The Cedar River Trail in Renton offers a flat, easy walk or bike ride with views of the Cedar River, fall color and parks along the way. This stretch also offers three locations to view spawning salmon. These areas are staffed by docents from the Seattle Aquarium in October weekends through the 29th from 11-4.
To start your adventure, park at Maplewood Roadside Park and head up the hill to the left of the bridge. Cross the bridge and then hit the trail.
The trail is wide –and on a Sunday afternoon– was moderately busy with walkers, strollers, joggers and bikers. We saw beautiful fall foliage and peek-a-boo views of the river.
Soon you will come to Riverview Park and you can see the blue tents from the Seattle Aquarium from the trail.
Join the volunteer docents at the tent and learn all about the Cedar River Salmon Journey, the salmon life cycle and pretty much anything you could ever want to know about salmon! They even loan out disposable polarized sunglasses for easier viewing– kids loved these! Stand on the bridge and docents will point out the bright red and green fish in the water. There is also a public bathroom at this park.
Once you are done spotting salmon, continue down the trail to the Cedar River Park, which is just before the highway 405 overpass. On the way, you will pass the Cedar River Dog Park– perfect for giving your furbaby a break from the leash. Once you arrive at Cedar River Park, again, just look for Seattle Aquarium’s blue tent. We got the best views of swimming salmon at this site. This location also features a fish weir, a sort of a holding pen that captures some fish for the hatchery and allows others to pass through which is pretty cool to see. There are restrooms here, too.
You can choose to make a U turn here or continue on to the Renton Library for another staffed fish viewing location and a fun park. To continue, cross under the highway overpass and then pass Liberty Skate Park and Liberty Park, which has a play structure if kids need to get some wiggles out. Continue on to the Renton library for yet another look at salmon in a more urban environment. For more salmon spotting adventures check our guide here:
Even if you go after the salmon spawning season this 3 mile, flat walk is a beautiful outing in any season.