a ride guide for university district

Ride Guide: Greenlake Loop with Gas Works & Ravenna Park

Montlake Bicycle Shop is proud to introduce Ride Guides: a series that traces our favorite local bike routes and showcases select destinations along the way. When you have some extra time on your hands, turn your typical ride into a complete morning or afternoon tour of Seattle’s unique neighborhoods and the spots that define their individual flavors. Stop into that local coffee roaster you’d usually zip past; take a breather and enjoy the views that pepper the city’s trails and parks; pause for a light lunch to refuel; or reward yourself with a beer at the end of your ride.

Let’s start with a relatively simple route. At 11 miles round trip, this Greenlake Loop kicks off at our doorstep, features minimal traffic with distinct bike paths and lanes, and passes through two additional scenic parks — Ravenna and Gas Works. With a few stops along the route, it makes for the perfect midday weekend jaunt.

Without further ado, it’s time to grab your bike and hit the road:

1. Begin at Montlake Bicycle Shop on 24th Ave E in the Montlake neighborhood.

2. Before setting out, fuel up with a cup of coffee just half a block north at our neighbor, Fuel Coffee. Enjoy your favorite hot or iced drink handcrafted with locally roasted Caffe Vita beans. You can even come prepared with a special Fuel carabiner mug that is highly portable… so why not bring some coffee along for the ride?

3. Next, you’ll work your way north across the Montlake Cut before joining the urban Burke-Gilman Trail and traveling through part of the UW campus.

4. As you approach mile 3 near Ravenna Park, just before you cross the beautiful Ravenna Park Bridge, stop at Seven Coffee Roasters Market & Cafe for a quick refreshment. You’ll find a variety of snacks, sandwiches, pastries, coffee and tea drinks, beer, and other cold beverages at this bodega-style spot tucked away in a residential area of the Ravenna neighborhood.

5. Just 1 more mile until you approach Green Lake Park! Pack a book in your pannier and stop here for some light reading and people watching. Note: when riding along the one-way Green Lake path, be sure to pay attention to pedestrian signage and travel counter-clockwise. If you’d prefer not to contend with the often crowded lakeside path, you may also use the bike lane on Green Lake Drive.

6. If you’re hungry for some lunch, try Bongos on the west side of Green Lake. You’ll pass it approximately 5.5 miles into your ride. Especially on a dry and mild day, the sand-filled “beach” patio is the perfect place to enjoy a Caribbean or Cuban sandwich or plate and refresh with an ice cold beer.

7. As you clear Green Lake, you’ll make your way south once again, winding through Woodland Park then down Stone Way through Wallingford and Fremont just north of Lake Union.

8. Before you re-join the Burke-Gilman Trail via the Cheshiahud Lake Union Loop, end your ride on a high note at local favorite Fremont Brewing Company.

9. Take in Seattle skyline views near Gas Works Park, then travel north toward the University District and past more of the UW campus. Save time to explore the Medicinal Herb Garden, stop at the outdoor Sylvan Grove Theatre and Columns, or catch a mountain glimpse at Rainier Vista (on a clear day) before crossing back over the Montlake Bridge.

10. The home stretch traces the Bill Dawson Trail and Montlake Playfield before arriving right back at Montlake Bicycle Shop!