Trail Spotlight: East Lake Sammamish Trail

One of the trails I’d heard a lot about, and needed to cross off my list, was the East Lake Sammamish Trail. The 11-mile trail follows an historic railroad route along the eastern shore of Lake Sammamish within the cities of Redmond, Sammamish and Issaquah.

Here at King County Parks, we’re developing the trail segment by segment, so right now, the existing trail corridor is about half paved and half soft-surface, fairly packed gravel. My touring bike, which has slightly larger road tires, was able to navigate the unpaved portion and cruised sublimely along the beautifully paved portion of the trail.

ELST-Rainy-PavedLittle did I know when I left the house that “light rain” in September means absolute-drenching-downpour! When John in the morning on KEXP mentioned it was dumping rain at the station, I scoffed, exited the car at Lake Sammamish State Park, and headed out to a light drizzle.

“Whimps,” I thought. “This is no downpour.” Oh, silly unprepared me. I guess it’s time to get back to throwing my entire rain kit into my pannier when I head out, because in minutes I was drenched.

Despite the heavy rain, I made it all the way to the Marymoor Connector Trail and into the Jerry Baker Memorial Velodrome, where I huddled under a picnic table awning until the rain abated (and my friend could pick me up and take me to lunch).

It really is an awesome trail. Great views of the lake, very clean, and once you hit the paved portion – smooth sailing. It will be great when the entire length is paved. I’m glad I rode the whole trail and didn’t turn around when I first heard thunder in the distance.

I’ll definitely ride it again, and I urge you to as well — just make sure “light rain” isn’t in the forecast.

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