A most unusual bike trail lies within an hour of Enumclaw. The Elliott Bay Trail in Seattle has three very different segments, each with special appeal. The central section follows the waterfront through linear parks, with separate paths for pedestrians and cyclists. Free parking is available off 16th Ave W on Galer Street. It ends at the Seattle Art Museum Sculpture Garden, and includes four interesting bridges across the main Burlington Northern tracks: one integrated as part of the Sculpture Garden itself; a S-shaped bridge with separate bike path (shown in the pictures) and a 5-switchback ramp; a helix bridge built by Amgen and inspired by the DNA molecule; and the West Thomas Street Overpass, a new bike bridge connecting the waterfront with Seattle Center (opening in September.)
The southern segment is actually across the street from the downtown piers, so it has several street crossings. Among other attractions, you pass the Giant Wheel, Seattle's new 200 foot ferris wheel.
The northern section is what we rode the other day. You can begin on Galer and turn right at the waterfront, or start at Smith Cove Park, although finding the trail from the latter is a challenge. This ride takes you through industrialized yards, with warehouses, rail yards, and heavy equipment storage. The trail is narrow at times, caged between razor wire topped chainlink fencing. Be sure to take the side trip across the tracks and down the ramps at the southern end of this segment.
More later when we ride the other two parts of this trail.