The east-west Bridle Crest Trail is two miles long, and runs from Bridle Trails State Park east along the south side of Northeast 60th Street. On 156th...
Length: One-mile round trip from Westside Park to Marymoor Park. The east-west Bridle Crest Trail is two miles long, and runs from Bridle Trails State Park east along the south side of Northeast 60th Street. On 156th Avenue Northeast, it jogs south a block to Westside Park, and emerges to the east just south of the entrance to Marymoor Park on West Lake Sammamish Parkway.
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Level of difficulty: Flat-to-moderate bark trail. Access the trail at Westside Park at the back of the grassy lawn (muddy after rain).
Setting: From a pleasant neighborhood park 20 blocks north of the main Microsoft campus, the eastern portion of the Bridle Crest Trail descends down to Marymoor Park along the top of a small sloping ridge. Short spurs to the left offer a view of the plunging stream valley to the north of the trail.
As you walk deeper into the forest, trailside thickets of blackberries give way to lush native sword fern, salmonberry and huckleberry, and the largely deciduous forest adds more tall conifers. The stumps of logged trees remain; if you look closely enough, you can see the notches in the trunk where loggers once stood on boards in order to saw above the tree’s wide base.
Highlights: Although the rush of nearby Highway 520 is audible, this enchanting trail feels like a secret swath of solitude. On a recent visit, a great horned owl hooted from a perch high overhead, squirrels scampered regularly across the path, and an unseen stream burbled from the bottom of the valley to the north.
Facilities: Westside Park playground. Marymoor Park restrooms.
Restrictions: Leash and scoop laws in effect. Multiple-use trail — move to the right and give equestrians the right-of-way.
Directions: From Highway 520, take the exit for Northeast 51st Street, and turn east off the exit ramp. Turn left on 156th Avenue Northeast, and Westside Park is on your right in eight blocks.
Bus: Metro Route 249 serves Marymoor Park; other routes get to within walking distance of Westside Park. 206-553-3000 or transit.metrokc.gov.
Information: 206-205-3661 or www5.metrokc.gov/parklocator
Cathy McDonald is coauthor with Stephen Whitney of “Nature Walks In and Around Seattle” (The Mountaineers, 1997).