These bike paths have gorgeous views, flat terrain, and even some parks along the way
If a family bike ride is on your weekend radar, we’ve got the scoop on the best bike paths for Seattle kids. We’ve got you covered no matter what level your family’s biking skills are. From short, paved loops where beginners can learn the basics, to longer trails for big kids looking for big adventures, these spots get two thumbs up. Read on to find out where to ride on!
Cheshiahud Lake Union Loop
Enjoy the sights and sounds of Lake Union when you complete this six-mile loop with the kids. Watch seaplanes take off and land and boaters and kayakers out enjoying the lake from the shore as you cruise by. The loop takes families past the Bridge Toll in Fremont, through Gas Works Park, over two bridges, past MOHAI and the Center for Wooden Boats. Maybe board the Sunday ice cream cruise for a little snack and sightseeing break along the way, or stop by any of the 35 parks that the loop connects. The possibilities with this downtown trail are endless!
Genesee Park/Stan Sayers Memorial Park
A solid shorter ride, this two-park journey is good for tots and preschoolers. Bring your trikes, balance bikes, and trainers to this peaceful spot in Rainier Valley. Head to the north end of Genesee Park where it connects with Stan Sayers. Then it’s on to views of Lake Washington and marvelous Mt. Rainier. It only gets better on a sunny day when you bring a picnic!
4316 S. Genesee St.
Crown Hill Park
If a short and sweet scooter or balance bike ride is what you’re after, check out this lesser-known Ballard-area park. There’s a spot to skate and some funky playground equipment, too. In particular, the sidewalk that winds around the park perimeter is a good one for kids. Need an extra challenge after you’ve biked a bit? See if you can find the hidden rain-activated art on the walkways (hint: bring a water bottle).
9089 Holman Rd. N.W.
High atop Beacon Hill is Jefferson Park. A juggernaut of play, the many paved trails that loop around the grassy knolls, spray pad, skatepark, and playground are just what tots need to gain confidence in their skills. There’s plenty of room for parents to guide them along the paths and wide open spaces that practically beg families to sit for a picnic when hunger strikes, so be sure to pack one to enjoy when ride time is over.
3801 Beacon Ave. S.
Surrey Downs Park
The paved loop that encircles the grassy field at Surrey Downs in Bellevue is like the NASCAR racetrack of bike paths. It’s sleek and flat, the perfect place for kids to go round and round without interruption on a sunny day. Parents can sit back and enjoy the view while their little one rides or walks trike-side along this spacious path. Bring a ball (in addition to your helmet) to kick or catch when everyone’s done wheeling around.
11177 S.E. 4th St.
Washington Park Arboretum Loop
The two-mile paved loop that rings the Arboretum is an easy path for newbies and seasoned riders alike. It’s a great spot to take refuge from the sun or rain (take your pick), and you can always explore the grounds once you’re done with your ride. The terrain is multi-use and designed to keep bikes going slow, the perfect pace for littles out on their first big ride.
2300 Arboretum Dr. E.
Myrtle Edwards Park
Because biking with a view is always worth it, bring the kids to Myrtle Edwards Park along the waterfront. It’s a short 1.25-mile paved path that gives kids the chance to get their bike on without watching for cars or tons of other riders. Ride it as a short out and back, where you hop off the bikes and enjoy a healthy snack at the turnaround point. Short and sweet, it’s a great way to spend the morning.
3130 Alaskan Way
There’s a reason the Burke Gilman is everyone’s go-to ride in the city. Not only does it get you where you’re going (shout out to the bike commuters), but it’s super safe, too. With very few street crossings, families can hop on and ride for miles without worrying about ferrying kids safely through busy intersections. Add in plenty of spots to take a break and you’ve got the family-friendliest trail this side of Lake Washington (and beyond!). Find a spot to hop on and then get moving on this citywide trail.
White Center Bike Playground at the Dick Thurnau Memorial Park
Whether your kiddo wants to learn the rules of the road or just wants a safe space to pedal, the White Center Bike Playground is a spot to do both. Based on Denmark’s traffic playgrounds (Trafiklegepladsen), this paved play lot has stop signs, intersections, and two-way lanes so kids can learn the ropes before they head out to ride with the big kids.
11050 10th Ave. S.W.
Lake Hills Greenbelt at the Lake Hills Ranger Station
We love this lush Eastside trail that lets kids loop a lake without hills or tricky turns to trip them up. You’ll find a continuous trail that snakes through the wetlands, across Lake Hills Boulevard and into the wide open space of Larsen Lake. If you visit in July, be sure to add a stop at the Larsen Lake Blueberry Farm to your afternoon adventure. Just like that, you’ve got the day planned!
15416 S.E. 16th St.
Mercer Slough Nature Park
The slough’s Periphery Trail is an easy one for any age group. It offers a quick tour around the place on an easy paved path. Hop on to skirt the park’s perimeter and then call it a day, or grab one of the connector trails to see where the path takes you. Bonus points for all the wildlife you and the kids will spot along the trail—bring binoculars if you have them, or a camera!
1625 118th Ave. S.E.
Sammamish River Trail
Eastside, riverside? Yes, please. Take the kids to this 10-mile stretch that follows the (you guessed it) Sammamish River. It’s a generally flat trail, with easy-going terrain so kids can go the distance. Families will find the trail less crowded on the weekdays, but don’t shy away from a weekend ride if it’s the time that works best for you.
Snoqualmie Valley Trail
Over 30 miles of leisurely biking trails is what you’ll find along the Snoqualmie Valley Trail. Stretching from Duvall through Carnation, all the way to Rattlesnake Ledge, the trail loosely follows the Snoqualmie River, as it winds past farms and rolling hills on the Eastside. Depending on where you pick up the trail, you can hop off your bikes to enjoy outdoor art, snap pics of Mt. Si, or make a daring crossing on the Tokul Trestle (don’t look down!). So many places this day can take you!
Green Lake Outer Loop
This 2.8-mile loop around Green Lake is a popular family destination. The fam can bike along the recently renovated, paved trail. The trail is specifically dedicated to bikes (and other active modes of transportation like rollerblades and scooters) and it’s designed with the safety and comfort of bikers in mind. Once you’ve had your fill of biking, hit the lake’s beach and playground, or stop by the community center for indoor and outdoor activities.
Alki Beach Park
Everybody knows about Alki’s main drag. It’s where you’ll find every kind of wheel (and then some) tooling around on summer weekends. But Alki is more than its beach boardwalk. In fact, if you start your ride near Salty’s and follow the paved path as far as it’ll go, you end up at Lincoln Park. The best part? There’s only one street crossing along that whole six-mile stretch. Add in fabu views of the Olympics, city and Sound, one of the best tidepool spots in the city and nearby Whale Tail park and you’ve got one sweet bike path.
Elliott Bay Trail
This paved trail runs along the waterfront, surrounded by nature and serving up spectacular views of Puget Sound. The path is flat and crosses few intersections, making it an easy one for beginners to tackle. Make time to check out the Sculpture Garden on the way, which allows you to ride your bikes right through the art. Once you’re done, you can head down to Pike Street Hillclimb and Lenora Street Bridge to continue your adventure.
Soos Creek Trail
Escape from the city into a bucolic scene of peace and quiet along the Soos Creek Trail. This 7-mile paved trail winds through wetlands and farmland, offering some stunning views. You’ll be sharing the road with other bikers, hikers, and even some horses. Soos Creek Trail is fairly hilly, but if you have even more advanced trailblazers in the fam, take the connection to Lake Youngs Trail, an unpaved, slightly more challenging option. You can end the day at the beautiful Lake Meridian Park, where you can relax, have a picnic, hit the playground to burn even more energy, or just watch the boats on the water.
Interurban Trail North
This trail spans an incredible 24 miles, stringing together different segments between Seattle and Everett. The trail passes through parks and natural areas, as well as residential and commercial patches, making this a varied option that offers a little something for everyone. The interurban trail is a “Rail Trail”—it follows old railways for much of its span. Keep an eye on the side of the road as you travel: A number of trailside artworks line the path, including an erupting volcano, a horned elk, and more. It’s important to note that the trail runs alongside a busy interstate and, depending on where you enter the trail, you may come across gaps and detours. Check out the map on the website, and plan accordingly!
Everett Mall to Lynnwood
Cedar River Trail
If you’re looking for a way to get some exercise and take in spectacular natural views, this trail is the one for you. It runs along the Cedar River in Renton, passing through parks and forests and offering many opportunities to stop and enjoy views of the river as you go. The trail is popular and lengthy—nearly 18 miles long—so you’ll want to plan out your route in advance. It’s also only partially paved, making it a better choice for intermediate to advanced cyclists. Also note that bikes aren’t allowed on the first half mile of the trail from Renton (but there’s an adjoining path along Nishiwaki Lane that you can take that joins Cedar River Trail).
Additional reporting by Allison Sutcliffe