Suburban Seattle Rail Trail Labor Day Bike Ride

I didn’t get out of town for Labor Day weekend and with the weather improving, I decided to go for a good ride. This time I headed north on the Burke-Gilman and Sammamish River rail trails, entering the trail near Matthews Beach Park in the northeast corner of Seattle and passing though the bedroom communities of Lake Forest Park, Kenmore, Bothell, a side trip into Kirkland and turning around in the town of Woodinville.

I started from home, threading through the side streets for a little over a mile and down 284 feet to reach the trail.

The Burke-Gilman Trail follows the foot of the bluff along the west shore of Lake Washington. It is shady and cool--- and very, very dark at night.
The Burke-Gilman Trail follows the foot of the bluff along the west shore of Lake Washington. It is shady and cool— and very, very dark at night.

The little town of Lake Forest Park is about 5 miles north, adjacent to Kenmore and the trail passes through Tracy Owen Station at Log Boom Park 

Burke Gilman Log Boom Park
Looking south to the Burke-Gilman Trail and Tracy Owen Station at Log Boom Park. The park was renamed to include the name of a King County Council member, Tracy Owen.

The trail reaches the town of Bothell in about three miles and I turned off at Wayne Golf Course and onto Waynita Way NE, combining the Wayne (the gold course) and Juanita (an area now part of the city of Kirkland). My destination was a new Goodwill store and after 11 miles and a 245 foot climb I purchased a nice used Klean Kanteen water bottle for $1.50.

About three feet of asphalt and a white line forms the bike lane running south into Kirkland. Local drivers gave me plenty of room while passing and the speed limit here is 25-30 MPH, so it wasn't bad.
About three feet of asphalt and a white line forms the bike lane running south into Kirkland. Local drivers gave me plenty of room while passing and the speed limit here is 25-30 MPH, so it wasn’t bad.

I retraced my path to the trail and continued to the Bothell city center. At this point the trail becomes the Sammamish River Trail, passing over a bridge and winding along the river.

A bridge over the Sammamish River at the start of the trail
A bridge over the Sammamish River at the start of the trail

The Sammamish River is the outlet for Lake Sammamish near Redmond, Washington and flows into Lake Washington at the town of Kenmore.

Kayakers paddling down the Sammamish River at Bothell, Washington
Kayakers paddling down the Sammamish River at Bothell, Washington
Bothell bridge
Another bridge allows pedestrian access into the Bothell city center.
Bothell bridge view
Looking up river from the bridge
Bothell bridge view bikes
In the center of the photo, you can just see a cyclist on the trail below

I took a quick tour of downtown Bothell and stopped off for a burger and a shake at the Ranch Drive In.

The Ranch Drive In, The wait was long, but the burger was good!
The Ranch Drive In, The wait was long, but the burger was good!

I got back on the trail after my meal and spotted a Great Blue heron wading on the river’s edge.

Great Blue heron looking for lunch
Great Blue heron looking for lunch

A couple miles further down the trail brought me to Wilmont Gateway Park in the town of Woodinville. I made a quick detour to another thrift store, scoring a nice Patagonia fleece and a lightweight duffel bag in the Labor Day sale. This was my turn-around point and I headed home, taking a long rest at Log Boom Park, racking up 32 miles total for the round trip.

Wilmont Gateway Park in the town of Woodinville, Washington.
Wilmont Gateway Park in the town of Woodinville, Washington.
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One thought on “Suburban Seattle Rail Trail Labor Day Bike Ride

  1. Wedgwood in Seattle History September 8, 2015 / 9:50 pm

    I am glad that you were able to find something to eat — most of Bothell looks like a moonscape with everything torn down.

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