Bicycling Magazine Seattle, WA: Mercer Island Loop 

A classic year-round Seattle ride, this 16.5-mile loop tours the tree-lined roads of Mercer Island, offering intermittent views of Mount Rainier.

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Author: Bicycling Magazine
Date: 7 Oct 2008 4:01:18 PM
Activity: Bicycling
State: Washington (WA)
Distance: 16.53 mi  (Change units)
Survey Elevation: Total Gain: 1431 ft
Total Loss: 1433 ft
Net Change: -2 ft
Difficulty: 5 / 10
Tags: Mercer Island, Seattle, Washington
Rating: Unrated   Rate it

Starting at the eastern exit of the Mount Baker bike tunnel, ride east on the I-90 bike path and cross the floating Lake Washington Bridge. Take in stunning views of the Cascade Range, Mount Rainier, and Mercer Island as you pedal across Lake Washington.

Just past the bridge, merge onto the bike path and start the clockwise loop around Mercer Island. After 3 miles, you'll ride past the southern tip of Luther Burbank Park, home to 135 species of birds and 50 species of waterfowl. (If you have time, park your bike and head north to check out the swim beach, fishing pier, and picnic areas.)

One mile later, leave the bike path and turn right onto Mercer Way—prepare for a curvy, 2-mile stretch of road that features 25 snaking turns. At the southern tip of the island, follow the road north for the 7.5-mile stretch back to the I-90 bike path and the Lake Washington Bridge.

-Mapped by Matt Mikul

TO TRAILHEAD: This ride starts and finishes at the Mount Baker Tunnel at the west end of the Lake Washington Bridge. Note: Cyclists can depart from anywhere in the city.

Position Format: Datum:

Mercer Island Loop

Distance: 16.53 mi Points: 711
Total Time: none Speed: 0.0 mph Pace: 0:00 / mi
Active Time: none Speed: 0.0 mph Pace: 0:00 / mi
# Distance Instruction Distance to next
1 0.00 mi Start - Head east on the 1-90 Bike Trail. Then go 1.85 mi
2 1.85 mi Turn Left - Mercer Way Then go 0.01 mi
3 1.86 mi Bear Right - Bike Path Then go 0.58 mi
4 2.44 mi Straight - Cross 76th Ave. SE Then go 0.02 mi
5 2.46 mi Straight - Bike Path Then go 0.46 mi
6 2.92 mi Straight - SE 26th St. Then go 0.02 mi
7 2.94 mi Straight - Bike Path Then go 0.93 mi
8 3.87 mi Straight - Cross Mercer Way Then go 0.27 mi
9 4.13 mi Turn Right - Leave the bike path and turn onto Mercer Way. Then go 10.54 mi
10 14.67 mi Turn Left - I-90 Bike Trail Then go 1.86 mi
11 16.53 mi Stop -

Points of Interest

Start/End: Mount Baker Tunnel

Location: 47.590449, -122.287231
The ride starts and ends at the Mount Baker Tunnel. Ride east on the bike path that crosses Lake Washington Bridge.

Lake Washington Bridge

Location: 47.590420, -122.286415
Views of I-90 and the Lake Washington Bridge. ©Matt Mikul

Riders on Lake Washington Bridge

Location: 47.590073, -122.271180
©Matt Mikul

View from Lake Washington Bridge

Location: 47.590051, -122.269002
The 1-90 Bike Trail parallels I-90 across the Lake Washington Bridge (a floating bridge with views of Seattle to the west and Mercer Island to the east. ©Matt Mikul


Location: 47.590261, -122.247947
After crossing the floating bridge, start the clockwise loop around Mercer Island. Turn left onto Mercer Way (the main road around the island), then immediately bear right onto the bike path. The next 10 miles climb gradually along the bike path and Mercer Way.

Luther Burbank Park

Location: 47.585876, -122.226698
The bike path skirts the southern tip of <a href="">Luther Burbank Park</a> (home to 135 species of birds, 50 species of waterfowl, beaver, tree frogs and rabbits). Park your bike and head north to check out the park's swim beach, fishing pier, and picnic areas, or continue riding southeast.

Mercer Island Bike Path

Location: 47.585673, -122.226248
©Matt Mikul

Bike Path

Location: 47.584969, -122.224693
Trees and bushes line the bike path. In fall, you'll cruise through vibrantly-colored leaves that blanket the ground. ©Matt Mikul

Leave the Bike Path

Location: 47.578603, -122.207365
Turn right and leave the bike path. Follow Mercer Way to the south.

Curvy Road

Location: 47.567666, -122.211657
Prepare for a curvy stretch of road. In less than 2 miles, you'll maneuver through 25 snaking turns.

Mercer Way

Location: 47.565610, -122.211614
©Matt Mikul

Hairpin Turn

Location: 47.545018, -122.214961
Navigate a tight left-hand turn, and continue toward the southern tip of the island.


Location: 47.542005, -122.212987
A fast-paced, half-mile descent starts here.

Southernmost Point

Location: 47.525924, -122.226977
Mercer Way curves to the right at the route's southernmost point and heads to the northwest for the return trip.

Mercer Island

Location: 47.558631, -122.226162
©Matt Mikul

Cyclist on Mercer Way

Location: 47.560311, -122.227278
©Matt Mikul


Location: 47.562714, -122.227750
From here, it's a steady descent north on Mercer Way back to the Lake Washington Bridge.


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