Metro Seattle has an amazing network of trails. On a sunny spring day, some of these trails become clogged with people recreating, commuting, and enjoying the outdoors. It makes for great people watching.
But today I didn’t want to watch and dodge other trail users. I wanted to take a quiet bike ride and embrace spring. It was time to ride the trail less traveled, the Snoqualmie Valley Trail.
At 31 miles, the Snoqualmie Valley Trail is the longest trail in King County’s regional trail system. It meanders through scenic Snoqualmie Valley, passing through the towns of Duvall, Carnation, Fall City, Snoqualmie and North Bend, before terminating at Rattlesnake Lake and the start of the John Wayne Pioneer Trail.
I start my ride between Snoqualmie and North Bend, pedaling through Three Forks Natural Area, past the golf course and into the town of North Bend. I stop several times to admire the varying views of iconic Mount Si. I listen to the sounds of children at play at a nearby elementary school. I listen to the birds–lots of bird songs on this ride.
The trail takes me under I-90 and across the South Fork Snoqualmie River. I pause on the old railroad trestle–now trail bridge–that spans the river for some views. I detect the fresh scents and colors of spring as I pedal through Boxley Creek Nature Area before I arrive at Rattlesnake Lake, the boundary of the Cedar River Watershed, the end of the Snoqualmie Valley Trail and the start of the John Wayne Trail. I make a brief stop at the Cedar River Watershed Education Center to listen to the water drums, a wonderful outdoor public art exhibit.
Now it’s time to retrace my route. Because the Snoqualmie Valley Trail follows an old raildroad corridor, the grade is gentle and I barely noticed that I gained several hundred feet of elevation. Gravity is on my side now and the return trip is swift–an end to a great 25-mile spring ride!