Mountain biking in Seattle

Mountain biking in Seattle is a great way to appreciate the natural wonder of the Seattle area.

The mountains of the Seattle area are filled with trails suitable for bikers of all skill levels. With the Cascades in the east and the Olympics on the west, Seattle’s snow-capped mountains beckon and you’ll find yourself with so many options, the challenge will be just picking one!

Thorough descriptions of trails in the Seattle area can be found at the Backcountry Bicycle Trails Club website. This club sponsors rides, campouts and information meetings for members and they willingly offer information to anyone interested in mountain biking in Seattle and the surrounding area.

The Seattle area is full of avid mountain bikers so the trails are well-developed and cared for. If you’re heading out with the kids you’ll want to make sure the trail you choose is not too challenging so that you and the kids end the day with a feeling of thrill and accomplishment.

Here are some trails that are worth exploring. Most of these trails are within a 20 minute drive of downtown Seattle.

Saint Edward State Park – This park located in the Kirkland/Juanita neighborhood on the eastside of Lake Washington is suitable for beginners as well as intermediate bikers. You’ll encounter a few drops and jumps and the occasional steep climb or descent.

Soaring Eagle – This is another eastside trail found in the foothills of the Cascades. The best thing about this trail is that there are maps posted at almost every intersection so you can explore without worrying too much about getting lost on an intricate network of trails. A few bumps, roots and twists on the trail make it just challenging enough to be fun.

Banner Forest – The best way to get to this trail is to take a ferry ride from West Seattle. The kids will love taking their bikes on board the boat and then riding to the trailhead from the ferry dock. You’ll love the cool, mossy wetlands of this one-square mile park that provides 20 miles of trail.

The trail that Seattle is perhaps best known for is the Burke-Gilman This trail winds its way throughout the Seattle area and provides a method of transportation for many Seattle commuters. Parts of the trail run right along Lake Washington, through the University of Washington campus, and through Gas Works Park. Free from roots, bumps and steep slopes the Burke-Gilman provides a pleasant means of getting from one place to another.

If you’re not bringing your bike with you and need to rent one, there are shops all over the Seattle area where you can rent bikes for both you and your family. Local bike shops are full of friendly bike-lovers who can rent equipment, give advice and even lead tours. These helpful people can give you what you need to get out there and join the Seattle locals actively enjoying the outdoors.

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