The Sammamish River Trail is a flat, 10.9-mile paved path that runs parallel to the Sammamish River from Bothell to Redmond’s Marymoor Park. One of King County’s most popular regional trails on its own, the Sammamish River Trail is also the connecting piece between the Burke-Gilman and the East Lake Sammamish Trail. All together, these paths comprise the epic 44-mile “locks to lake” regional corridor.
What Makes It Great
Heading from north to south, the vehicle-free Sammamish River Trail starts where it intersects with the Burke-Gilman near Blyth Park in the city of Bothell. From here, it continues east and then south through Woodinville and Redmond, passing many parks along the way. These make for nice places for a pit stop.
Take in the views from Sammamish River Park or Wilmot Gateway Park, or learn about the days of yore at the Bothell Historical Society Museum, located at the Bothell Landing, The museum is set in an the 1893 William Hannan house, with Bothell’s first, one-roomed school just behind. Visiting may give you a greater appreciation for what the Sammamish River once was: Now reduced to a canal-like waterway that in some spots is hardly more than a stream, before it was dredged the Sammamish River was longer and wider, and was crucial to both the Native Americans who lived along, who called themselves the “Willow People”, and to the first white settlers to the area.
While the trail does dip into some more urban sections as it skirts around busy roads and houses, for the most part the scenery stays interesting throughout. The route winds past marshes and woodland, and has good views of the Sammamish river Valley, the Cascades, and of Mount Rainier. There is also some possibility for animals sightings, including beavers, ducks, and even feral chickens and roosters.
On a nice day, expect to share the trail with throngs of other Lycra-clad cyclists. This is also a popular route for cycling commuters who travel between Seattle and its suburbs, as well as for local joggers and even equestrians.
Who is Going to Love It
Bicyclists whose primary motivation for going on a ride is the promise of booze afterward (or even along the way). The Woodinville portion of the Sammamish River Trail will take you right past joints that will delight winos and beer enthusiasts alike: the Chateau Ste. Michelle, Columbia, and Silver Lake wineries, and the Redhook Ale Brewery.
Directions, Parking, & Regulations
There are several access points to the trail with parking lots nearby. From north to south, the best places to hop on the Sammamish River Trail are from Blyth Park, the Bothell Landing, Jerry Wilmot Park, 60-Acre Park, and Marymoor Park.