Despite the winter weather, the dawning of a new year (and its resolutions) often brings new and returning trail users who want to get active along the Eastrail. As we highlighted in our post about tips for exercising in the cold weather, it can be helpful to find others who will brave the cold and rain with you, to help stay motivated to be active all year long.
On the Eastrail, we’re lucky to have a number of groups and resources that can help you connect with others who want to get outside year-round. Here are a few free, community led groups and resources to check out:
Every Tuesday and Thursday, you will find a group of welcoming, dedicated runners and walkers meeting outside the Totem Lake Lululemon at 6pm and finding their way onto the Eastrail for a 3-5 mile run (or less, if you choose). Beginners and more advanced runners are welcome, and there is typically a social gathering afterward for ice cream. Thursdays have a dedicated sweep, meaning that someone who knows the route will make sure no one falls behind. They organize via their Instagram and Facebook pages.
At the south end of the Eastrail, a group of runners gathers Sundays at the Renton Top Pot Donuts in the morning for a casual run or walk that typically heads north towards the Eastrail through Coulon Park. Join their Facebook group to learn more and get out there for a run or walk.
For a group that meets right on the Eastrail in Kirkland, check out the Chainline Caboose Run Club on Instagram. They meet Fridays at 6pm outside the Caboose in Feriton Spur Park. The group often features some runners, walkers, and even little ones in strollers or biking along with the group. And, of course, it’s a great opportunity to enjoy an after-run beverage at Chainline Brewing.
For those who’d like to get out on a bike, Cascade Bicycle Club has a huge selection of free group rides, led by volunteers, that span the entire Puget Sound region. If you search by location, you’ll often find rides utilizing the Eastrail in Renton, Bellevue, Kirkland, and Woodinville. You can sort rides by distance, style, and pace. These are a great way to meet other cyclists, get outside, and see some new sights from your bike.
This online resource features community-led rides of all varieties throughout the region, and can be a great way to find new and interesting routes, like the “Dirty Belly,” a gravel ride that will briefly traverse the Eastrail before exploring parks all across the Eastside on February 4. Anyone is welcome to post rides, so you could even try hosting your own.
If you’re passionate about safe bike routes in Bellevue, this informal ride (inspired by the Critical Mass movement) gathers on the last Friday of every month to circumnavigate Bellevue, and crosses over current and future Eastrail segments several times.