Saturday, September 10, 2011

Biking Vancouver, Washington's Burnt Bridge Creek Trail

Vancouver's paved Burnt Bridge Greenway Trail is about 8 miles in length and meanders along the creek from Stewart Glen on the shores of Vancouver Lake to Meadowbrook Marsh. Along the way, the trail passes through lovely woods, grasslands, and city neighborhoods, as well as Leverich Park and Arnold Park mid-way. 

Generally the signage is good, giving mileage to various places ahead on the trail.  I parked in and first biked east from Leverich Park and was confused by the signage at times and found myself in the woods on a dirt single track.  I knew I had missed a turn and went back and discovered the tiny carets used on the signage to show direction. Several times, I reached places where two paved trails diverged and by trial and error, I discovered which was the trail and which the access trail. If the trail had a yellow center stripe or arrows, it would help to differentiate it from the access trails that take off from it.

Here's a photo of the trail map (click to enlarge.)

Here's the namesake creek, views of which are few and far between. Be aware the trail runs through a frisbee/disc gold course in Leverich Park, so watch for flying saucers (because the players are not watching for you!) 

I found the asphalt to be in good condition at east and west ends with some problems in the middle section with buckling and cracking and one area with rough chip seal coating.

The eastern end follows a power tower corridor so the land is more open with vistas like this in some places.  Being from the Chicago area, it was wonderful to see the mountains off in the distance.  It is also less hilly in the eastern section.

Street crossings are protected by lights when they are major arteries.

The trail connects several parks which are scenic, curvy, and hilly, and the little bit of road riding several times to get to the next trail segment was not a problem.

A trailhead is available mid-way along the route from Leverich Park's northern parking lot. From I-5, take exit 2, go east on E. 39th St., then north on NE Leverich Park Way.

A trailhead is also available from Stewart Glen. From I-5, take the 78th Street exit, go west to Lakeshore Avenue, then take a left (south) until you reach the intersection with Bernie Drive; parking is along the street.

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