One of my favorite trails, since it’s part of my commute to work, is the Chief Sealth Trail. While not maintained by us here at King County Parks, it’s still considered part of the Regional Trails System in King County. With its southern terminus at 51st Ave S and its northern terminus at South Angeline St, the Chief Sealth is 3.6 miles of smooth surface, off-road commuting from Rainier Valley to downtown Seattle.
For those of you new to the Chief Sealth Trail, it is unlike some of our other Regional Trails in that it doesn’t run in an abandoned railway corridor, but rather along the Seattle City Light utility corridor in Southeast Seattle. Along the way, it passes by a number of P-Patch Community Gardens as it meanders under the rolling hills in the corridor. The trail was built almost entirely from recycled materials, such as recycled soil and crushed concrete, which came from the construction of the Link Light Rail, and won three awards for regional vision and sustainability.
The initial section from 51st Ave S to Beacon Ave was finished in 2007. The Chief Sealth Trail is one of many trails in south Seattle that provides connections between the Rainier Valley, downtown, and Georgetown neighborhoods, passing close to three Link Light Rail stops, a few cafes and restaurants, and gorgeous rolling hills on its way.
While I was cruising north on the trail, crossing Beacon Ave, I noticed the trees were starting their fall turn. Mounds of green maples dipped in reds and yellows. I don’t know if it was being on the bike, or if it was just timing, but it seemed like the first time I’d really taken notice.
The slow, methodical progress of gears and wheels, and being exposed to the elements, just brings a different, more engaged state of mind. It feels good and right to be biking in the fall. Summer is hot and fast, people seem to be in a hurry, and the city is alive with energy, but in fall we settle back into our solid northwest ways — comfortable and steady. That’s what fall biking brings to me.
Plus, you get to see stuff like this: