The recent and ongoing development of the path that runs along Lake Sammamish’s east bank – a freshwater body that stretches from Redmond, through the city of Sammamish, and on to Issaquah – is great news for anyone in the area who cycles. The 11-mile East Lake Sammamish Trail along the waterfront makes for a very pleasant ride on its own, or link it up with the Burke-Gilman, Sammamish River Trail, and Marymoor Connector Trial for a long, continuous ride right out of Seattle.
What Makes It Great
Cycling alongside water often has a certain idyllic feel, and the East Lake Sammamish Trail is no exception. The process that it took to turn the idea for this trail into a reality took several years, involving many layers of negotiations among local interest groups, so it is very exciting to see the project finally come to fruition.The East Lake Sammamish Trail begins near the east end of Marymoor Park, where the Sammamish River flows out of the Sammamish Lake. It then continues south along the lake, following a historic railroad route that passes several creeks and scenic points with views of the Cascade foothills along the way. It ends shortly after going through the Lake Sammamish State Park, where the Issaquah River flows into the lake. This beautiful park is a perfect spot to stop for a picnic. But if you still have more ride in you, don’t worry! The trail connects up with the Issaquah-High Point Trail, another segment of the 44-mile “locks to lake” regional corridor that begins with the Burke-Gilman in Ballard. King County Parks has been paving the East Lake Sammamish Trail in portions since 2006, putting in a 12-foot wide corridor with 2-foot wide shoulders on either side. And now, the project is nearly finished. There is just one more 2.6-mile segment to go: the bit that runs from 187th Ave NE to Inglewood Hill Rd. This portion of the trail is currently closed, but King County anticipates the project will be completed in April 2015. Check for updates here.
Who is Going to Love It
Families and casual cyclists will love the East Lake Sammamish Trail because it is an accessible and relatively easy, flat path. Cycling aficionados will love it for being a key portion of the locks to lake corridor that allows them to just bike, bike, bike forever.
Directions, Parking, & Regulations
Access the northern end of the trail off NE 70th St. in Redmond, near the east end of Marymoor Park. There is a 77-space parking lot here, near the Whole Foods. There are also five designated access points along the way (and dozens of unofficial ones). From north to south, these are: 187th Ave. NE, NE Inglewood Hill Rd., NE 7th Court, SE 8th St., SE 33rd St (near the 7-11), and 212th Way SE.
There are gravel pullout areas on the west side of the East Lake Sammamish Parkway that also may be used for parking.