by Hank Landau
Degree of Difficulty: Easy to moderate
Miles (RT): 37.0
Starting Point: Mt. Vernon WA
Public Transportation: Take Amtrak from Edmonds to Mt. Vernon. Reserve space for you and your bike by calling 1-800 USARAIL. The train ride takes a little over 1 hour; time to carbo-load or watch the scenery. Amtrak Cascades trains takes up to 6 bicycles. Reservations for bikes are required and there is a fee of $5.00 per bike.
- Distance: Round Trip between Mt. Vernon and Anacortes is about 37 miles (with both shorter and longer alternatives).
- Ride Time in Each Direction: 1 1/2 to 2 ½ hours without stops
- Terrain: Mostly flat
- Road Conditions/ Risk Level: Moderate traffic. Good shoulders most of way. Moderate Risk
- Total Cumulative Elevation Gain: Not much. High bridge over Swinomish Channel will take some effort.
- Recommended Time of Year: When the tulips are out but allow for traffic and detours to tulip stops. Especially during this time it is best to travel the more rural roads south of State Rd. 536 and WA 20.
- Points of Interest: Mt.Vernon and Skagit River, flower farms, Northern Lights Casino, March Point beaches, Bike trail from March Point across Fidalgo Bay on old railroad causeway and into downtown Anacortes. Restaurants and attractions in downtown Anacortes. Washington Park west of ferry terminal.
- Detours or Additions: Detour through the artist town of La Conner. Stop at the Breazeale-Padilla Wildlife Interpretive Center on Padilla Bay. Take the ferry to Guemes Island or the Washington State Ferry to the San Juan Islands. Enjoy the beautiful 2-½ mile loop around Washington Park located about ½ mile past the turn off for the Washington State Ferry. In the spring take one of the many loops through the tulip fields.
Exit Amtrak Station located at 105 Kincaid Street in Mt. Vernon. Head north; street curves to west.
Cross Skagit River. Head west on State Rte. 536
Rte. 536 joins WA 20 (Memorial Hwy). Turn left, but be very careful. May be best to dismount. Alternative is to continue west on farm road (Young Road) south of WA 20 and turn right (north) on Best Rd or Whitney-LaConner Rd. Then turn left (west) on WA 20.
High Bridge over Swinomish Channel. Note that there is a bicycle path on the north side of bridge.
Turn at the first right after the bridge at the Northern Lights Casino. Note that if you are in a hurry to make a ferry you can also continue straight on WA 20. Subtract about 3 miles for this route. Another alternative is to take the more rural roads just to the north (and east) of WA 20 between the Northern Lights Casino and downtown Anacortes.
Turn right (north) (crossing the railroad tracks) on East March Pt. Rd. and circumnavigate the peninsula.
Turn right on old RR trestle (now Bike/pedestrian Trail) crossing Fidalgo Bay
Bike Trail joins “R” Avenue. Take almost any left turn from “R” Ave., head west and turn right on Commercial Ave., Anacortes main street.
Look for sign to Anacortes Ferry Terminal and turn left on 12th St. which becomes Oakes Ave.
Turn right and go down the hill to Ferry Terminal (or continue straight for about 1/2 mile and ride the 2.3 mile loop around beautiful Washington Park).
Arrive at Ferry Terminal.
Ride last updated 2013
This ride is posted to EBAG are for your information only, as conditions may have changed since last updated. Create your own ride plan according to current conditions. Please comment below or contact us with any new information you gather about this route, so we can update this ride.