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Rail To Trail Hiking On A Cold Weekend

Every few years I get the desire to go walk home on the local rail to trails here….and since I live on one of them, I literally can walk home 😉 Saturday morning Kirk dropped me off at the terminus for the Cedar River Trail and I walked back to town, where I turned onto the terminus for the Green to Cedar River Trail and hiked home. All in all, about 8½ miles of walking. A great way to spend a chilly morning!


The Cedar River Trail stretches from Lake Washington in Renton (all urban) to its terminus at Landsburg, outside of Maple Valley. The terminus sits across the street from the Seattle Water Shed. No, the trail doesn’t end. But due to SWS being tightly locked up, it is closed to citizens. If not, one could walk to Rattlesnake Lake outside of North Bend, and connect to TWO more rail to trails that take you across the state. Just one tiny section locked up prevents this. Yes, it bugs me more every year.


This section of the Cedar River Trail, about 5 miles long, is unpaved, making walking easy on the feet. It stays unpaved as you turn onto the Green to Cedar Rivers Trail. This section also follows the Cedar River most of the way, just the sound of the river and not traffic. Crossing back and forth on trestle bridges over the river.

I’ve often thought of our local trails, this section is quite lonely. Not many people walk it, as it is far away from where people live and no easy access to it. The tunnels give it a great feel though.


On the final stretch, as the trail leaves the Lake Wilderness Arboretum, you walk along Lake Wilderness, with a great view of the Lake Wilderness Lodge.


On Sunday morning, which was a repeat weather wise, I cruised by and picked up my neighbor and one of her daughters, and with Walker and Alistaire along, we picked up on the Green to Cedar River Trail, and headed South to it’s current terminus at the train tracks outside of town (the trail does go on, to the next town, Black Diamond, but is officially closed here as the trestle bridge over the live track is missing.) Change is coming though. While I am not overly happy about the paving talked about, if it means finished trestle crossing and more trail, I will take it.


This section is urban, as you go through town and behind housing developments, alongside the busy 169 highway. Yet, it has a charm and in the woods is very pretty. We are fortunate to have what we have…..