In Washington state, we define walking trails as mostly flat elevation trails that are often paved and wide enough for a wheelchair. Most of the walking trails have public bathroom facilities and benches located along the path, making them comfortable for the handicapped and elderly to use. Find any water feature in the Puget Sound and chances are there is public access via a walking trail. Walking is a great way to see the Puget Sound area and most the time the weather is comfortable enough that a light fleece jacket will meet all your needs for warmth and protection from rain. Many times, these places are ideal locations for spotting winter waterfowl and other birds.
Biker Protocol : A call “on your left” means someone on a bicycle plans to pass on your left. You should at least expect to turn and maybe move to the opposite side. Bikers are supposed to walk over walking bridges but often do not because their mountain bike is secure on the planks.
Alki Beach Wheelchair Accessible Walking Trail, Seattle WA
Alki Beach is part of West Seattle with a park at 1702 Alki Ave. SW and is reached via I-5 by way of the West Seattle bridge. Take the exit to Harbour Island and follow the signs to Alki Beach or take the Admiral Way exit to 63rd street and look for parking along the streets. Street side parallel parking along the trails is quite popular on weekends so go early or midweek. Sunny days will bring out everyone, young and old. Many sunbathe along the path or in small parks along the trail. The path is shared with pets, bikers, roller skaters and walkers.
Black River Walking Trail, Renton, WA
The Black River trail is located in Renton, North of Oakesdale Avenue SW and SW 7th Street, near the city boundary with Tukwila. There’s parking south one block from S.W. Grady Way at the corner of the Boeing Training Center parking lot. There’s additional parking along Oakesdale Avenue. The trail is about 2.5 miles and is the roughest of the walks listed since there are no bathrooms and half of the trail is cedar chipped covered dirt. The best part of this walk is it leads to a lake backed by a Great Blue Heron rookery.
Cedar River Wheelchair Accessible Walking Trail, Renton, WA
The Cedar River Walking Trail goes from the Renton Public Library (which is my favorite place to park) north for about 2 miles until it dead ends at Lake Washington. It also goes for at least 3 miles east up the river to Maplewood Roadside Park, 3201 Maple Valley Highway , which we called Beer Bottle beach. This beach is a great place for swimming in the summer beneath the old railroad tracks where there is a pool quite deep. Many put inner tubes in at this park and get picked up at Lake Washington or at Gene Coulon park (quite a paddle). There’s bathrooms at the library, Carco, south of the stadium and many other locations. There are also many picnic tables. Expect to see large and small airplanes and salmon during the many months when they run the rivers.
Duwamish River Wheelchair Accessible Walking Trail, Tukwila, WA
My favorite place to park is near Westfield Southcenter Mall, at the park along the river at the Texaco Station near I-405 in Tukwila or at Strander Ave. The trail here goes clear to Kent, and maybe even to Auburn, depending on how far the trail has been constructed. The trail is used by roller skaters, bikers, and walking traffic. There’s a public bathroom at Bicentennial Park.
Gene Coulon Wheelchair Accessible Trail, Renton, WA
Gene Coulon Park is located on the north east side of Renton, from exit 5 off of I-405 and onto Lake Washington Boulevard. The trail follows along the beach to a small duck nesting island and also to the north to the community of homes. Mt. Rainier is visible from this trail as are the Olympic mountains. Food and bathrooms are located at the center of the trail, with two other bathrooms available for use. Expect to see sailboats, skiers, water bikes and swimmers and beautiful sunsets.
Mercer Slough Walking Trail, Bellevue, WA
Mercer Slough is a popular place in Bellevue for people to take their pets for a walk. Spring birds are plentiful, I’m told but I never caught it during the right time of year. The pathway follows the reed-edged slough in Bellevue by driving from I-405, take SE 8th Street exit, turn west. Turn left on 118th. Bellefields Trailhead is on right before crossing under I-90.
Ruston Way and Pt. Defiance Promenade Wheelchair Accessible Walking Trail along Commencement Bay, Tacoma, WA
Ruston Way is a terrific place to walk in the winter and spy seaducks in Commencement Bay. Children especially love the trains at the east end. Many fine restaurants for dining are located along the path along Ruston Way. Another access to commencement bay is the promenade which connects by a staircase to Pt. Defiance Park. Part of the trail from Pt. Defiance Park has poems enscribed in the walkway. Expect to see many fisherman and sailboats and a ferry.
 Harvey Manning, Footsore 1: Walks and Hikes Around Puget Sound