They are really a continuous trail with no obvious transition than signage, following the rail lines from the Ballard neighborhood in Seattle, around the the north end of Lake Washington and south to Marymoor Park in Redmond. They are asphalt paved, 12′ wide paths with marked road crossings and a few under and over passes.
The Sammamish River or Slough is the outlet for Lake Sammamish to Lake Washington. It is slow current and south of the town of Woodinville, has been turned into a straight canal for flood control. It looks more like a big ditch than the meandering stream it was.
Our first stop was the farmer’s market at the town of Lake Forest Park, near the north end of Lake Washington. There was fresh local produce and baked goods and some good music from a duo of sunburned buskers. We bought cherries and apricots and had a snack at nearby Log Boom Park and the north end of Lake Washington. We continued on through all the bedroom communities of Kenmore, Bothell and Woodinville, stopping at the Redhook Brewery for a lunch of burger, sandwich and a couple pints. We continued on to Redmond and Marymoor Park, taking a lazy Sunday afternoon rest brake sprawled out in the shady grass next to the Clive Mansion and windmill in the park.
We were looking over the rail trail map and decided to take the Marymoor Connector Trail to the East Lake Sammamish Trail so we could see the lake and get a feel for that trail. The lake trail is under construction about a half mile out, so we used that as our turn around point.
We worked our way back through the park and stopped at the India Festival next to the trail in Redmond. We watched dancers on stage and shared a mango smoothie. We headed on towards home with a couple short water stops on the way. There was a strong headwind for a few miles, making some work for us.
We stopped at the 192 Brewery in Kenmore. It’s a funky little brewpub with a huge outdoor seating area with old patio furniture and a live band. After re-hydrating and a good rest, we finished the last leg of the trip with the odometer showing 46 miles.
While this wasn’t a long bike trip for those used to touring, it was our longest trip to date— a few miles more than the Centennial Trail from Snohomish to Arlington. We were tired and I was a little saddle sore, but felt better than I expected. I had made a round trip to the Chittenden Locks last Thursday, giving me a total of about 70 miles in the last four days.