Running in Bellevue
Bellevue's extensive parks and trails system offers plenty of opportunities for visitors to get in a workout while surrounded by the region's refreshing outdoor beauty. Below are some popular running locations in the area, many of which are easily accessible from Bellevue's hotels. Each trail promises a different adventure, from a leisurely jog past hidden lakes to an intense trail run through the forested mountains. These routes will accommodate runners of all levels and can easily be customized to meet your needs.
Prefer to run in a group? Join Running Elements every Thursday night at 6pm at their location in Old Bellevue for their weekly running group. There are also a number of running events and races that take place regularly around the region. To find upcoming running events, visit our Bellevue Events Calendar.
1. Lake to Lake Trail
Aptly called the Lake to Lake Trail, this 10 mile trail almost touches Lake Sammamish on the East and Lake Washington on the West as well as passing by Phantom Lake and other small hidden lakes in Bellevue. A network of short trails and paths, the Lake to Lake Trail meanders through boggy wetlands, towering forests, and historic settings, connecting nine parks across Bellevue. Between parks, the trail follows sidewalks and asphalt pathways.
Distance: Approximately 10 miles (each way)
2. Mercer Slough Nature Park
Nestled in the heart of Bellevue, the 320-acre Mercer Slough Nature Park offers a tranquil setting for runners. Circle the perimeter of the park on the 4-mile hard surface Periphery Trail; meander past historic buildings and blueberry fields on the 1.1-mile Heritage Trail; or travel through forested wetlands and meadows on the 0.8-mile Bellefields Trail. This trail is a convenient option for out-of-town visitors staying at hotels on the east side of downtown.
Distance: 6 miles of interconnected trails
3. Cougar Mountain / Coal Creek
Located just east of Bellevue in the "Issaquah Alps", Cougar Mountain offers recreational opportunities in the natural beauty of the Pacific Northwest. The park is a popular trail running destination with over 36 miles of interconnected trails that weave across the forested mountain. The Coal Creek Park trail is also accessible from Cougar Mountain.
Distance: 36 miles of interconnected trails
4. Downtown Loop
This route offers perfect viewing of downtown Bellevue and Lake Washington. Take a memorable tour of the city and its expansive buildings as you run through the iconic Bellevue Downtown Park, along Meydenbauer Bay, and the downtown core. This route is conveniently located near many major hotels in the area.
Distance: 3 miles
5. Lake Hills Greenbelt
Two miles of comfortable, multi-use trails wind through the Lake Hills Greenbelt and blueberry farms, connecting Larsen and Phantom Lakes. The greenbelt is a wetland corridor that encompasses over 172 acres of woods, wetlands, and suburbia.
Distance: 2 miles
6. Kelsey Creek / Botanical Garden
The quaint neighboring Kelsey Creek Farm Park and the Bellevue Botanical Garden at Wilburton Hill Park make a fun, casual setting for a run. The trails will take you past Kelsey Creek's barns and pastures, around a bowl-shaped wetland, and through various themed gardens.
Distance: Several miles of trails
7. Medina / Evergreen Point Loop
This residential loop will take you to a viewpoint atop SR-520 that looks out across Lake Washington and the Evergreen Point Floating Bridge. Along the way, you will run on sidewalks through the neighborhood of Medina and on a paved trail along the north side of SR-520. Start this route in downtown Bellevue, Medina Park, or the Evergreen Point Park and Ride.
Distance: 6.7 miles
8. I-90 Trail
This scenic trail begins in Bellevue with starting points at Mercer Slough Nature Park or Enatai Beach Park. Regardless of where you begin, the trail takes you West across Lake Washington and Mercer Island to Seattle via the I-90 bridge. The two freeway lid parks are perfect locations to take a break and discover a picturesque view of beautiful Lake Washington.
Distance: 10 miles (each way)
9. Bridle Trails State Park
Bridle Trails State Park is located between Kirkland and Bellevue, Washington. The park is 482 forested acres with 28 miles of gently sloped equestrian/pedestrian trails. There are three marked trail loops of varying distance. Visitors must have or purchase from the park staff a Discover Pass to park inside the park.
Distance: 1 mile, 1.7 miles, 3.5 miles
10. Sammamish River Trail
The Sammamish River Trail skirts along the river that connects Lake Sammamish to Lake Washington. This flat, paved trail runs north from it's starting point in Marymoor Park up through Redmond, Woodinville, Bothell, and meets up with the Burke-Gilman Trail at the top of Lake Washington to round out the famous Lake Washington Loop.
Distance: 10 miles (each way)