Your Guide to the Mountains to Sound Greenway Trail

Within the Mountains to Sound Greenway National Heritage Area (Greenway NHA), there are countless nature parks, trails, and spaces for recreation, including a paved regional trail officially named the Mountains to Sound Greenway Trail.  

While new connections and trail segments are still being constructed, the continuous trail route, named the Mountains to Sound Greenway Trail, that is currently completed runs from Seattle, across the Interstate 90 floating bridge, through Mercer Island, to the Eastgate neighborhood in Bellevue. This nine-mile section is the perfect way to experience the urban spaces of the Greenway NHA and is accessible for walking or biking year-round.   

Future plans will connect the Mountains to Sound Greenway Trail to other existing regional trails, creating a continuous east-west network of trails that serve as a singular connection across the Greenway NHA. Learn more about the proposed connections here.

This itinerary has rest stops, educational opportunities, and green spaces you can visit on your journey along the Mountains to Sound Greenway Trail. Pick your favorite few destinations to visit or venture the entire nine-mile stretch– it’s up to you!

Itinerary

  1. Dr. Jose Rizal Park

    Near the beginning of the Mountains to Sound Greenway Trail, Dr. Jose Rizal Park is a great stop for breathtaking views of downtown Seattle. In addition to the beautiful scenery, the main feature of the park is its statue of Dr. Jose Rizal, a national hero of the Philippines whose writing helped spark the reform movement in the late 1800s. The park was dedicated to Dr. Jose Rizal in 1981 by Mayor Charles Royer, honoring his work and symbolizing Filipino American Pride in Seattle.   

    Located on the west side of Beacon Hill, this park overlooks Elliot Bay, Lumen Field, and T-Mobile Park. This green space offers a children’s playground, shaded picnic tables, and a public restroom, making it a great rest stop on the trail.   

    Seattle skyline from Jose Rizal Park
  2. Northwest African American Museum

    Continuing along the trail, you’ll arrive at Jimi Hedrix Park, a large green space that sits in front of the Northwest African American Museum. Housed in the historic Colman School, this museum opened in 2008 and is dedicated to promoting education and understanding of the histories, arts, and cultures of people of African descent for the enrichment of all. Depending on your visit, the museum showcases rotating exhibits and special events, in addition to its virtual resources and education programs.   

    With a bike rack near the entrance, it’s easy to park your bike and stop by the museum to experience some of the exhibits and check out any special attractions at the time of your visit. After your tour, spend some time in the nearby park before resuming your ride on the trail! 

    Northwest African American Museum. Photo credit: Curtis Cronn via Flickr
  3. East Portal Viewpoint

    From Jimi Hendrix Park you can follow the trail through Sam Smith Park and into the Mount Baker Tunnel, which leads you to the scenic East Portal Viewpoint. This picturesque viewpoint overlooks the Lacey V. Murrow (also known as I-90) floating bridge, as well as downtown Bellevue and the Cascades. Stop here to enjoy the scenery and take a rest before beginning your journey across the floating bridge into Bellevue.   

    If traversing the bridge isn’t in your plans for the day, consider stopping by South Day Street Park. Tucked under I-90, this green space is a shaded area right on the water. The park has grass to enjoy a picnic on or benches to sit and admire the waterfront views.   

    East Portal Viewpoint. Photo credit: Joe Wolf via Flickr
  4. I-90 Floating Bridge

    If you’re up for extending your adventure past Seattle, use the Mountains to Sound Greenway Trail to ride over the water toward Bellevue! After admiring the pristine views at the East Portal viewpoint, head up to the Westbound side of the I-90 floating bridge to get back on the Mountains to Sound Greenway Trail. This portion of the trail is a corridor separated from the interstate by a concrete boundary. This path has unmatched views of Lake Washington from all sides and provides a safe connection from Seattle to Mercer Island, and eventually downtown Bellevue. Bike along the scenic bridge for about 1.5 miles until you reach Mercer Island.   

    I-90 Floating Bridge
  5. Aubrey Davis Park

    After biking into Mercer Island, follow the trail from the end of the bridge toward the island’s east side. This will lead you into Aubrey Davis Park, a stunning 90-acre park that features a 2.8-mile recreation and transportation corridor. Built in 1992, the creation of this park was championed by Mayor Aubrey Davis and the citizens of Mercer Island who wanted to preserve the public recreation space during I-90 construction. Built on top of the interstate, this enormous green space has activities and amenities for all ages, including softball fields, tennis courts, basketball courts, multiple playgrounds, a picnic area, and sprawling open fields.   

    After following the perimeter of the park, the Mountains to Sound Greenway Trail continues through Mercer Island, mirroring I-90. If you follow the trail to the east side of the island, you’ll run into the East Channel Bridge, and be able to bike across towards Bellevue.   

    Cyclist on the Mountains to Sound Greenway (I-90) Trail in Aubrey Davis Park – ‘The Lid’ – built over I-90 on Mercer Island
  6. Enatai Beach Park

    After crossing Mercer Island and getting over the East Channel bridge, you may find yourself in need of a quick rest. Just under the bridge on the Bellevue side is Enatai Beach Park, a serene three-acre park that overlooks the water. Depending on the season, this green space provides waterfront access, a boat house, a picnic area, restrooms, and even canoe and kayak rentals. Perfect for a quick lunch break before resuming your ride, or as a destination before heading out on a waterfront adventure! Visit REI’s website for more information on kayak rentals at Enatai Beach Park.    

  7. Mercer Slough Nature Park

    Located right off the busy streets of Bellevue, the Mercer Slough Nature Park is home to 329 acres of wetland available for walking and biking. This park is Lake Washinton’s largest remaining wetland and features lush vegetation, tranquil walking paths, and plenty of interpretative signage with information about the plants and wildlife of the slough. The nature park houses the Mercer Slough Environmental Education Center which offers seasonal canoe trips, ranger programs, and special events. Visit the Education Center’s website for more information about available excursions and programs!   

    If you’re looking to turn around and bike back, this is an ideal turnaround point for your journey back to Seattle. If not, keep along the trail through downtown Bellevue and to the Eastgate Park and Ride, where you can arrange transportation back into Seattle. 

    Mercer Slough with the Bellevue skyline
  8. Eastgate Park and Ride

    If you’ve biked through this itinerary, you’ve seen a good portion of the Mountains to Sound Greenway Trail! From starting in downtown Seattle and visiting urban parks and the Northwest African American Museum to crossing the floating bridges and exploring the Mercer Slough Nature Park, you’ve traveled about 9.3 miles (Wow!)   

    While there’s more to the trail, this biking itinerary ends at Eastgate Park and Ride, where you can catch a bus or rideshare vehicle back to where you started in Seattle. For more information on the continuation of the trail and other possible destinations, visit this page.