How to get to Bothell from the Interurban Trail
There are a lot of good rides north of Seattle that you get to from the Interurban Trail. There are a lot of good rides north of Bothell that you get to from the Bothell-Everett Highway. Wouldn’t it be nice to connect these two corridors so that you can do loop rides?
There is a prehistoric glacial moraine that runs north-south on the west of Lake Washington extending all the way up to to Everett. There is another old glacial moraine that runs northwest – southeast from about Silver Lake to the Issaquah Highlands. (Think of it as a skewed “V” opening down with the tip just south of Everett. Above and to the east are the flats of the Snohomish / Skycomish river basin. Below is the Lake Washington – Lake Sammamish basin.
Bothell is at the north end of Lake Washington and the flats narrow down north of it. So if you are “trapped” in the Lake Washington basin, what’s the best way to get over the ridge? The North Creek Trail will be one answer (when it is eventually finished.) That creek is basically the drainage between the two ridges and it heads where they intersect. The trail will someday take you to the McCollum park & ride at 128th which is on top of the ridge. But what if you want to ride now?
Let’s assume you start in the parking area at Bothell Landing. Heading north you can go 1) out the Sammamish Waterway trail to Redmond and ride Woodinville-Duval road or take the Union Hill route to the Snohomish River basin and then to Everett, 2) take the route of the interurban to Cathcart, Snohomish and Everett, or 3) take the Bothell-Everett Highway to 132nd and drop down Seattle Hill Road to the Snohomish River and Everett. (There are obviously intermediate routes that run between these options, too.) Read about your choices in Woods-Northwest #89, Wert-Bakeries #24 and Thorness-Biking #17. There are a variety of way to get from Snohomish to Everett but it really boils down to which side of the river you want to ride on. You can also bypass Snohomish by sticking to the south-west side of the basin and heading for Lowell.
Whichever way you do it you’re going to end up at 41st street and Colby in Everett – the northern trailhead for the Interurban trail. Taking the bike lanes on the Bothell-Everett Highway to 132nd and then Lowell-Latimer road to 41st is about 20 miles. The rest of this discussion will give mileage from the 41st street trailhead.
Heading south on the Interurban from the trailhead you come to Lowell Road in about 1.25 miles. The drop from the Interurban on Lowell is steep – you probably wouldn’t want to ride up this hill. The route then takes Lowell-Latimer Road until it morphs into Broadway. It turns on 172nd to find Interurban and follows that back across Highway 9 and down the other side of the ridge to 51st, curves around onto 196th and turns into Jewell just before Maltby Road and 39th on the other side. With a jog down to 38th at 228th, 39th takes you to the North Creek business park and across 405 to the UW Bothell campus where a trail connects to the Samammish River and back to Bothell Landing. Mileage from the Interurban trailhead is 23.7 miles. Here’s the map.
Instead of dropping down the hill on Lowell you can continue south on the interurban. There is probably a way across I-5 at SR 527 or on 112th, but it isn’t exactly clear what you would do on the other side. At about mile 7, just after crossing the new bridge over I-5, instead of aiming for the drive-in theatre, a proven route continues east on 128th to the McCollum park & ride. Past the parking lot (at Dumas) you make a right to cut over the the Bothell-Everett highway. The ride goes uphill just a little right after the park & ride but this route is feasible in either direction and is the flattest of the options presented. From the south-bound Bothell-Everett highway take the connector through Canyon Park to get back to the North Creek business park, the UW and the Samammish Waterway trail. From the trailhead to Bothell Landing this route is 21.4 miles. Here is the map.
The next connection after 128th is 164th (Martha Lake.) A wide (and busy) road with good bike lanes takes you downhill to the Bothell-Everett highway and the route described in the preceeding paragraph. Riding up this hill is perfectly feasible. Mileage this way is 22.3 miles. Here is the map.
Instead of taking the road at 164th you can continue on to the Interurban trailhead south of the interchange and then ride the trail until it leaves I-5 again at Maple. At the trailhead turn right on Butternut, continue to the intersection with Larch, take Filbert under I-405 and then take Locust all the way down until it turns into 61st and follow that to Lake City Way. Cross at the light and take a steep short drop to the Burke Gilman where you turn left and head for Bothell. (If you’re ambitious you can climb steep Nike hill northbound on 228th and then descend 80th to Lake City Way and pick up the trail there.) This route is a steady descent all the way (not too bad to ride up – just a long hill) and the mileage from the trailhead to Bothell Landing is 20.9 miles. Here is the map.
The next option is to continue on the Interurban at Maple, crossing I-5 and continuing past Alderwood Mall. When you approach the Lynwood transit Center go straight on 44th instead of turning right into the parking lot. There is a little bit of a hill just east of the freeway. At 228th turn left and ride over to Brier (there are a couple of short dips and climbs.) Turn right onto Brier (aka 30th) and follow it downhill to 61st and the route in the preceeding paragraph. This route would be a long climb the other way, but not particularly steep. Mileage from the trailhead to Bothell Landing is 23.2 miles. Here is the map.
You could probably find a way across on SR 104 but that is a complicated interchange and a busy road. Instead continue on the interurban to 200th and where it cuts west to the Aurora Village transit center take the apartment complex trail through the trees to 1st Ave NE and turn on 195th where you can take the pedestrian bridge over I-5. On the other side you take 10th Ave. to Perkins and follow that downhill to Lake City way and the Burke Gilman. Turn left on the trail and head for Bothell. This route is a long climb westbound with a couple of steep sections. It is a twisty road with no shoulder. Mileage from the trailhead to Bothell Landing is 26.2 miles. Here is the map
Continuing southbound on the Interurban from the Aurora Village Transit Center, turn left at 145th and ride up and down a couple of hills to Lake City Way. (145th is a busy arterial with no bike lane – unless you’re there early in the morning you’ll get dirty looks when you slow down on the hills. Right after Aurora you can hang a right onto Roosevelt and take that down to 130th to get across I-5. Somewhere east of 15th avenue you need to cut back up to 145th, so this option just substitutes miles for traffic.) Cross Lake City Way at 145th and continue up the hill on the other side. At the top turn left on 38th and take 148th down a steep hill to the Burke Gilman. (This would be really difficult to ride up – but it’s short.) Head north on the trail to Bothell – the mileage this way from the trailhead to Bothell Landing is 30.3 miles. Here is the map.
To get the last little bit of the Interurban (the Seattle segment) continue south on Linden until you pick up the trail again at 128th. It ends at 110th. You can continue south on Freemont, but a better alternative is to turn right and go two blocks over to Dayton (where there are trafic signals) and ride downhill to 83rd. Turn left and head for Greenlake Way and the Ravena route to the Burke Gilman. (Going north there is a climb up the alley on Ravena and a short climb on 83rd, but this is a basically flat connection.) Mileage from the trailhead to Bothell Landing this way is 41.2 miles. Here is the map.
Alternatively, turn right on 83rd and head over to Greenwood. Take the bike lane on Greenwood down to 50th where you jog over to Freemont and down to the Burke Gilman at the Freemont Bridge (northbound you climb the long Freemont Hill.) Mileage from the trailhead to Bothell landing this way is 44 miles. Here is the map.
If you take the maximum distance options both coming and going (the Union Hill route to the Snohomish Basin, the Ebey Slough route to Everett and the Freemont Bridge route to the Burke Gillman, the mileage for the whole loop would be 97 miles (map). At the other extreme, the loop up the Bothell-Everett Highway to 164th and back via Locust from from where Maple crosses I-5 would be 19.2 miles (map). The various options described above give you the ability to construct a loop of just about any size inbetween.
Now that DOT has built a bridge across 44th in Lynnwood and added a pedestrian lane to 196th where it crosses I-5, another route has opened up with much to recommend it. Going either direction on the interurban take the ramp to 19th near the top of the overpass by Alderwood Mall. Follow 196th to Cypress. Just before the turn eastbound there are a couple of blocks with traffic and no shoulder. If you stay straight – or really if you bear left – on Cypress it turns into Filbert and takes you back to I-405 at Swamp Creep and the intersection with Locust/Larch that gets you to Buttermilk and the Maple street Interurban trailhead. Instead, turn right on Cypress and ride it to Locust (there’s a jog to the left as it crosses Larch) . Turn right on Locust and ride that to where it becomes 61st. Ride that to Bothell Way and the Burke Gillman. Going east there is much less climbing than on the 44th street route. Westbound there is a climb all the way but is is never very steep. Here’s a map http://www.gmap-pedometer.com/?r=4065539
Here’s a grant application (and a map) from Shoreline which got funded in order to connect the Interurban and the Burke Gilman over the pedestrian bridge at 195th. They point out that this will be important when Sound Transit expands to Lynnwood and they speculate that the expansion will involve a replacement of the pedestrian bridge. Interestingly, there was a land use sign posted at 1st and 195th (by the cemetery, at the end of the new section of trail) in February but a few days later it was gone. I suspect that they got ahead of themselves and hadn’t done the utility work they needed to do before proceeding.