The Burke-Gilman Trail, managed by the city of Seattle and King County, stretches from Puget Sound east to Bothell. Built in the 1970s along part of the original Seattle, Lake Shore and Eastern Railway corridor (later Northern Pacific and then Burlington Northern), the paved Burke-Gilman was among the first rail-trails and helped inspire dozens of similar projects around the country.
The western terminus begins at the south end of Golden Gardens Park on Puget Sound and heads south toward Salmon Bay. This short segment (about 2 miles) ends at Ballard Locks, along NW 54th Street just west of 34th Avenue NW. From here, cyclists will have to ride on road to the next segment, which picks up again at NW 45th Street and 11th Avenue NW. To get here, take NW Market Street to Shilshole Avenue to NW 45th Street.
From here the Burke-Gilman Trail follows the waterway to Gas Works Park on what now becomes the shores of Lake Union. Continuing east, the trail passes through the campus of University of Washington. Both students and the business community account for the trail's popularity as a commuter and recreational opportunity— more than 2,000 people use the Burke-Gilman every day, making it one of the busiest commuter trails in the country.
Leaving campus the trail continues through suburbia, passing Sand Point, the former Naval Air Station, and Warren G. Magnusson Park. The trail continues along the lake shore, where stops at Matthews Park and, farther 5.5 miles north, Log Boom Park, both with picnicking, restrooms, swimming and other facilities—and both quite crowded with families on summer days.
From Log Boom to Bothell Park is another 3+ miles. But before you reach the park, just after crossing 96th Avenue NE, the trail forks; take the left one if you want to connect seamlessly to the Sammamish River Trail, which continues another 11 miles to King County's Marymoor Park in Redmond. The right fork crosses the Sammamish River, where the Burke-Gilman Trail ends at Riverside Drive. You can, however, cut across to the west again to pick up the Sammamish River Trail near Bothell Landing Park. Or you can continue along Riverside Drive and turn north (left) onto 102nd Avenue NE to connect with the Sammamish Trail
You can access the Burke-Gilman Trail from several places along its route. For information on these points and distances between segments, view the online map.