gorgeous experience! Since moving to Olympia in fall 2020 I’ve gotten to ride it many more times and will keep riding it.
  124. Yakima Greenway Trail
  125. Yelm-Tenino Trail (Thurston County)

Wow, I’ve only ridden 50 out of the 125 that meet my criteria—40% (as of August 2023). That’s not as high a percentage of completion as my Washington counties tally. I’d better get riding.

I update this as I cover more ground. If you have an event or excuse to ride one of the ones I haven’t yet gotten to, let me know.

Tweeting Trails

I share a lot of trail experiences via Twitter (while it’s still there). Here are just a few.

Your moment of Zen, courtesy of the Spokane River and the Centennial Trail. Chairs and picnic tables at this spot invite you to linger with the view and the soothing roar of the river. To have this on a trail through the heart of downtown! #bikeSPO pic.twitter.com/qfXslmnue2

— Barb Chamberlain (@barbchamberlain) July 21, 2018

It’s not an exaggeration to say that riding on a trail for me is an emotionally moving experience. Loving the small social interactions and the variety of people on the Chehalis Western Trail. pic.twitter.com/1SYSl5IAQe
— Barb Chamberlain (@barbchamberlain) September 8, 2018

Sharing is karma--pass it along!

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