Compass Outdoor Adventures owner, Luke Talbott, is following his passion – which involves getting kids outdoors, active and finding an adventure. In this guest article, Luke introduces you to some great local bike rides for you and your kids – right here (and near) the Snoqualmie Valley. Compass Outdoor Adventure offers after school programs and summer camps that will get kids moving!
1) The John Wayne Trail and the Snoqualmie Tunnel
Suitable for kids as young as nine years old, the John Wayne Trail and Snoqualmie tunnel is a 23 mile downhill ride all the way to Rattlesnake Lake. At the very beginning, you’ll ride through an abandoned railway tunnel that is completely dark and 2.3 miles long! Make sure you use a bike light or flashlight (duct tape works well) and wear a light jacket and gloves. One more word to the wise…take off your sunglasses when you enter the tunnel. Your headlight will work far better. I’m not going to say how many times I’ve forgotten this bit of advice.
After the tunnel, you’ll have amazing views and scenery of the I90 corridor and the Cascade Mountains and Foothills. The trail follows the valley and crosses over trestle bridges, forested glades, and wide open scenic overlooks. After three to four hours, you’ll end up at the Cedar Falls Trailhead, and just a few more pedal strokes brings you to Rattlesnake Lake. We ALWAYS take a quick dunk in the lake after this ride and its’ well worth it!
Duration – 3 – 5 Hours
Appropriate for – 9 Years old and Up
Adventure Tips – Bring plenty of food, water, and sunscreen
2) Riding the I90 Bridge
We always encourage kids on adventures that they can go and brag to their parents about. This ride is one of those adventures. Riding across the I90 bridge is as thrilling as it is rewarding and suitable for kids down to seven or eight years old (if you’re patient).
Parking at the Aubrey Davis Park, riders take a short downhill ride and ride onto the bridge. A dedicated bikeway, you do need to urge your children to stay in their lane as oncoming bike traffic can be moving quickly.
Across the bridge you’ll find dedicated, well-lit, tunnels specifically for bikes and a few parks as well.
Riding back you’ll find a bit more of an uphill grade but if you continue past Aubrey Davis and onto Luther Burbank Park, you’ll find my kids favorite playground in the Seattle area.
Duration – 1-2 Hours
Appropriate for – 8 Years old and Up
Adventure Tips – Luther Burbank Park zipline, and advanced talk about 2 way bike lanes
3) Duthie Hill Mountain Bike Park
I’ve ridden with folks from all over the world at Duthie and every single one is amazed and simultaneously jealous of this park in our backyard. This 120 acre, bike specific park, has over six miles of trail catering to all skill levels.
We take kids and beginners there as young as 4 year olds. My youngest daughter rode all of the Bootcamp Trail on a balance bike!
For those new to mountain biking, the best trails to start on are Bootcamp and the Luna Chicks Jump Line, as well as the skills park in the main clearing. As riders progress, we suggest adding in the Acey Ducey Trail and Jubilani and working your way up from there.
If you’re interested in more training or other info you’ve got several great resources in the area. Evergreen Mountain Bike Alliance, responsible for the entire project, runs classes and summer camps in the park. Kat Sweet runs programs for kids and women for the company Sweetlines, and Compass Outdoor Adventures brings riders of all ages there as a stop on our adventure camps.
No matter where you ride with your family, you’ll find it a rewarding experience both physically and mentally, and with the right attitude and effort, you’ll build an activity that your children will beg you to do.
Duration – 2 Hours and Up
Appropriate for – 6 Years old and Up
Adventure Tips – Start with short excursions which will make kids leave excited and happy. Bring snacks. All trails are one way trails.
[Feel free to contact Compass Outdoor Adventures if you have any questions or would like help of advice on any of these or any other adventures. email@example.com]