The nice thing about owning a capable “all-road” bicycle is the ability to ride all roads. And trails too.
For the past year and a half I’ve been exploring the unpaved roads and trails in and around Seattle. I recently used a bit of what I learned to sew together a mixed media route starting in the Seattle suburb of Kirkland and then heading east into rural King County.
Mike R and I started out on the morning of a somewhat rainy vernal equinox and realized that we were perhaps a bit too optimistic about improving weather. It was one of those misty Pacific Northwest mornings where a raincoat seems overkill, but before you know it you’re soaked through.
We took the gravel Kirkland Connector to its end before rolling on pavement to the Sammamish River Trail. A short jaunt on the SRT took us to Hollywood Hill where we made a partial ascent before jumping onto the Tolt Pipeline. Mink Road to Old Woodinville-Duval to new Woodinville-Duval (perhaps the most nerve-wracking two miles in King County) followed by a short climb up Big Rock Road put us back on the Tolt Pipeline. A right turn onto Kelly Road followed by a hairpin onto Joy Lake Road took us to a gravel descent all the way into Carnation.
Mike and I were feeling thoroughly chilled at this point and were grateful for the Itsabitch ascent out of Tolt McDonald Park. In the late nineties and early two thousands Mike had made number of trails in this area, but recent clear cutting had reduced them all to memory. Ames Lake Road to Union Hill Road took us down to Redmond and Marymoor Park.
From the western exit to the Park Mike and I decided to see where the trail across the road goes. Surprisingly we were able to link up single-track, footpaths and what appeared to be old horse trails nearly all the way back to Kirkland. This was a cool surprise, and one that neither of us had ridden in its entirety.
We returned to Kirkland wet and chilled but stoked about stitching together a cool fifty mile mixed-media route. The route has a bit of everything and I would rate it as one of my top five favorite local rides.
Route here: Mixed Media With Mike | Ride | Strava