A trip on the Sumner Link Trail gives visitors a chance to see the White River, watch birds play in the trees and pass farmland and a retired golf course.
SUMNER, Pierce County — A trip on the Sumner Link Trail gives visitors a chance to see the White River, watch birds play in the trees and pass farmland and a retired golf course.
The paved trail in this community at the edge of the South Puget Sound area uses sidewalks and a bike lane for 0.6 miles, but is nonetheless accessible for users ranging from stroller-pushing parents to runners and cyclists.
Picnic and barbecue areas are located along the path, as are places for fishing (when allowed). With easy access to local businesses and the train station, the trail is an asset for commuters.
For all this path offers, cyclists are likely to find that its best attribute is in its name. The trail links multiple recreation opportunities. At the Puyallup River end, you can easily link to the Puyallup Riverwalk Trail or cross the Shaw Road bridge (or scoot along 134th Avenue) and pick up the Foothills Trail.
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At the north end of the trail, the fun appears to end at Stewart Road. But head west a block to explore the paved cart paths at the defunct Sumner Meadows Golf Course. On a recent weekend visit, families were using the paths to walk, play with their pets and teach kids how to ride bikes.
You can also cross Stewart Road and find a paved path that will lead you up Lakeland Hill to Sunset Park. This extension requires a mile of 10 percent grade.
Want more options? Trying following the Valley Highway north to find the White River Trail between Roegner and Game Farm parks. Or, if you want to tack on more significant miles, turn left on Stewart and use local streets (right on Valentine Avenue, left on Fifth Avenue, right on Milwaukee Boulevard and left on Third Avenue) to make your way to the Interurban Trail. The Interurban Trail travels to Renton and can link to the Cedar River and Green River trails.
In other words, a cyclist looking for a few hours of fun could easily turn Sumner’s 6-mile gem into a 100-mile tour.
If you go
DIRECTIONS: Sumner is southeast of Tacoma. There are several locations to access the Sumner Link Trail. To reach the southernmost parking area, exit state Route 410 at Traffic Avenue and follow Traffic Avenue northwest into Sumner. Turn left on State Street and continue to the small parking area at the end of the road. For information on parking at other locations along the trail, visit the City of Sumner website.
DIFFICULTY RATING: 2 (5 is most difficult, 1 is easiest).
MILES ROUND TRIP: 12.
ELEVATION GAIN: Mostly flat, but a few short uphill sections.
BEST TIME OF THE YEAR: Year-round.
MAP: A map is available on the City of Sumner website.
ALSO: Restrooms are located near the trail as it approaches Main Street. Bonney Lake Bike Shop of Sumner, 1406 W. Main St., is not far from the trail. Dogs are permitted, but must be on a leash. Several geocaches are hidden along the trail. For more information, visit geocaching.com.