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5 Seattle Bike Trails for Beginners


If you’re new to Seattle or even if you’ve been living here for years, seeing bicyclists frequently pass you by is no rare occurrence. Biking is a big part of our city’s culture and it may have you fantasizing about getting your feet on some pedals. At the same time, however, city biking can seem awfully menacing if you’re either new to biking, never really biked before, or haven’t gone riding in a while.

Thankfully, there are more than enough trails sprinkled throughout the city to suit any beginner’s fancy. Frequenting these trails will not only allow you to build your riding confidence but also explore areas of the city you’ve maybe never been to before. So, without further adieu, let’s take a look at a few Seattle biking trails that are perfect for beginners.

Westlake Cycle Track
This smaller track measures just over a mile each way, which makes it ideal for new riders. The Westlake Cycle Track is pretty level with mostly flat terrain. While it is a more protected trail, you’ll feel immersed in the city and have plenty of views to drink in as you get yourself used to biking in an urban environment.

A word of advice for this trail would be to keep an eye out for pedestrians and other chance encounters as a popular parking area borders the trail on one side. Again, this is a great trail for dipping your toes into city biking here in Seattle.

Alki Trail
Bumping up the total mileage a little bit, the Alki trail will have you traveling roughly 2.5 miles each way. Since this trail will have you riding along a waterfront boardwalk, you may want to save this trail for fall, spring, and summertime. You can bike here in the winter too if you enjoy things particularly frosty.

Along this trail, you’ll have the opportunity to drink in a bevy of Seattle skyline sights. If you choose to come here in late spring and throughout the summer, many boardwalk businesses will be in full swing which can allow you to mix a bike ride in with some shopping therapy. Since this is a popular route, you’ll have to contend with walkers, rollerbladers, and small children along the path in peak season.

Gas Works Park to Magnuson Park
With the ride length totaling just over six miles each way, this is the lengthiest trip you’ll find on our beginner’s trail list. The six miles is all for the better, though, as you’ll bike from one waterfront to another. Along the way, you’ll pass Calvary Cemetary, upscale neighborhoods, and the lovely University of Washington campus. While this trail may be longer, the sites you’ll see are sweeter and, if you ask us, that’s a great trade-off.

While on this trail, be mindful of the fact that you’ll be sharing it with both runners and other cyclists. While you’re a beginner, cycling on busier trails will give you a taste of what you could encounter on a regular basis when biking in the city.

Elliott Bay Trail
If you’re traveling from Myrtle Edwards Park to Open Water Park on the Elliott Bay Trail, you’re looking at about three and a half miles each way. This is a lovely trail too, as you’ll get to pass through Myrtle Edwards Park, Centennial Park, and the Olympic Sculpture Park. Stellar views of the city are frequent on this trail, in addition to frequent water views.

For beginners, this is a nice trail for getting more acquainted with Seattle’s landscape. As you get more advanced, you might find yourself returning to this trail specifically for the sights you get to soak in along the way.

Seward Park Loop
Averaging nearly two and a half miles in a loop, this trail makes you feel like you’re in the countryside as opposed to a major city. Surrounded by trees on one side and Lake Washington on the other, it’s an idyllic bike trail that beckons you to enjoy its lush waterfront.

It’s a great loop for practicing riding around pedestrians and gives you the chance to hone your skill at passing etiquette. The plus side to this beginner’s trail is the fact you can loop around as many times as you’d like.

Discover Seattle with Seattle Mountain Bike Tours
Everyone has to start somewhere, so check out these trails if you want to get comfortable riding around our fair city. Joining us for a beginner’s bike tour is another great way to get acquainted with biking. Interested in exploring with us? Contact us online or call us at 425-250-5533!