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Burke-Gilman Trail

burke-gilman trail, burke-gilman trail map
The Burke-Gilman Trail is a rail trail in King County, Washington The 27-mile 43 km multi-use recreational trail is part of the King County Regional Trail System and occupies an abandoned Seattle, Lake Shore and Eastern Railway corridor

The Burke-Gilman segment is managed by the City of Seattle south of NE 145th Street The trail begins at 11th Avenue NW in Ballard and follows along the Lake Washington Ship Canal and north along Lake Washington At Blyth Park in Bothell the trail becomes the Sammamish River Trail and continues for 10 miles 16 km to Marymoor Park, Redmond, on Lake Sammamish 1 With the completion of a connector trail through Marymoor Park in May, 2009 the trail network continues to the city of Issaquah via the East Lake Sammamish Trail With the addition of the connector, the longest unbroken segment of the trail currently extends 42 miles2 It runs 141 miles 227 km between Ballard and Tracy Owen Station in Kenmore its initial eastern end, or 17 miles 27 km to Blyth Park The Seattle Parks Department considers the Burke-Gilman segment of the trail to end in Kenmore;3 The total distance from Golden Gardens Park to Bothell, including the proposed "missing link" through Ballard, is 198 mi 319 km King County considers that the segments divide in Bothell,1 Judge Burke and Daniel Gilman's original Road east ran past Snoqualmie Falls, before North Bend4


  • 1 Route and extent
  • 2 Origins and extensions
  • 3 Neighborhoods
  • 4 See also
  • 5 References
  • 6 Bibliography
  • 7 Further reading

Route and extentedit

This 1893 map shows part of the rail route that later became the Burke-Gilman Trail

The trail is a substantial part of the 90 miles 140 km of signed bike routes in Seattle5 and the 175 miles 282 km of trails in the King County Trails System6 The newest segment of the Burke-Gilman part, opened in July 2005, runs for 07 miles 11 km from NW 60th Street and Seaview Avenue NW to the Ballard Locks7 The main trail resumes at 11th Avenue NW and NW 45th Street and runs 17 miles 27 km to Blyth Park in Bothell There, it becomes the Sammamish River Trail segment, which parallels the Sammamish River for 10 miles 16 km to Redmond1

Currently the trail runs along the Fremont Cut, Lake Union an old freight depot remains visible at the foot of Stone Way, and through the University of Washington campus After passing the University Village shopping center, the trail heads up through northeast neighborhoods, alongside the Hawthorne Hills, Laurelhurst and Windermere neighborhoods; through the Sand Point neighborhood, passing Magnuson Park, then alongside Lake Washington from just before the Matthews Beach and Cedar Park neighborhoods of the former Lake City, continuing on through Lake Forest Park and Kenmore to Bothell3 The trail throughout is nearly level with few large intersection crossings — it is a former railroad right-of-way

Origins and extensionsedit

Opening Day Excursion on the Seattle Lake Shore and Eastern Railroad, site of the future Burke-Gilman trail, c 18878 9

The trail can trace its origins to the founding of the Seattle, Lake Shore and Eastern Railway on 15 April 1885, by ten men headed by judge Thomas Burke and Daniel Gilman In its heyday, Burke and Gilman's road extended from Downtown north to Arlington and east to Rattlesnake Prairie above Snoqualmie Falls Taken over by the Northern Pacific Railway around 1890,4 the line became part of the Burlington Northern Railroad in 1970, and was abandoned in 1971 In 1978, the first 121 miles 195 km of the right-of-way, from Seattle's Gas Works Park to Kenmore's Tracy Owen Station, was opened as a public trail and named after the founders of the railroad10

The Burke-Gilman Trail Ends in Bothell along West Riverside Drive just short of 102 Ave NE Here stands the next missing link with abandoned railroad between Bothell and Woodinville Within Woodinville there is a mile of active rail line being part of the Eastside Rail Corridor and the Redmond Central Connector From Blythe Park, south Bothell, the King County Regional Trail continues as the Sammamish River Regional Trail to our next portion of this famous railroad grade You can continue to follow Burke and Gilman's old SLS&E along as the East Lake Sammamish Trail, The Rainier Trail in Issaquah, The Issaquah Preston Trail and the Preston Snoqualmie Trail The Snoqualmie Falls-North Bend link of Burke and Gilman's old SLS&E has become the line of the Northwest Railway Museum11 The SLS&E terminated just beyond North Bend in Sallal Prairie To continue on the regional trail network find the Snoqualmie Valley Trail in North Bend and connect with the Iron Horse State Park at Rattlesnake Lake

As of 2006, there are extensions of the Burke-Gilman Trail at its western end: connecting the short and long segments between the Ballard Locks and 11th Avenue, and a northern extension along Shilshole Bay from NW 60th Street to Golden Gardens Park, and planning for connecting between the Ballard Locks and downtown Ballard at 11th Avenue NW and NW 45th Street7 A major point of contention regarding the remaining "missing link" project is the industrial nature of the Salmon Bay waterfront, through which this portion of the trail would pass Many business owners are concerned about the safety and liability issues inherent in the convergence of trains, trucks, cyclists, and pedestrians, while the city and citizens groups claim the dangers are being exaggerated12 The trail overall can at times be busy and even crowded10

Daniel Hunt Gilman, Maine-born lawyer, railroad investor Trail's namesake, along with judge Thomas Burke

A two-mile section of the trail within Lake Forest Park was temporarily closed for redevelopment from June 2011 to February 201213


The trail intersects the following:

  • Seattle neighborhoods from western terminus east and north:
    • Ballard
    • Fremont
    • Northlake also known as south Wallingford
    • University District
    • Trail runs alongside:
      • University Village shopping center
      • Hawthorne Hills
      • Laurelhurst and
      • Windermere neighborhoods
      • Sand Point neighborhood, passing Magnuson Park
    • Lake City district of neighborhoods
      • Matthews Beach and
      • Cedar Park14
  • Suburban Seattle towns, continuing northeast, east and then south:
    • Lake Forest Park
    • Kenmore
    • Bothell
    • Woodinville
    • Redmond

See alsoedit

  • Seattle, Lake Shore & Eastern Railway
  • Ravenna-Cowen Park and Ravenna Creek
  • Eastside Rail Corridor


  1. ^ a b c "Burke-Gilman Regional Trail" King County Parks King County Retrieved 2007-02-18 
  2. ^ Long, Katherine 2009-05-15 "Sammamish trails tied to Burke-Gilman for a total of 42 miles" Seattle Times Seattle Times Retrieved 2009-05-15 
  3. ^ a b "Burke-Gilman Trail Information and Maps" Seattle Department of Transportation Retrieved 2016-02-22 
  4. ^ a b Speidel, William 1967 Sons of the Profits, or, There's No Business Like Grow Business: The Seattle Story, 1851-1901 Nettle Creek Pub Co ISBN 0-914890-00-X 
  5. ^ "City of Seattle Bicycle Program" Seattle DOT Bicycle Program 2005 Retrieved 2006-04-21 
  6. ^ "King County Regional Trail System" King County Parks and Recreation Division Retrieved 2006-04-21 
  7. ^ a b "Burke-Gilman Trail Extension Projects" Seattle Department of Transportation DOT Bicycle Program 2006-04-04 Retrieved 2006-04-21 
  8. ^ Curtis, Asahel nd "Excursion on the Seattle Lake Shore and Eastern Railroad, nd" Asahel Curtis Photo Company Collection University of Washington Libraries Special Collections Division Retrieved 2006-07-21 
  9. ^ Curtis, Asahel 1887 "Opening of Seattle, Lake Shore & Eastern Railway, Seattle, ca 1887" Lantern Slide Collection Museum of History & Industry, Seattle Retrieved 2006-07-21 
  10. ^ a b "Burke-Gilman History" Seattle DOT Bicycle Program 2005 Retrieved 2006-04-21 
  11. ^ "Ride the Train" Northwest Railway Museum Retrieved 2016-02-23 
  12. ^ Bishop, Todd 2003-04-14 "Burke-Gilman extension as seen by business" Seattle Post-Intelligencer Retrieved 2006-04-21 
  13. ^ "Celebrate re-opening of Burke-Gilman Trail in Lake Forest Park, March 13" Press release King County Parks 2012-03-12 Retrieved 2016-02-22 
  14. ^ "North Portion of City" Seattle City Clerk's Neighborhood Map Atlas Office of the Seattle City Clerk Retrieved 2016-02-23 


  • "Burke-Gilman Trail" Seattle Department of Transportation Retrieved 2016-02-22 
  • "Burke-Gilman Trail" King County Parks King County Retrieved 2006-04-21 
  • Speidel, William C 1967 Sons of the profits; or, There's no business like grow business: the Seattle story, 1851-1901 Seattle: Nettle Creek Publishing Company pp 196–197, 200 ISBN 978-0-914890-00-3 
    Speidel provides a substantial bibliography with extensive primary sources

Further readingedit

  • "Burke-Gilman Trail Cybertour", HistoryLink Essay 7049
  • "Seattle's Bicycle Program: Bicycle Maps", Seattle Department of Transportation Bicycle Program Also links to PDF format maps
  • "Seattle's Urban Trails System", Seattle Department of Transportation Bicycle Program Map and description of citywide system, completed, funded, planned
  • Burke-Gilman trail on a Google Map
  • TrailLinkcom - Burke Gilman Trail

Coordinates: 47°41′44″N 122°16′41″W / 4769556°N 12227806°W / 4769556; -12227806

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