Sammamish River Trail tops Sunset list of best bike paths in the West

Photo from King County

Sunset has named the Sammamish River Trail the best bike path in the West in the June issue of the magazine. The Burke-Gilman comes in at 19 on the list of 20 trails.

It’s not clear what their criteria for a quality bike path is (the Burke-Gilman is certainly a more heavily used transportation corridor than the Sammamish), but all that’s really important is that we beat Portland.

From Sunset:


The Sammamish connects to the northeastern terminus of Seatttle’s popular Burke-Gilman trail (make a left at the fork after crossing 96th NE). The scenic 11-mile Sammamish, continues past the wineries in Woodinville to Redmond and the popular Redhook Brewery.

About Tom Fucoloro

Founder and Editor of Seattle Bike Blog.
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26 Responses to Sammamish River Trail tops Sunset list of best bike paths in the West

  1. Gary says:

    “It’s not clear what their criteria for a quality bike path is”

    If you have ever read Sunset Magazine you would realize that your quote answers that question… ease of access to wineries and breweries!

    But we can always use the tourist dollars that a magazine article like this produces.

    • Tom Fucoloro says:

      There are a fair number of breweries along the Burke, too. Speaking of which, I miss gilligan’s, the tiny bike-loving brewery that used to be in the activspace near hale’s.

      • Gary says:

        but no wineries!… Once Ballard Vineyards are planted, then you’ll see it on the cover of Sunset Magazine…

    • Jessie K says:

      Are you suggesting there are other criteria to evaluate a good bike route? Because access to breweries and wineries is what I mainly look for. :)

      • Tom Fucoloro says:

        yeah, I don’t know what I was thinking. I retract my previous statement. I greatly regret the error…

      • Maria says:

        Don’t forget access to distilleries! There are several in Woodinville, but I can only think of one on the BGT.

  2. William C Bonner says:

    Sammamish has a lot fewer road crossings than BurkeGillman.

    • merlin says:

      Fewer road crossings means it’s less of a transportation corridor. It’s a beautiful recreational ride but (aside from breweries and wineries) it doesn’t GO anywhere.

      • William C Bonner says:

        At least one friend uses it commute from Bothell to Bellevue so that would say it goes somewhere.

      • Gary says:

        I used it Monday to ride from Redmond to Edmonds, via the Burke Gilman for a few miles then city streets to the Interurban. If you live on the Eastside and want to go North to Woodinville or Bothell it’s a very nice way to go.

        But we are talking “Sunset” Magazine here, it’s not a journal for sports enthusiasts.

  3. Kirk from Ballard says:

    The Burke Gilman isn’t event finished. Once it gets done, it will move up the list…

  4. Al Dimond says:

    And note that in their description of the BGT they mention locations you can park nearby. This is a list of places to drive your bike to.

    Also, is it true that there’s major construction coming near the Fremont Bridge this year? I hadn’t heard about that.

    • Tom Fucoloro says:

      No. Unless they have some big Fremont closure planned that they haven’t told anyone except Sunset Magazine…

  5. Todd says:

    SVT? Really? It’s not even the best in Washington state. I ride this all the time and the Centennial Trail in Snohomish blows this away. Sure the part through downtown Redmond is nice but the trail needs to be repaved. They forgot it parallels the slough which basically is a translation for bug infested waters. Try riding through this baby at any time in the summer w/o a face guard and you’re going to be eating bugs. If you like protein snacks, then this trail is for you.

    The Centennial Trail is far, far more interesting and if you limit yourself to the southern end off the trail, you’re missing out. Ride the 5 miles north of Arlington, and you’re in for a treat. The city of Arlington has added some really nice benches w/ great views, with art, and a sweet ride over the Stillaguamish River.

    To be clear, I’m not knocking the SRT, but again it’s not even the best in our state.

    • Todd says:

      Did I mention the sewer treatment facilities they have on 124th? Gotta love that smell.

      • Gary says:

        I wondered about those odors. I thought that was what I was smelling but I didn’t know that there was a sewer plant there. I figured that there must be at least a pumping station. And yes it’s pretty ripe.

    • Brian says:

      The bugs are bad. I once got a yellow jacket stuck in my sunglasses. Little bastard stung me three times in the eye and one in the tip of my finger.

      Agreed, the Centennial Trail is nicer–lower traffic, too.

  6. Andrew Squirrel says:

    I’d prefer if you didn’t use the condescending and competitive attitude towards Portland. As a Seattle resident and lover of both cities equally I can never for the life of me understand some of these silly rivalries. Are you a sports fan or something? You guys always tend to be so overly vocal about nonexistent rivalries.
    All bike friendly communities should be working together to share ideas about improving infrastructure, not competing to “one-up” each other on meaningless and non-quantifiable “best of” lists.

    • Tom Fucoloro says:

      I was joking. Portland usually tops all biking lists, and for a good reason. They have been the most ambitious big city in the country for many years running, and they deserve the attention. We benefit here because we get to take the pieces that prove effective in Portland, skipping the expensive and time-consuming “experimental” phase.

      The main point of encouraging a competition between cities is to spark a bike funding arms race between the cities. If that happens, we all win.

      I was also poking a little fun at the list, which seems to have somewhat mysterious criteria for quality bike trails. The SRT is the “best” at something, we just don’t really know what…

      • Russ R says:

        Thanks for the clarification, Tom.
        I recently moved back to Seattle (my hometown) from Portland.
        In PDX, it’s impossible to swing a dead cat and not hit a bike shop, frame welder or wheel builder… I have to say it’s been tough adjusting to greater Seattle’s cycling culture.

      • Andrew Squirrel says:

        ok, yeah, I agree, sorry for overracting & glazing over the joke

      • Mondoman says:

        I guess we just don’t have enough dead cats :)

  7. Bobby Gentle says:

    Portland can (gestures toward crotch) suck it.

  8. DCtoSea says:

    It’s wonderful that Seattle has such pretty bike paths for the weekend riders and the commuters who are lucky enough to live and work in neighborhoods convenient to them. I hope the city will not rest on those laurels, though, because its streets, which some of us are forced to bike on, are a nightmare, especially downtown. Where the heck are the cycle tracks and bike boxes and signage? I am a little weary of hearing about the 5-year-old bicycle master plan that is going to be updated soon. How about some action? Those streets are damned scary, especially the ones with the unbuffered, way-too-narrow bike lanes with the buses whooshing past a mere 3-4 feet away.

    Good for Portland for taking bike safety seriously! And shame on Seattle for dragging its feet.

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