Ain't nuthin like ridin' a fine horse in a new country - Augustus McCrae – Lonesome Dove

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Bridle Trails to Kathryn Taylor Park - Point-to-Point

Our overland route~
This ride was a collaborative idea between me & Lynn.  I remembered that we used to ride from Woodinville - along the Sammamish River Trail to Marymoor Park.  Then - when Butch was building the Red Hook Brewery, a friend & I rode from there to Bridle Trails State Park & then back to the brewery.   I mentioned those rides to Lynn - she & Jack went down & did some recognizance to see if indeed we could get through the Marymoor area - since horses are no longer allowed.  My new friend Chris, who works for the DOT & is a self-described map person - also checked out the route & gave us a "go"!
Corner of Bridle Trails Park
  It was So Cold when we arrived at Bridle Trails, that we didn't take a before photo!  Instead, we jumped into our cold saddles as fast as we could & were heading through the park by 10 a.m.
Old Signage
In under 2-miles we were crossing the street above & had found across the way - the Bridle Crest Trail.   This started with a steep downhill - with Farah's favorite - sheep - at the bottom!  No worries about rushing or slipping on the down - since we had to stop & look at those sheep every few steps!

We rode the trail past backyards, nice, quiet neighborhoods & we were really enjoying the morning - but the sound of traffic was getting louder, so we both knew that the 520 overpass was coming up!
View from the overpass!
This too had changed!  On my first trip, it was just a pedestrian/equine/bike overpass.  Now, a regular road overpass has been built right next to it.  Instead of seeing off in both directions, you can only see west - there's a concrete wall on the east side.  You can hear the road traffic - but not see it.
Farah & Connie between Sophie's ears!

Google Earth image of the overpass
Once over, we rode for a block or two through a neighborhood, then found this park.  We stopped long enough for the mares to take a few bites - but it was too cold to tally for long!  The ground was frozen in many places, so we were talking it easy.  The mares were in no particular hurry either.
Lynn & Sophie @ Westside Park
Picking up the trail again at the bottom corner of the park - we rode right into a nice wooded gully area that could have been up in the mountains - rather than the city. 
In the woods, we found - a sign!
We knew we were on the right track when we found the sign above & dropped down the hill to cross West Lake Sammamish Parkway NE.
Once at the edge of Marymoor~
Welcome sunshine!  It was about 11:30 when we reached the river trail & things had changed!  Now, the equestrian trail runs along the opposite side of the slew from when I used to ride it!
Beautiful Morning!
You can see the concrete wall up ahead.  The trail isn't finished through that area, so it's narrow with blackberries along both sides & a homeless person living in a tent that's backed up to that wall.  Once through the trail widened again & was beautiful.
Here's where we crossed the slough~
Next, there was a new to me bridge ~
Connie & Farah
The temperatures by now were probably the warmest of the day, (No!  We weren't removing any layers!) there were a few dog walkers, a jogger or two, but we were the only horsemen & certainly got noticed :-)  On the far side - I finally again recognized where we were, from my last ride here with Janelle & Saddle-up in 2011.
Powerline Trail
Now, we were heading up the Powerline Trail!  Back into country more familiar to us & the mares too!  But - that's not to say that we didn't have more busy road crossings!
Almost 1 p.m. - we're ready to cross Avondale Road
Avondale was busy one, but having the crossing lights make it as safe as possible.  We were happy to be across & it wasn't long before we were into Farrel McWhirter!  Time for a welcome potty & lunch break!   Here we could have added in miles to the trip - but since we'd been out in the cold for a while now & Jack was hoping to get home before sundown - we decided to just carry-on & head for our final destination!

We were in the Redmond Watershed when we ran into two other horsemen!  Brandi & John!  I'd not seen Brandi since Renegade - so we had to take a few minutes to catch up!  They were the only other two horsemen we'd seen all day!   We were still on our mission though - both of us even under all our layers - starting to feel the cold!
We've Arrived!  Kathryn Taylor Park~!
It was Wonderful to see Jack parked at Katheryn Taylor waiting to take us home!  We felt like we'd really squeaked this ride in.  December - the cold snap - holidays, etc., it was still so darn wonderful to spend a sunshine day in the saddle!   My GPS recorded the trip at 15-miles & we took just over four hours.


  1. Wow! That's quite a ride crossing bridges, going over freeways and whatnot. Thanks for sharing it with us.

  2. it's fun, as usual, to hear you riding in my old stomping grounds. baasha used to race bicylists on the burke-gilman trail near marymoor, and we know bridle trails well. i had an encounter with a coyote at bridle trails! did you know there are horses on mercer island, a riding club even? it reminded me of bridle trails, another "urban" horsey community.


Always Welcome~