WillhiteWeb.com - Puget Sound Hiking
Cedar River Trail - Downtown Renton Segment
This short section of the Cedar River Trail is in Downtown Renton. I’ve broken it out because the ride through Renton is so different than the rest of this trail. The segment is best done as a walking tour. Because of the number of pedestrian walkers, bikes are diverted away from the river and on a road in two locations. To do a long segment of the Cedar River Trail, just park in Cedar River Park, the east end of this trip report.
Starting on the shore of Lake Washington at a Boeing plant, you can begin where the Cedar River dumps into Lake Washington. This is the location of the Cascade Canoe and Kayak Club. The trail parallels the Renton Municipal Airport, where you can watch small planes coming in over the lake and landing just on the other side of the river. As the trail heads upriver, the trail soon goes along a narrow easement through the airport. A sign that kids will love says “Airplane Crossing”. Next the trail passes Renton Memorial Stadium. Once the trail goes under Logan Avenue, you are downtown on a pedestrian only route right on the water. Bikes are directed to the roadway above. The next big thing is the Bronson road crossing, then entering Liberty Park. The Renton Library is also there, straddling over the river. It is easy to loose track where the trail is at this point. The key is to stay north of the river and keep going east between Liberty Park and the river. Look for a passage under the railroad that will get you over to Cedar River Park. You also pass underneath I-405. It is there that a pedestrian bridge crosses the Cedar River to reach more parking and what I would consider the beginning of the “real trail”.
Access to the Cedar River Trail Park at Lake Washington
From I-405, take Exit 2, towards Renton/Rainier Avenue. Continue one mile northbound on Rainier Avenue, past 2nd Street. Turn east (right) at the traffic light at Airport Way. Airport Way bends to the left and becomes Logan. Turn west (left) on North 6th Street and follow it to the end - this leads into the Cedar River Trail Park. Once in the park, turn north (right) on to Nishiwaki Lane. Go to the end of the street and park.
Access To Cedar River Park
From I-405 South, take Exit 4 (Maple Valley exit) on to Sunset Boulevard NE. Go left at the second signal light, which is Maple Valley Highway/Highway 169. Get into the right lane, travel a short distance and turn right into Cedar River Park.
From I-405 North, take Exit 4A (Renton/Maple Valley exit). Turn right at the end of the exit onto Maple Valley Highway/Highway 169. Get into the right lane, travel a short distance and turn right into Cedar River Park.
Renton Municipal Airport across the Cedar River from the Cedar River Trail Park
City of Renton Bike Trail Map
Map showing the urban Renton segment of the Cedar River Trail
Under I-405 with the bridge crossing of the Cedar River below
Cedar River Trail
This part of the Cedar River Trail has many dismount bike zones
Cedar River from the bridge entrance to the Renton Library
Cedar River Trail downtown Renton
At Cedar River Park and bridge over the river to the "real" trailhead.
Cedar River near the outlet
Where the Cedar River hits Lake Washington
Trees along the trail
Cascade Canoe and Kayak Club
Along the airport
Where the Cedar River meets Lake Washington
Cedar River Trail