We started at the far end, near the Landsburg Fish Ladder, figuring to put a park and some facilities near our turn-around point. Though there’s a commuter-like stretch in the middle (paralleling State Route 169), both the northern and southern ends of our ride were shaded by dense stands of tall old trees. We stopped just short of the Liberty skatepark; we’re familiar with most of the trail north of there because we use it when we ride around the south end of Lake Washington.
On former railbed next to a stream, the path offers a gentle grade. In a bit over 32 miles we first mostly lost, and then mostly regained about 700 feet. There are spots along the way to view or approach the water — fishing was popular among the people we met in the parking lot. Upstream from the trail, the Cedar River watershed provides domestic water for our part of Seattle.
There are already thimbleberries. Unlike blackberries, these are borne on the current year’s canes. and they mature quite early. Like their closer relatives, raspberries, they leave their little white cores behind when picked. They’re not ripe until crimson, by which time somebody else has usually eaten them, even though they taste pretty much like aspirin until then.