Bridle Trails State Park offers more than 28 miles of pleasant, forested trails conveniently located between Bellevue and Kirkland. It is a dedicated horse park, so expect to encounter horseback riders during a hike here. And while dogs are allowed, they must be kept on leash to avoid startling horses.
Nestled amid a quiet neighborhood of horse ranches and single-family homes, this 482-acre park has served largely as an equestrian recreation area since the 1950s. The winding, forested trails have also proven to be popular with other trail users, namely hikers, trail runners and dog walkers. Routes wind through a sea of second-growth trees standing at attention under which lush ferns carpet the forest floor.
The three main loop trails offer varying lengths of casual forest strolling: the mile-long Raven Trail, the interpretive Trillium Trail (1.7 miles) and the Coyote Trail (3.5 miles).
The minimal elevation gain also makes these trails extremely kid-friendly. All three loop trails start from a central junction just a short walk from the main parking area. The Coyote Trail starts in tandem with the Trillium Trail for the first half mile, then forks to the left at an intersection. It continues to loop the perimeter of the park, offering a good opportunity to stretch your legs and fully enjoy the park's flora and fauna.
Under western red cedar and other conifers, look for Oregon grape, spotted coralroot and Himalayan blackberry. A variety of birds—from hummingbirds to eagles— can be observed within the forest canopy. The Coyote Trail eventually loops back to the central junction and parking area, where you can explore the smaller loops or visit the horse training ring.
WTA Pro Tip: Work the trails in a clockwise direction so that the trail symbol signs face you throughout your hike. They’re only attached to one side of the posts and can be easy to miss if going the opposite direction.