Description: The Sammamish River Trail is a regional trail that eventually turns into the Burke-Gilman trail. It is quite popular with bicyclists and joggers. We explored one tiny section near Marymoor Park, but it was still quite a hike of about 5 miles round trip.
Heading out from Redmond Town Center, we trod the 'road less traveled' -- a gravel road that follows the Sammamish River on the opposite side of the official Sammamish River Trail. For the first leg you pass by residential housing and a couple bridges with access to the roads, but then you can let your dog off-leash once you're safely in the middle of nowhere (habitat signs direct you to keep your dog close by). You don't get to see much of the river due to the blackberry bushes, but Droopy still had a fine time scoping out the trail ahead of us and making occasional forays towards the river.
After a couple miles, we eventually crossed the river at a major bridge intersection by the soccer fields. The official on-leash trail has more resting spots with occasional picnic tables or benches. We stuck to a parallel grass horse track to avoid the bicyclists. Doing it as an off-leash/on-leash loop was a great way to get a change of scenery for the whole trip. Thanks to Gayle for sharing this one with us!
Downsides: Garbage cans and port-a-potty stops are far and few between. Bring lots of water, too, although there is one not-so-great water fountain on the paved trail side and your dog will have occasional access to the river.
Directions: From 520-E take West Lake Sammamish Exit/Redmond Town Center. At traffic light turn left and follow signs to the Redmond Town Center and park at the mall. Walk back the way you came in toward the Sammamish River. The Sammamish River Trail has an underpass that goes under the street. At this point you can either follow the paved trail (head in the direction away from Marymoor), or head over to the path on the other side of the river that will pass behind a string of townhouses. Or, you can reach the Sammamish River Trail by turning right when exiting 520-E and access it from Marymoor Park.