Because we are the Bellevue Hikers meetup group "hike" 9-10 miles from Enatai Beach at Lake Washington's eastern Bellevue shore, through the Mercer Slough, Bellevue Botanical Gardens, Wilberton Hill Park, Kelsey Creek Farm, Lake Hills Greenbelt, and finally Weowna Park ending at West Lake Samammish. This is Catherine's idea for our group and we prehiked this over two days in October to sort out the logistics. Everyone say "Thank You Catherine!" .
The tricky part is the route is one-way and we will need enough cars pre-staged along West Lake Sammamish Drive with capacity to take the entire group. Two 6 passenger vans (+driver = 7 people per van) at the Samammish end would allow a group size of 14 people. There is not enough room for all of us to park at the Lake Sammamish end and shuttle all of us to the starting point so we'll pre-stage the shuttle cars and do the shuttle at the end of the hike.
My camper van can take 5 passengers or 7 if people are sitting on laps cozy. Another option is to leave my van at about the midway point for a hot drink stop or bailout if the weather goes really wrong and we need to bailout. I'm strongly leaning towards this unless we don't get enough shuttle capacity at the lake end.
That said I'm looking for two or more of you to tell me in your signups you can come meet an hour early (at 8:30am) along the West Lake Sammamish at the northern Weowna Park trail access and we'll get you a ride to the Enatai Beach starting point from there. Please let us know how many passengers your rig will accomodate.
If we get enough open seats in our shuttle vehicles I will bump up the max to the number of seats in all of our return vehicles.
I've turned on the new "automatic waiting list" feature so hike is first come first served especially the waiting list. Because of the fixed logistics I need folks to only sign up that are committed to attend or of course to "no"out asap so others have plenty of time to get onto the hike (via this nifty new automatic waiting list meetup feature)
We'll meet at 9:30am at Enatai Beach Park[masked]th Avenue SE (link to map and view of parking lot along Lake Street) (http://www.google.com/maps?f=q&hl=en&geocode=&q=3519+108th+Avenue+SE+bellevue+wa&sll=37.0625,-95.677068&sspn=40.052282,93.164063&ie=UTF8&t=h&g=3519+108th+Avenue+SE+bellevue+wa&ll=47.582866,-122.19758&spn=0.008351,0.030899&z=16&layer=c&cbll=47.579286,-122.195298&panoid=LZ0IUjbXzEYmOz5N6ejhhg&cbp=1,33.561713891077716,,0,5)and start the hike at 9:45am.
Directions (http://www.google.com/maps/ms?hl=en&geocode=&ie=UTF8&t=h&g=3519+108th+Avenue+SE+bellevue+wa&msa=0&ll=47.580854,-122.196089&spn=0.004176,0.011373&z=17&layer=c&msid=115954907573623405806.00045c7913644b559f44d): From I-90, take Bellevue Way exit north. Turn left on 108th Avenue SE. Skip the Parking lot under overpass and park further east down Lake Street. That's where I'll look for everyone.
What I enjoyed the most about discovering this route is it showcases the Mercer Slough, the Bellevue Botanical Gardens, and the biggest surprise was the Urban Demonstration Garden (http://www.bellevuewa.gov/pdf/Parks/master_gardener_workshops_08.pdf) which is in the Lake Hills Greenbelt which has classes and is a great resource to be familiar with.
I'm allowing a generous 6 hours for the hike expecting to get to Lake Sammamish by 4pm. We will stop at the Bellevue Botanical Gardens in the shuttle vehicles and take a quick retour of Bellevue Botanical Garden's "Garden D'Lights" as we are ferrying everyone back to Enatai Beach (or optionally we may choose to get folks back to their cars first and whoever has time can then drive to the lights exhibit).
Bring rain-defensible clothes (no cotton unless you want to practice your hypothermia), plenty of food, a headlamp or flashlight, and a dry change of clothes in your car.
Heavy Rain Cancels. Will try to get a broadcast out as soon as forcastable if this is required.
Maps along the route to print out and use
Lake-To-Lake "Big Picture" (http://www.bellevuewa.gov/UserFiles/File/lake-to-lake_2008.pdf)
Mercer Slough Nature Park (http://myparksandrecreation.net/ParksTrails/UserFiles/File/bellevue_park_info/trail%20guide%20maps/trail_map_mercer_slough.pdf)
Bellevue Botanical Gardens (http://www.bellevuebotanical.org/maps/fmgardenmap.htm)
Wilberton Hill Park (My PC reports "error with this page") (http://www.bellevuewa.gov/pdf/Parks/trail_map_wilburton.pdf)
Kelsey Creek Farm (http://www.bellevuewa.gov/pdf/Parks/trail_map_kelsey_creek.pdf)
Lake Hills Greenbelt (http://www.bellevuewa.gov/pdf/Parks/trail_map_lhgb.pdf)
Phantom Lake Loop (optional) (http://www.bellevuewa.gov/pdf/Parks/trail_map_phantom_lake.pdf)
Weowna Park - End Point near Lake Sammamish (http://www.bellevuewa.gov/pdf/Parks/trail_map_weowna.pdf)
[masked] if late or lost