King County Parks completed construction of the East Lake Sammamish Trail, its latest contribution to the 44-mile Locks to Lake Corridor that connects Seattle’s Ballard neighborhood to Eastside cities and the Cascade foothills with an uninterrupted paved path.
Executive Dow Constantine led a celebration for the final segment of the East Lake Sammamish Trail, completing King County’s portion of the 44-mile paved Locks to Lake Corridor that connects Seattle’s waterfront in Ballard to Eastside cities and the Cascade foothills
The completed 11-mile East Lake Sammamish Trail connects to the Burke-Gilman, Sammamish River, Marymoor Connectors, and Issaquah-Preston trails, providing a safe, accessible paved path for people of all ages and abilities to walk, ride, roll, and bike.
"After many years of partnership and progress, I am delighted that we have completed the East Lake Sammamish Trail, contributing to the scenic trail network that connects Seattle’s waterfront to Eastside cities and the Cascade foothills," said Executive Constantine. "The new lakeside trail allows residents from all across King County to use a safe, healthy, and accessible recreation path, and I’m excited for people to have the chance to explore it soon."
This final 3.6-mile segment of trail was built to the same standard that applies to all of King County’s regional trails. It features a 12-foot-wide asphalt surface with 2-foot-wide gravel shoulders on each side, plus rest areas, safer driveway and road intersections, improved drainage, fencing, and signage.
Construction crews also installed new culverts that make it possible for salmon to swim underneath the trail to reach more spawning habitat, planted native vegetation, and added landscaping features.
The trail follows the old BNSF railroad along Lake Sammamish’s eastern shoreline. At its southern end in Issaquah, the trail links to King County’s Issaquah-Preston Trail. To the north, the trail connects to the Marymoor Connector Trail at King County’s Marymoor Park, which connects to the Sammamish River Trail and to Sound Transit's new Link Light Rail stations in Redmond.
King County Parks purchased the 11-mile East Lake Sammamish rail-banked corridor in 1997, opening a narrower, gravel-surfaced interim trail in 2006. Fully developed trail segments were completed in Redmond in 2011, in Issaquah two years later, and Sammamish in 2015 and 2018.
The completed Locks to Lakes Corridor is part of the broader Leafline Trails, a network with more than 500 miles of paved, non-motorized trails across King, Pierce, Snohomish, and Kitsap counties.
After many years of partnership and progress, I am delighted that we have completed the East Lake Sammamish Trail, contributing to the scenic trail network that connects Seattle’s waterfront to Eastside cities and the Cascade foothills. The new lakeside trail allows residents from all across King County to use a safe, healthy, and accessible recreation path, and I’m excited for people to have the chance to explore it soon.
This East Lake Sammamish Trail will create wonderful new connections in our region. It will link Sammamish, Redmond and Issaquah to each other and to the rest of King County via our growing regional trail and light rail network. It will connect many more people to green space and parks, including King County’s largest and most popular, Marymoor Park. Saturday’s celebration has been 26 years in the making. We are here today thanks to unwavering dedication and hard work from countless community advocates, elected leaders, and King County staff, who envisioned how this trail could transform our region and persevered to make it a reality.
The completion of the final 'missing link' of the 11-mile East Lake Sammamish Trail in our 44-mile regional trail corridor is a remarkable achievement for District 3 and our entire County. This is not just a trail that provides a safer way for residents to walk, bike and connect with nature and each other, it provides a more sustainable and walkable future for our region. I am grateful for the tireless dedication of our King County Parks team in bringing this forward and I'm looking forward to joining our community members on the trail for years to come!
This project is an example of outstanding teamwork to create a link between communities and an accessible recreational opportunity for all. The City of Sammamish is excited about this new connection and encourages all our community members to enjoy this new trail segment.
What an achievement! Completing the East Lake Sammamish Trail and finalizing the last stretch of the Locks to Lake Corridor is an impressive accomplishment. This trail network is such an asset to our greater community, allowing for additional transportation and recreation options to so many wonderful destinations. I encourage everyone to explore the trail system and experience all our region has to offer.
Completing this trail connection brings exciting new choices for the Eastside community, as now, it's easier than ever to embrace a car-free lifestyle of biking and walking. Not only does this promote alternative transportation, but it also bolsters our local economy by providing direct access to businesses and connecting Redmond with Issaquah, Sammamish, and soon Kirkland.
The completion of the East Lake Sammamish Trail is a testament to the dedication and perseverance of King County Parks staff and our partners who worked tirelessly on this project. We are proud to be able to deliver this regional trail to the public and increase access to recreation and active transportation.