Bike Parks: I-5 Colonnade and Duthie Hill, Seattle, WA

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I-5 Colonnade Bike Park, Seattle, Washington

The I-5 Colonnade bike park in Seattle was the first of a new breed of urban mountain bike skills parks that has been gaining traction across the nation. In urban areas where space can be hard to come by, the Evergreen Mountain Bike Alliance was able to get permission to build a skills park under one of the I-5 freeway overpasses. This 2-acre park boasts a number of XC-style trails along with progressive jump lines, technical features, and other skill-building elements. Since it is built under an overpass, “you can ride there all year even when it’s dumping out,” said Glenn Glover, Executive Director of the Evergreen Mountain Bike Alliance (EMBA). The lack of rain posed a serious challenge to the trail construction, which EMBA overcame by hauling in tons of rock, creating some seriously challenging trails in a convenient urban location.

Photo: Ralph Underwood.

Duthie Hill Mountain Bike Park, Seattle, Washington

This 120-acre wooded park just outside Seattle features a 5+ mile cross country loop, at least two miles of freeride trails, progressive dirt jump lines, and an abundance of skill-building features spread throughout. While many of the trails are labeled XC, all of the mellower routes have more difficult optional lines with features such as drops, log rides, ladders, and skinnies. “We intended it from the beginning to serve the full spectrum of the mountain biking community,” said Glenn Glover, Executive Director of EMBA.

Duthie Hill has really shown that access can be a major roadblock in the progression of the sport of mountain biking. “If you provide the access and provide the opportunities, the sport will explode,” said Glover. “Two years ago when we had just finished Phase 1 of the project, we were getting 100,000 visits a year.” After completing the final phase of construction in May of 2012, traffic at Duthie has continued to increase at an amazing rate.

Photo: Dennis Crane.

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