Summer Cycling with the Family

by Kim Merrikin, Seattle Goodwill
June 5, 2015

With summer right around the corner, and our annual Cyclist Sale this Saturday, sharing some of our favorite family-friendly places to cycle seemed like a perfect fit. If you’ve got favorites that aren’t on our list, let us know! We’d love to hear from you!

Before you head out for your family ride, be sure to be prepared! Parent Map, a local parenting magazine and online resource, has some excellent safety tips. Our local outdoor experts, REI, also have their own list of trails (with some that aren’t listed here) that are great for kids!

Alki Beach Trail: Located out in West Seattle, the Alki Beach Trail has some of the best views of Seattle around. It has no elevation gain, making it easy for young legs to peddle the five-mile round trip. It’s a paved path, but can sometimes get a bit crowded on a sunny day—so while it’s great for kids, it might not be great for the newest of new riders who struggle with turns and straight lines.

Green Lake Park: Green Lake is not just a great spot for young riders, but a fantastic place to spend the day—whether you want to bike, walk, play on the playground, rent a paddle boat, or swim. The 2.8-mile path is fairly flat, with very few small hills. It’s a popular place to take new riders ranging from their first tricycle to the recently-training-wheel-free crowd.

Burke-Gilman Trail: The Burke Gilman trail, while almost 19 miles long, has some excellent segments that are great for families with riders who are comfortable on bikes—but may not be ready for the road yet. Different areas of the trail have different elevation gains and losses—but much of it has excellent views of the Puget Sound, Lake Union, and Lake Washington. We recommend the segment from Gasworks Park to the Hiram M. Chittenden Locks in Ballard!

Centennial Trail: The Centennial Trail in Snohomish County is another long one, but it has some great sections that are great for a family ride. It passes through many local historical landmarks, has outstanding views, and has a number of trailheads—so you can start where it’s convenient for you. With 29 miles of trail to explore, you can find a segment that fits your family’s experience level—and maybe one day work up to riding the whole thing together!

Kettles Trails: The Kettles Trails on Whidbey Island are a great option for a family looking for awesome views that has a little more cycling experience. Because it’s a system of trails, and not just one trail, you can “choose your own adventure,” visit Fort Ebey State Park, and enjoy sweeping views of the Puget Sound and Mount Baker!

No matter where you end up taking your family for your summer cycling adventure, if you pick up some of your summer fun gear at our Cyclist Sale this weekend—or from any Seattle Goodwill store—be sure to enter it in our Goodwill #GoodSummer Contest! You could win prizes including Goodwill gift cards, a stay at the Harrison House Suites and a tour of Pelindaba Lavender Farm, a Leavenworth Tubing Trip for two from Sound Excursions, or admission for four to the Woodland Park Zoo! Enter here:



Kim fancies herself a professional communicator. She has experience in writing, graphic design, and social media, and is always looking to expand her knowledge base into other fields of communication. She loves people, coffee & Seattle (including the rain).

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