Celebrate the U.S.A. by enjoying some of the country’s best natural sights. Who needs fireworks when you can take in the natural beauty of the PNW? Take a ride on King County’s Cedar River Trail for views of Lake Washington, protected wetlands AND the Cedar River…. but you probably could’ve guessed that one.
The Cedar River Trail follows the Cedar River from where it enters Lake Washington in the City of Renton upriver to the community of Landsburg at the boundary of the City of Seattle’s Cedar River Watershed. At 17.3 miles in length the CRT is a paved, off-road trail for the first 12.3 miles, and features a soft surface for the last five miles.
During your ride, make sure that you check out the Cavanaugh Pond Natural Area. Take in the view of the 14-acre Cavanaugh Pond, the only Class 1 wetland on the Cedar River valley floor. Keep your eyes peeled for populations of spawning sockeye salmon. The Cedar River supports coho salmon, chinook salmon, sockeye salmon, coastal cutthroat trout, and winter steelhead. The dominant vegetation consists of red alder and black cottonwood riparian forest, with dense understory vegetation.
All users of the CRT (pedestrians, cyclists, equestrians) pass through the Big Bend Natural Area. At 96 acres, this greenspace is full of native plant and animal species. The site supports mixed coniferous/deciduous second-growth forest relatively mature in age, also including stands predominated by coniferous, deciduous, or wetland vegetation. This is a great spot to take a break from your ride and enjoy mother earth.
Please be cautious around all rivers and swift moving water. This year, the Cedar River has had high water but not high flows, meaning there hasn’t been enough water movement to flush the logjams downstream. For more information on the potential threats specific to the Cedar River such as logjams check out this Seattle Times article. King County Rivers is another great resource to learn more about river safety.