With more than 120 miles of protected bike lanes and numerous bike trails, it’s easy to get around on two wheels in Seattle.

If you’re looking for an easy pedal, a sustained road ride or an adrenaline-fueled jaunt, there’s something for all you road riders, mountain bikers and casual riders. 

As well as downtown rides, Seattle's Interurban trail offers a great mix of family fun and bike riding.  Two Interurban Trails follow the old electric railways – Interurban (north) stretches from Seattle to Everett, while Interurban (south) starts in Tukwila and ends by the Pacific.

Both trails are paved and have less of a commuter vibe and more of a relaxing suburban atmosphere.

Don't be deterred by the weather. On any day, come rain or shine, you will see cyclists ignoring the grey and commuting to work or going out for a ride. Here are our top picks for the best bike trails around the Emerald City.

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1. Burke-Gilman Trail

Best downtown ride for families

20 miles (32.1 km) one-way, easy

The Burke-Gilman Trail is a paved, flat, multi-use bike path that tracks the path of a former historic railroad across the northern half of Seattle, connecting Shilshole Bay to Lake Washington. This city trail provides easy access to popular tourist attractions such as Gas Works Park, Golden Gardens Park and the University of Washington.

Cycling the trail is one of the best ways to experience what Seattle has to offer – impressive cityscapes, great food and easy access to the water and beach. It's perfect for families who want a safe and fun way to explore away from motor traffic.

Grab a bicycle at Recycled Cycles or from e-bike companies such as Lime or Veo. In late summer, keep an eye out for the invasive blackberries that grow all around the city, especially along sections of the Burke-Gilman trail.

See if you can spot obscure statues such as the Waiting for the Interurban statue in Fremont or the Wall of Death underneath the University Bridge. If it’s hot enough, you can pause for a dip in any of the lakes along the way.

View of the water in Green Lake Park, Seattle
Green Lake Park is an appealing detour when cycling the Interurban Trail © mustafa güner / iStockphoto / Getty Images

2. Interurban (north)

Best day ride from Seattle

24 miles (38.6 km) one-way, easy

The Interurban (north) is easily accessible by bicycle, and it's closer to the city than the Interurban (south), which starts around 10 miles away from the center. The best way to get onto the trail is to start at Green Lake Park.

Green Lake is a great place to hang out. You can rent a water bike to ride on the lake at Greenlake Boathouse or go to the Woodland Park Zoo, a five-minute detour off the trail.

Continue making your way west from Green Lake for two blocks until you hit Fremont Ave N, then head north along the neighborhood greenways until you get onto the Interurban (north) trail, which is well-signposted. Once on the trail, you can follow the old Puget Sound Electric Railway path to Everett, then take your bike on the Sounder train back to Seattle. 

3. Interurban (south)

Best day ride for straight sprints

19.1 miles (30.7 km) one-way, easy

The Interurban (south) starts well south of downtown but it makes for a fun day ride from the city. It’s a popular trail for commuters at the south end of Seattle, running nearly straight and flat for 19 miles.

As this trail runs straight through the backside of industrial areas, you’ll mainly see warehouses, but it’s great for fun sprints and easy for the kids to enjoy.

4. Downtown Seattle to the Interurban (south)

Best ride in south Seattle

15 miles (24 km) one-way, intermediate

If you want to make a day ride out of the Interurban (south), you can ride from downtown Seattle to the start of the trail, then continue south or take the light rail back to the center from Tukwila. The path will lead you across the West Seattle Bridge with views of Elliott Bay.

Take a moment to bask in the smells of the port and the Sound, then swerve around the lush greenery of the Green River Trail to reach the start of the Interurban (south) at Tukwila.

Cyclists take a rest stop in Gas Works Park, Seattle
The scenic Lake Washington Loop follows sections of the Burke-Gilman Trail © steve estvanik / Shutterstock

5. Lake Washington Loop

Best road ride for climbs and views

48 miles (77 km) loop, advanced

The Lake Washington loop is a classic road ride that uses sections of the Burke-Gilman Trail to navigate around Seattle’s largest lake. With small hills scattered along the route, this loop will keep you on your toes, offering views of the lake as you fight for those climbs.

There are plenty of opportunities for a quick dip in a lake on a hot day. Watch out for cars once you leave the bike trails and head into the heart of Bellevue. You can shorten the loop by taking the SR 520 Trail roughly halfway through the route. 

Do as Pacific Northwest cyclists do and check out one of the city's unique bicycle cafes such as the Peloton Cafe, Rapha or Goodweather Bicycle & Café for post-ride fuel-up or pre-ride coffee. You'll really get a feel for how Seattle’s coffee and cycling cultures are interlinked.

If you’re looking for a group ride, check out Cascade Bicycle Club’s event calendar for free group rides throughout the year.  

6. Mercer Island “Hot Lap”

Best short road ride

30 miles (48 km), advanced

The Mercer Island "Hot Lap" is a popular after-work trail for those looking for a quick ride away from downtown Seattle. This loop starts at the I-90 floating bridge – yes, you read that right, a floating bridge, supported by pontoons or shallow draft boats. There are 20 floating bridges in the world, and five are in Seattle.

After riding a few feet above the water on the bridge, the rest of the route has a great shoulder section and one long hill with very few turns. For a post-ride meal, check out the Roanoke Inn, a historic tavern on Mercer Island built in 1914, open from 3pm every day.

Looking for a group ride? Métier Seattle – a  training center, coffee shop and café rolled into one – offers weekly rides in all weathers.

An adult woman on a mountain bike on a forest mountain bike trail in Issaquah
Duthie Hill offers great trails for mountain bikers © RyanJLane / Getty Images

7. Duthie Hill Mountain Bike Park

Best mountain bike trails

Distances and skill levels vary

About a 30-minute drive from Seattle in Issaquah, Duthie Hill is a free bike park with trails for all skill levels.

An access trail from the main parking lot heads straight to the heart of the park. Duthie Hill has 120 acres covered in forested singletracks, cleverly designed with centralized picnic shelters, bicycle tool stands and bathrooms.

For beginners, there are skill-building features – a pump track, different level drop features, skinnies and a jump area. More advanced riders can enjoy XC, Freeride and Jump Lines from blue to double black levels. It's best to go during the week as weekends can get very busy. It's a very popular spot in the summertime. 

8. I-5 Colonnade

Best urban mountain bike park

Distances and skill levels vary

The I-5 Colonnade was the first urban mountain bike skills park in the city. The park opened in 2005 and is located under the I-5 highway in the heart of Seattle.

The easiest way to get here is from the southern end of Lake Union; follow Fairview Ave northeast until you cross E Blaine Street, and the entrance is up the hill. Because it’s underneath the bridge, the park is great for year-round biking.     

Although the park is not very big, there’s plenty to keep you busy, from easy features such as bridges and rolls to expert-level features such as deep-berms and jumps. This park is largely used by skilled mountain bike riders and spectators are welcome.

There are also fenced areas for off-leash dogs, walking trails and drinking water at the park's northern end.

9. Cheasty Trails and Bike Park

Best for downtown laps

Distances and skill levels vary

If you’re looking for some downhill adrenaline without going too far from the center, Cheasty Bike Park has two short downhill trails with flowy jumps and corners and a shared-use trail, all located in south Seattle.

The bike park opened to the public in the summer of 2022; to get here from the Columbia City light rail station, head west on S Alaskan Street and look for the sign indicating the uphill trail to the start of the bike park. 

10. Raging River Mountain Bike Trails

Best downhill rides near Seattle

Distances and skill levels vary

The Raging River Mountain Bike Trails are a 30-minute drive east of Seattle, located in Raging River State Forest. Mountain bikers make full use of the area and there are separate hiking and biking trails, so you don't have to worry about crossing paths with walkers. 

The trails start with a long, twisty ascent to the top – you'll be panting your way uphill under the shade of the trees. There are two sides to this trail system; the front is mostly less technical, flowy rides, while the back side has more technical and rugged riding.

The backside is more remote and may not have cellphone service; be sure to download a bike route map in case you get lost.

The main parking lot is reserved for those with a State Forest Pass, but there’s public parking outside the main lot. Snoqualmie Point Park is a short ride away with panoramic views of the Raging River Forest, bathrooms and picnic tables.

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