It’s OURS, all OURS!

Squak Mountain celebration

In 2013, some 226 acres of lovely lush forest wedged between Cougar and Squak Mountains near Issaquah was threatened with clear-cutting. Thanks to the quick action of some conservationists and concerned hikers, King County and The Trust for Public Land made an agreement to protect the forest, where The Trust for Public Land would immediately purchase in the land and King County Parks would buy it from TPL over time. And guess what folks…we just made our last payment, so now this forest is OURS, ALL OURS!

And by “ours”, we mean YOURS! Hurray for all of us, down to the salmon in the stream and the birds in the trees.

Trail Photo Contest: King County’s regional trails through your eyes

RTS Cover ContestWhat do you see along King County’s 175-mile Regional Trails System? Share it with us and your photo could make the next cover of the regional trails map! You’ve got until September 28 to submit your photo via our Flickr group:

Here’s how it works:


King County Parks employees, their family members, and contest judges are ineligible. See contest rules for more information about eligibility.


  • Image content must not demonstrate any inappropriate or illegal activity, such as off-leash dogs, or cyclists or equestrians without helmets.
  • The photo must be able to fit the vertical format of the map’s cover – wide landscape orientation shots are discouraged.
  • The minimum resolution should be 300 dpi.
  • Photos should be from within the past 12 months.
  • Please submit your own photos.

**Only photos taken on King County’s portions of the Regional Trails System are eligible.**


  • To submit your photos, use your Yahoo!, Google or Facebook account to log into Flickr. If you do not have an account, you can sign-up for free.
  • Join the King County Parks RTS Map Cover Contest Group:
    • Upload your image to this group.
    • Identify the location of photo in the photo caption. For example: “Name of trail, exact location” – Burke-Gilman Trail – near Log Boom Park (geo-location preferred).

Extended through September 28, 2014

Judges’ Choice Grand Prize: One winning photo will be featured on the cover of the next issue of the “Regional Trails in King County” map, which is available online and in print when it is reprinted this September, and will remain on the cover for at least the next six months. In addition to the cover photo, winner will also receive a performance REI XT 85 pack generously donated by REI.

Second Prize: The runner-up will win a pair of tickets to a 2014 Marymoor Park Concert Series show.

Honorable Mention: Receive a King County Parks swag bag.


The winning image will be evaluated by a panel of King County employees. King County Parks employees will select 10 photos for final judging by the panel. The winning image will be evaluated based on overall impact, artistic merit, and technical excellence.

If any persons or private property appear in the photograph, the Participant is responsible for obtaining, prior to submission of the photograph, any and all releases and consents necessary to permit the exhibition and use of the photograph in the manner set forth in these Contest rules without additional compensation. If any person appearing in any photograph is under the age of majority in their state/province/territory of residence the signature of a parent or legal guardian is required on each release.

Full contest details and rules can be found on here.

Trail Alert: Construction and New Additions

Issaquah-Preston Trail cycle track

Summertime means construction and lots of action on our regional trails; here’s the latest scoop!

Construction Alerts

From August 4 – 25, King County will be repairing scour damage around the southern pier and southern bank of Gold Creek, near the Sammamish River Trail at the bridge south of the NE 124th Street and east of the Sammamish River. The trail will remain open but the area near the bridge will be impacted by construction and the presence of heavy machinery.

From August 7 – 13, King County Parks will be repairing portions of the trail along a one-mile stretch of the Soos Creek Trail between SE 240th St to SE 256th St in Kent. The work won’t require a complete closure of the trail, and flaggers will direct trail traffic around active construction zones.

King County Parks will close a short stretch of the Cedar River Trail for one day on September 4 to perform routine maintenance on a bridge near Fred V Habenicht Rotary Park near the intersection of Witte Road SE and SE 221st St in Maple Valley. There will be no detour route.

New Additions

If you’ve been on the Burke-Gilman Trail recently, you may have noticed the shiny new mural in the Wayne Tunnel that passes underneath 96th Ave NE 96th in Bothell. Working with volunteers over the course of two weeks in early July, artist Kristen Ramirez’s colorful design makes use of the walls and ceiling of 250 foot-long tunnel for a beautiful effect. Click here for photos and here for more on the artist and project.

Utilizing the road right-of-way, King County Parks just added a .7-mile-long cycle track along High Point Way to close a gap in the Regional Trails System and connect the Issaquah-Preston Trail to the Preston-Snoqualmie Trail. This protected corridor separates pedestrians and cyclists from vehicle traffic, improving safety for everyone. Click here for photos.

Noticed those colorful random pianos along the Burke-Gilman or Sammamish River Trails? Now through August 17, Pianos in the Parks is a special summer happening in parks and on trails through Seattle and King County. Visitors are encouraged to sit down and play a tune – submit your video and be entered to win the opening gig at KEXP’s Concerts at the Mural on August 22! For more information, visit

Walk the East Lake Samm Trail with KC Parks

The current East Lake Sammamish Trail (South Sammamish Segment)

The current East Lake Sammamish Trail (South Sammamish Segment)

Join us on the trail! King County Parks is holding a series of informational meetings along the East Lake Sammamish Trail that focus on design and planning for the next portion of the trail slated for development, the South Sammamish Segment A, which goes from SE 33rd St southward to SE 43rd Way.

We’re in the design phase for this segment and preliminary trail alignment plans can be found here (9.2 MB pdf). Meet us on the trail – look for the King County Parks tent! – where we’ll have our design team on hand to explain the plans, answer questions, and listen to your feedback. Depending on the trail section and people’s interest, we may also walk along the trail to view different spots that illustrate design elements.

Trail Meetings

Monday, July 14 – 5 p.m. to 7 p.m.
Section: 4299 East Lake Sammamish Pkwy SE to 4265 East Lake Sammamish Shore Lane SE
Meet-up: on the trail near the driveway south of Peregrine Point Way SE

Monday, July 21 – 5 p.m. to 7 p.m.
Section: 4209 East Lake Sammamish Pkwy SE to 4261 East Lake Sammamish Shore Lane SE
Meet-up: on the trail near the driveway at 212th Way SE

Thursday, July 24 – 5 p.m. to 7 p.m.
Section: 4013 East Lake Sammamish Shore Lane SE to 206th Ave SE
Meet-up: on the trail near the driveway at 206th Ave SE

Monday, July 28 – 5 p.m. to 7 p.m.
Section: 3803 East Lake Sammamish Shore Lane SE to 4011 East Lake Sammamish Shore Lane SE
Meet-up: on the trail near the driveway at SE 39th St

Tuesday, Aug 5 – 5 p.m. to 7 p.m.
Section: 3315 East Lake Sammamish Pkway SE to 3731 Sammamish shore Lane SE
Meet-up: on the trail at SE 33rd St

Trail neighbors are encouraged to attend the meeting closest to their homes. Are you a trail neighbor, but can’t make the meeting? Please contact us to set up an alternative time that works for you. Call the project hotline at 1-888-668-4886 or send an email to

Keep up with construction activities and sign up for the ELST email alerts on the website at

Colorful addition coming to the Burke-Gilman Trail in July

Artist's rendering of the Wayne Tunnel mural

Artist’s rendering of the Wayne Tunnel mural

4Culture and King County Parks have commissioned Seattle-based artist Kristen Ramirez to create a colorful mural along the Burke-Gilman Trail in the Wayne Tunnel, a 250-foot-long passageway under 96th Avenue Northeast in Bothell. The artist will be on site daily from July 7 – July 18, painting the mural with the help of volunteers from 10 am to 2 pm.

Want to get your painting on? We’re looking for volunteers! Click here to see available dates.

The mural was inspired by Ramirez’s research about the trail’s history and through conversations and surveys of area residents and trail users. It is part of a series of improvements to the tunnel that will improve safety and enhance the trail experience.

The trail will remain open during installation. We’ll be on site managing traffic, which will be reduced to one side of the trail through the tunnel. Cyclists will be asked to dismount to pass through the tunnel.

4Culture, King County’s public arts organization, advances community through through public art and heritage and cultural preservation, deepening our connections to the places where we live and work. This project is funded through King County’s 1% for Art program, which is managed by 4Culture. King County adopted the 1% for Art legislation in 1973 to commission public art that visually enhances County property and creates a sense of ownership and community. Funding for public artwork comes from capital construction budgets and cannot be used for other county programs or services like maintenance or operations.

For more information about the project, read the Wayne Mural_FAQ.