The Interurban Trail AKA Washington’s Bike and Brew Highway
In this weeks Washington Beer Talk, I mention the interurban trail. It’s worth giving that little bike path a little more attention since it makes so many breweries accessible by bike. It turns out that it connects 3 different punch cards together where you can earn free swag including 2 different pint glasses and a t-shirt created by yours truly.
The Interurban Trail is part of Rails to Trails . Built in the nineties long after the original rail line closed down in 1939, it does a pretty good job of bridging the gap between the major city centers north of Seattle. While it has its flaws, I still consider it to be one of the most useful trails in town. The luxurious paved pathway occasionally ends and is replaced by bike lanes on shared use roads for minor stretches especially in the area around Seattle where the city council can’t be bothered to drop thin another dime on bike infrastructure. At this point in the trail, non-useful signs can be found littering the city that point* you towards the trail representing at least an awareness that Seattle is the only city along the route not to pitch in to build it. The Interurban-Burke Gilman Connector trail is a vague network of unfriendly-to-bikes streets marked by vaguer signs that make up the merest sliver of the realization of the glimmer in the eyes of a bike-loving city council member.
Since the trail is split into two sections, North and South, with a large no-bikes land where Seattle owns the real estate, Fremont Ave makes a good stand-in for the Interurban if you want to connect into the dozen breweries around Ballard and Fremont. Just make note that Google Maps seems to think that riding on Fremont Ave is impossible even though it’s actually quite ideal for bikes with cars not being allowed to drive straight through, leaving the route mostly open for us 2-wheelies. While riding Fremont Ave, you are mere blocks away from four breweries in Greenwood including Washington Beer Talk breweries Lantern and Flying Bike. If you make it south enough to reach the end of Fremont Ave, you aren’t far from the Ship Canal Trail which connects you to another dozen breweries and the Cycling Cicerone punch card.
If you instead advance north on the trail you pass by Edmonds which is secretly home to great breweries like American and Salish Sea and the insanely famous Gallaghers' You Brew. The trail eventually leads all the way to Everett where it passes right by Lazy Boy, Middleton, and Crucible, 3 breweries that form a power triangle of awesomeness. From there it is just a short jaunt into downtown Everett where At Large Brewing and Scuttlebutt complete the #DrinkLocalEverett punchcard.
If you veer East off the trail near the northern end, you can make it to Snohomish, home of 6 impressive breweries who have joined forces to make a beer map with a free pint glass. https://www.snohomishaletrail.com/
All told, the Interurban Trail does maybe 70% of the work of connecting together 3 different punch card ale trails including over 30 breweries making this one of the most important bike and brew highways in Washington
*point read “pointless”