Saturday, May 7, 2011

A place to build your family's bike skills - The new Des Moines Creek Trail

At a recent presentation to my fellow parents at the Burien Cooperative Preschool, there were a lot of questions about good locations in the area for kids and adults to ride bikes that were safe from car traffic and thus allowing beginning (or re-beginning) riders the chance to build up skills and confidence on their bicycles.

The newly completed Des Moines Creek Trail was mentioned, but not many people knew much about it, or even where it was. So as a service to all you "everyday adventurers" in Highline, my 5 year-old son and I did a little reconnaissance trip to check this place out.

First of all, the trail head is on S. 200th Street in Des Moines, between Hwy 99 to the east and Des Moines Memorial Drive to the west. I generated this may on my mapmyride iPhone ap to show the entire route we rode.

The trail is 2.5 miles down to Des Moines Creek Park. You ride a very gentle grade down through some beautiful forest, what looks like habitat restoration projects and some really unique creek formations (lots of cool clay deposits) that spits you out at the beach park. I was concerned that riding the 2.5 miles back up would be tough for a this little peddler with 16" wheels but it really wasn't. We took advantage of several benches interspersed along the way for resting spots and the whole trip took a little more than an hour. Almost too short, actually.

Trail does provide a great uninterrupted stretch for walking or riding without the fear of negotiating automobile traffic. The noise from airplanes taking off from Sea-Tac does take away from the serenity of this natural place, but it's tolerable. What this trail does though is makes you realize what an amazing amenity this will be if and when it gets connected to the proposed 16 mile Lake to Sound Trail that would connect Des Moines to Renton via Burien and Tukwila.

Someone needs to call the King County Contact for this project let us know when that dreamy image will be completed!

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