Snoqualmie Valley Trail
Logs once rolled down this more than 30-mile grade from the foothills of the Cascades to mills in the Snoqualmie River Valley. Today, bicyclists and horseback riders both favor the trail for its shady uphill passage through cool forest and its lower end paralleling the river and bisecting vast cornfields.
PENINSULAS & COAST
Olympic Discovery Trail
This trail’s off-road section extends 26 miles from east of Sequim through farmland in what’s known as the Puget Sound banana belt (it’s in the Olympic rain shadow) to downtown Port Angeles, very near the MV Coho ferry dock from which tourists head to Victoria, British Columbia. Eventually the trail will extend 126 miles from Port Townsend, through the Olympic rain forest, on to the Pacific coast at La Push.
Long Beach Discovery Trail
Winding along Washington’s famed long strand of golden sand, where kites soar over high dunes and pine copses, this 8.5-mile path begins inland, in Ilwaco, from whence it wends its way to the shore, then heads north to the city of Long Beach.
John Wayne Pioneer/Iron Horse Trail
This impressive path makes its way more than 100 miles from Cedar Falls, east of Seattle, up Snoqualmie Pass and through the Cascades, then down the other side into the sunny pinewoods of the upper Yakima River Valley, all the way down to the basalt hills of the Columbia River. The grade is sometimes a little greater than most lowland trails, but its past as a rail bed precluded any notable steepness; the summit of the trail is actually a 2.3-mile tunnel through the mountains. The entire pathway is a state park.
Spokane River Centennial Trail
Though it begins in downtown Spokane, the 37-mile Centennial Trail follows a paved, off-street route for 30 miles into the woods and farmland of northeast Washington (a few short stretches are on rural, low-traffic roads), ending at Nine Mile Falls west of Spokane, and at the Idaho line east of the city. As it follows the Spokane River almost its entire length, the grade is moderate throughout.
Bill Chipman Palouse Trail
Eight miles of trail follow an abandoned rail line through the rolling hills of the Palouse wheat-growing country so often depicted in car commercials on TV. The trail connects the twin college towns of Pullman, Washington, home of Washington State University; and Moscow, Idaho, home of the University of Idaho. The trailhead in Pullman is in the parking lot of a popular local hotel, the Quality Inn Paradise Creek.