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Burke-Gilman Trail Tour Essay 7049

Click here to start the tour

This is a tour of  Seattle's Burke-Gilman Trail, an urban trail that follows the route of the old Seattle, Lake Shore & Eastern Railroad.


The Burke-Gilman Trail is a publicly owned foot and bicycle path that follows the original right of way of the Seattle, Lake Shore & Eastern Railroad. The trail's name honors railroad founders Judge Thomas Burke and Daniel Gilman, who first laid track north from downtown Seattle in 1887. The line was extended east along Lake Union's north shore and then around Lake Washington with the aim of crossing the Snoqualmie Pass. While this goal was never reached, the SLS&E quickened the development of King County and carried much of its raw materials, chiefly timber and coal. Rails reached Snoqualmie Falls in 1889, when a northern branch was built to connect with the Canadian Pacific Railroad at the border town of Sumas.

The railroad was abandoned in the 1960s, and the City of Seattle later purchased part of the right of way for an urban trail. The route is open to the public from Kenmore to Fremont, and will soon be extended to Ballard. King County also has plans to extend the trail north and east of Lake Washington.

The following map shows the SLSER route and public portions of the trail. Click locations for historic views of the trail and nearby landmarks.

Click here to start the tour

Image credits as shown.

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Licensing: This essay is licensed under a Creative Commons license that encourages reproduction with attribution. Credit should be given to both and to the author, and sources must be included with any reproduction. Click the icon for more info. Please note that this Creative Commons license applies to text only, and not to images. For more information regarding individual photos or images, please contact the source noted in the image credit.
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License

Major Support for Provided By: The State of Washington | Patsy Bullitt Collins | Paul G. Allen Family Foundation | Museum Of History & Industry | 4Culture (King County Lodging Tax Revenue) | City of Seattle | City of Bellevue | City of Tacoma | King County | The Peach Foundation | Microsoft Corporation, Other Public and Private Sponsors and Visitors Like You

Burke-Gilman Trail (Seattle to Snoqualmie Falls)

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