From Evergreen Trail Guide
I-5 Colonnade is the first ever urban mountain bike skills park. It's part of a City of Seattle park, but was funded and constructed by the Evergreen Mountain Bike Alliance (formerly Backcountry Bicycle Trails Club). The park features a novice area - the Tqalu Trail; an intermediate and advanced area - Limestone Loop; a dirt jumping section; pump track; trials area and more.
The Tqalu Trail
The Tqalu TTFs are in the range of 1 to 2 stars for technical difficulty.
- Ladder bridge
- Rock chute
- Log rolls and skinnies
Offers a 1/2-mile tight'n'twisty Cross Country loop with several intermediate to advanced options. It's a great place to work on key skills by sessioning:
- Tight switchbacks
- Ladder bridges, log rides and skinnies
- Steep rock chutes and technical rock rolls
- Suspension bridge
- Rock step-ups
- A long ladder bridge roller coaster ride (be careful to keep your speed waaaay down... she bucks!)
The Limestone Loop TTFs are in the range of 2 to 4 stars for technical difficulty.
- More flowy advanced trails
- Jumps, berms and wall rides
- Long, narrow, elevated skinnies
- Progressive and elevated drops
- Steep rock chutes
- Pump track
- Trials area
The TTFs in the advanced area are just that - advanced. Prepare accordingly!
How to find it
Colonnade is located between the Capitol Hill and Eastlake neighborhoods, under the I-5 freeway, more or less below St Mark's Cathedral. It's where Lakeview Blvd turns underneath the freeway and turns into Boylston Ave. There are multiple entrances, but the best for parking is on the east side of the park off of Lakeview Blvd E.
East-side / Lakeview-side Entrance: 1800 Lakeview Blvd E, Seattle, WA 98102 (Google/Yahoo maps will get you there). Parking is available on Lakeview Blvd.
West-side / Eastlake-side Entrance: 1800 Franklin Ave E, Seattle, WA 98102 -- at the intersection of Franklin Ave E & E Blaine St. (Google/Yahoo maps will get you there). Limited parking is available on Franklin Ave and on some of the side-streets.
If you're headed north on I-5, take exit 168A for Lakeview Blvd. Take a left onto Lakeview and immediately park on your left. The bike trails are on the west side of Lakeview.
If you're headed south on I-5, take exit 168A for Boylston Ave / Roanoke St. Merge onto Boylston and go straight at the light. Follow Boylston south, paralelling I-5, veer left under the freeway, and then park on your right.
Map for Lakeview Blvd entrance.
Map for Franklin Ave entrance.
Because Colonnade is primarily under the elevated spans of I-5, the surface of the main riding areas are mostly dusty and dry. However, there are several areas exposed to rain and a few trails under some new freeway leaks. When water hits the local moondust, things can get pretty slimy... so be careful after a heavy rain. Check things out first!
Skills classes are occasionally held at Colonnade; check the evergreen calendar for any up-coming events.
Note that Colonnade can eat up bikes and be quite challenging - it would be nuts to ride here without a helmet, and full face helmet and/or body armor is advised for the tricky areas.
Solid. R1de 15:59, 29 May 2011 (PDT)
TTF = Technical Trail Feature
Local Points of Interest
Closest spot for food & beer is Pazzo's, a pizza place on Eastlake Ave just downhill. Closest bathrooms are at businesses on Eastlake as well.
See this map for locations of nearby coffee, pizza, convenience store, and nearest bike shops.
Colonnade in the Media
- Trip Report and lots of pictures on PinkBike
- Flying high under I-5 at the new mountain bike park, Seattle Times, Sept 25, 2008. (Some nice pictures, too.)
- BBTC's Colonnade Park Downtown Seattle, PinkBike.com, July 28, 2008.
- Help build a bike park, UW Daily, January 16, 2008.
- I-5 Colonnade Singletrack Cranked Magazine, April, 2007.
- Mountain-bike club reclaims a wasteland Seattle P-I, March 28, 2007.
- Colonnade Mountain Bike Park, From Wasteland to Mountain Bike Paradise. 2 pg case study in Managin Mountain Biking, IMBA'a Guide to Preserving Great Riding
- Shredding it in Seattle: A park for mountain bikers Seattle Post Intelligencer, October 14, 2005.
- Bikers to get an urban habitat Seattle Times, March 26, 2005.
Pics on the web:
- Helmet Cam 1
- Helmet Cam 2
- Transition Bikes Ride Jam and Demo Day
- Andy Tran's video of Transition Demo
News & Documentaries:
- King 5 Evening Magazine
- "The Colonnade Story" by Bones Over Metal
- Steve's Awesome Documentary
- Seattle Channel Video
Pros at the 'Nade:
- Mike Metzger at the 'Nade, filmed by Andy Tran
- Wade Simmons Bell Helmets Photo Shoot
- Bones Over Metal "Wade at the 'Nade"