Carl has been talking about the Tolt Pipeline Trail and we are scheduled to do it this Thursday. I am meeting Ken and Greg tomorrow to do a Squak Mountain hike but today was nice so I thought I would get an early check on the Tolt Trail.
And I am glad I did. This is my new go-to conditioning hike. It is a wonderful trail – actually a road you could easily drive on, except all reasonable access is blocked by gates – that runs more than 20 miles between Bothell and – well, I am not sure how far it goes. To Sammamish? Carnation?
Anyway, you can get to this trail from any of the numerous roads the trail crosses. That sounds intimidating, but almost all of them are little neighborhood streets with little traffic. There is one fairly busy street but it has a stoplight with a walk signal so crossing is not an issue.
I parked in Woodinville just off 202, near some ball fields, just down the road from Ste. Michelle Winery and Willows Lodge. Who knew a really nice trail went through that area?
Turns out more than one trail goes through there. You leave the parking lot and immediately hit the Sammamish River Trail. The pedestrian bridge there has a couple of beautiful monuments (or whatever they are called) as you can see above.
A short walk on this trail and the Pipeline trail intersects. As soon as you turn onto the trail you can see the famous Heart Attack Hill in the near distance:
The trail goes up and down through beautiful semi-rural country, with numerous beautiful houses, horse farms and stands of trees lining the trail.
I cannot count the number of people with dogs and/or kids I encountered. And one horse:
Of course, a trail with the word ‘pipeline’ in the name has to show you a pipeline at some point, no?
All in all a really nice trail and best of all, not all that far – don’t have to drive south on I-405 through Bothell, Woodinville, Kirkland, Redmond and Bellevue traffic then east in I-90 (then reverse the route going back).
Many thanks to Carl for telling me about this great trail. I would add that at the trail head just outside the parking lot is a map of the major trails in and around King County – whoa! Lots of trails, most of them family-friendly and no doubt fun. There is a lot to explore.
About 7 miles, 1K elevation gain – fun!
UPDATE – 4/19/2018 – Did this again with Carl, we went just a bit farther. Saw this interesting tree – note the holes.