Trail Spotlight: Spring on the Snoqualmie Valley Trail

One of the longest regional trails in King County, and one of the most rural is the Snoqualmie Valley Trail. Once an extension of the Chicago, Milwaukee, St. Paul and Pacific Railroad connecting Everett in the north to the main east-west line heading over the Cascade Mountain range, the converted rail-trail now hosts walkers and bikers looking for a rural adventure.

Winding through the farm-rich valley between Duvall, Carnation, Fall City and Snoqualmie, the trail offers glimpses of lush fields looped between the twisting curves of the Snoqualmie River. There’s plenty to savor in the valley, from places to eat to farms that welcome visitors.

Tokul Trestle provides beautiful views of the valley below

From the lush farm valley in Duvall, where the trail officially starts, through Carnation and Fall City, the trail then climbs slow and steady into the foothills of the nearby mountains. Grand views of the lower valley and rushing streams can be found alongside towering cedars and pine. Making your way past Tokul trestle, a great destination in itself, brings you to a tunnel that goes under Tokul Road SE. Up on the road you can find a handful of gravel parking spots that are well used by locals. Take the steep path up onto the road and continue south along the shoulder if biking.

A quick two and a half mile ride along Tokul Rd to SE Millpond Road, then to SE Reining Road brings you back to the south portion of the trail that begins with a bridge across the Snoqualmie River. A good place for resting, watching the river rush by, and spotting Chinook Salmon, Coho Salmon, Rainbow or Cutthroat Trout, or the occasional tuber depending on the season.

Just down from the bridge is the Centennial Fields Park and the Three Forks Natural Area, including the off-leash dog park. Heading south from there you’ll pass by the Mt. Si Golf Course and then cross over the South Fork Snoqualmie River leading into North Bend.

If you continue south from North Bend you’ll cross under I-90, over the South Fork again and work your way up towards the Rattlesnake Lake Recreation Area, the southern terminus of the trail. From here the Snoqualmie Valley Trail meets up with the Palouse to Cascade Trail that crosses east all the way to the border of Idaho and is slated to be part of the Great American Rail Trail!

There’s plenty of places to park from Duvall to Rattlesnake Lake Recreation Area, depending on what section of the trail you want to explore if you’re not up for the full 32 miles. Check out Trail Finder for trip planning. It’s a great day trip and a perfect sunny spring walk or ride.

Google map of the entirety of the Snoqualmie Valley Trail

Pro Tip: You can now take the Mount Si Trailhead Direct shuttle from Capitol Hill or downtown Seattle, or catch it from the Eastgate Park & Ride and get off at the North Bend Park and Ride, just one-half mile from the Snoqualmie Valley Trail. Each shuttle has room for two bikes.

4 comments

  • It’s a great trail. Any news on better connection to the Preston-Snoqualmie trail? Or improved access and wayfinding thru the Tokul tunnel to rejoin the trail eastward? Better access to the Reinig braidge so you don’t have to carry your bike up the stairs would be great too!

    • Parks is exploring access through the Tokul tunnel, working with existing landowners to see if an easement is possible. Access to the Preston-Snoqualmie trail is a tough one because of topography, at least for a regional-style trail. And we would love to make improvements to the Reinig Bridge across the South Fork when priorities and funding align! Thank you for your comments.

  • Thanks for your reply. Not sure why this is more of a topological challenge than the gap at Preston-Fall City road. Certainly the alternative today is pretty inconvenient.

    P.S. Extending an easement past Tokul would be great!

  • Rode it on Aug 21st, fresh crushed gravel going in abeam Fall City, thanks for the maintenance. Hope we can connect to North Bend in the future.

Submit a comment

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s