Take a hike, or a ride, on a more enjoyable Burke-Gilman Trail in Lake Forest Park

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Bikers on the Burke Gilman Trail
Photo courtesy King County

The snip of giant scissors cutting through a wide gold ribbon signaled the official reopening of a safer, more enjoyable Burke-Gilman Trail segment through Lake Forest Park Tuesday afternoon.

“This delivers on a promise made many years ago, to preserve and protect a valuable recreational treasure and active transportation link that greatly enhances the lives of King County residents,” said County Parks Director Kevin Brown, who with dozens of trail users celebrated the grand reopening of a vastly improved 2.2-mile trail stretch.

Also joining Brown were Assistant Deputy King County Executive Rhonda Berry, County Councilmember Bob Ferguson, and officials from Lake Forest Park and Cascade Bicycle Club.

Used by thousands every day, the trail segment from Northeast 145th Street to Logboom Park in Kenmore was made safer by widening and repaving it, and installing soft surface shoulders, improved street crossings and better lighting.

“The Burke-Gilman Trail is the most widely used trail in the County’s trail network and connects many of the communities in north King County that I represent,” said Councilmember Bob Ferguson. “I appreciate the patience of the community as these important improvements were made.”

King County Councilmember Bob Ferguson and son Jack
at the ribbon-cutting ceremony.

Once celebration formalities were complete, a swarm of Cascade Bicycle Club members, pedestrians and other trail users set off to enjoy the trail. Celebrants participated in a “More Tortoise, Less Hare Race” that emphasized best trail etiquette and respect for all types of trail users.

The trail has been open to users since February 10. It had been closed since June 2011 as King County completed the first major redevelopment of the oldest Burke-Gilman trail section.

The Burke-Gilman Trail runs from Seattle’s Shilshole Bay area to Kenmore. From there, the trail connects with the County’s Sammamish River Trail and continues through Woodinville and into Redmond.

Trail use surveys show that more than 1,300 trips are made on the Burke-Gilman Trail through this section on weekdays, and the trail is used by many as part of their daily commute. On a sunny weekend the number of trips can jump to more than 2,200 in this location.

The new Lyon Creek bridge on the BG Trail
Photo by Jerry Pickard
Redevelopment included widening the trail to 12 feet, installing soft-surface shoulders that walkers and runners can use, and enhancing intersection and crossing treatments. More than 340 trees were planted, and upgrades also included a new bridge, improved sightlines and improved drainage.

The County spent more than five years of planning and design work for this redevelopment project, with ongoing involvement of a citizen’s advisory group and in close coordination with the City of Lake Forest Park.

Funding was provided in part by the voter-approved Open Space and Trails Levy. The trail is managed by Seattle within the city limits south of Northeast 145th Street and by King County outside Seattle. More information is available 


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