The greater Seattle area is a mecca for coffee aficionados, foodies, nature lovers, and outdoor adventurers – and Seattle’s bike trails offer unparalleled opportunities to explore the city’s parks, beaches, and indie cafes. Seattle’s outdoor adventures include climbing the Cascades or Olympics, kayaking plentiful streams, rivers, and lakes; and biking through from the city, temperate rain forests, beaches, and mountains. Seattle consistently ranks as a top city for bikers, as well: In 2014, bicycling.com ranked Seattle the eighth most bike-friendly city in the United States, and the city has numerous bike shops, biking events, and even a bike club. Whether you’re a seasoned bicyclist or you’ve just taken off your training wheels, trails abound in the emerald city. From the Burke-Gilman Trail to the Arboretum and from Magnuson to Myrtle Edwards, there’s a family-friendly trail for every bicyclist. 

Burke-Gilman Trail 
60th Place N.E. & Bothell Way to 8th St. N.W.
Bothell to Ballard, WA
(206) 684-7583
seattle.gov/parks

The Burke-Gilman Trail is a sprawling 27-mile long multi-purpose trail that begins at 11th Ave. N.W. in Ballard, following the Lake Washington Ship Canal along Lake Washington. The trail flanks beaches, winds through city streets and forested areas, and cuts through many parks along the way. Some parts of the trail can be challenging for younger children – particularly near heavy-traffic intersections – but several areas of the trail are specifically for young bicyclists. Favorite spots for younger bikers include the section that runs parallel to the Fremont Cut, which connects Lake Union with Salmon Bay. As an added bonus, the Burke-Gilman links up to the Sammammish River Trail, which runs along Marymoor Park. 

Related: Best Botanical Gardens In Seattle

Green Lake
7201 E. Greenlake Drive N.
Seattle, WA 98115
(206) 684-4075
www.seattle.gov

Green Lake is a gorgeous location born from the remnants of a glacier, and its tree-lined pathways, docks and long expanses of water and sky make it a popular location for families year-round. Green Lake’s 2.8-mile loop winds gently around the entire lake, and it’s a popular destination for joggers, skaters and bicyclists. While Green Lake is best for bikers who are beyond the beginner level, it’s an ideal trail for families with children in tow or for older children who have mastered the basics. When you’re done biking, you can enjoy a picnic overlooking the water or visit nearby Mockingbird Books or Zoe Yogurt

Washington Park Arboretum 
2300 Arboretum Drive E.
Seattle, WA 98112
(206) 543-8800
depts.washington.edu

With more than 200 acres of varied terrain – including trails, gardens, rolling hills, and woodlands – the Washington Park Arboretum is a favorite site to have a picnic, walk, hike, kayak, or bicycle with the entire family. The park, which flanks the shores of Lake Washington, is world-famous for its breathtaking array of flora. The trails are beginner-friendly and won’t leave little bicyclists breathless. The park’s pedestrian and biker-friendly trails wind through birches and poplars, magnolias, Asiatic maples, and a woodland garden. The Arboretum’s Waterfront Trail is particularly friendly for younger bicyclists, and you’ll have ample opportunities to stop and see the ducks and other wildlife.

Related:  Best Places To Take Family Photos In Seattle 

Magnuson Park 
7400 Sand Point Way N.E.
Seattle, WA 98127
(206) 684-4946
seattle.gov

At 350 acres, Magnuson is the second largest park in Seattle, but it features first-rate bike trails for the entire family – including four-legged family members. The park’s wide, paved 16-mile loop is perfect for bicyclists of all ages. Magnuson is also only 1/4 of a mile away from the Burke-Gilman trail. When you’re done with your ride, there’s also a swimming beach, a dog park and an off-leash dog area, sports fields, public sailboating, and a picnic area. 

Related:  Best Parks To Walk Your Dog In The Seattle Area 

Myrtle Edwards Park 
3130 Alaskan Way
Seattle, WA 98121
(206) 684-4075
www.seattle.gov/parks

Myrtle Edwards Park’s 1.25-mile trail begins at the Olympic Sculpture park and continues along the water, featuring views of the Olympic Mountains, Mt. Rainier, Elliott Bay, Alki, and Puget Sound. The path is paved and perfect for bicyclists who are still learning how to balance and pedal. The park’s picturesque beach, rose garden, and grassy outcroppings with benches are wonderful for the entire family to catch their breath before pedaling off again. The path also provides a connection to bike paths in the Magnolia area of Seattle as well as easy access to downtown Seattle.

Tracy Campion is a freelance writer covering all things Seattle. Her work can be found on Examiner.com.

Comments