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Saturday: Totem Lake bridge will connect Eastrail to Sammamish River and Burke-Gilman Trails + Eastrail Ale launch and trailside concerts in July

The Decade of the Eastrail is coming into view. The buildout of this major regional rail-trail will reach a milestone moment Saturday afternoon when the Totem Lake Connector biking and walking bridge opens. The bridge is almost like the golden spike that, thanks to a number of other recent additions, will finally connect the Eastrail to the Sammamish River Trail and, therefore, the Burke-Gilman Trail.


This is so cool and the result of decades of work by innumerable people both inside and outside of politics as well as a myriad of different government agencies. As of Saturday, you will be able to ride a loop around the north end of Lake Washington almost without leaving a trail. The only non-trail segments will be the Montlake Bridge connection from 520 to the Burke-Gilman and a couple steep blocks of 108th Ave NE near the South Kirkland Park and Ride between the Eastrail and the 520 Trail via Northup Way. But even this small Kirkland gap will be made optional when the under-construction Eastrail to Northup Way connection is completed as soon as late summer. After that, riders will have the option to use the non-protected bike lanes on Northup for a less-steep climb up to the Eastrail.

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Who else is riding the new trail loop around north Lake Washington this weekend? I feel like this ride needs a name. Post your suggestions in the comments.

Bridge opening celebration

The Totem Lake Connector biking and walking bridge officially opens Saturday afternoon. The celebration goes from 2–4 p.m., and the City of Kirkland will be coordinating an aerial photo in case you want to become famous. Eastrail Partners are also organizing a pair of rides to the bridge that both start at 2. One leaves from Wilmot Gateway Park in Woodinville and the other leaves from South Kirkland Park and Ride. Email [email protected] to RSVP for a ride.

Promotional image with a photo of the new bridge with text Ride to the Bridge with EasTrail Partners. Saturday, July 8 at 2 PM. Rides start at Wilmot Gateway Park in Woodinville and South Kirkland Park and Ride.
Image from Eastrail Partners.

Eastrail Ale

The fantastic Chainline Brewing Co. is releasing their new Eastrail Ale July 13 at their trailside Chainline Station in Kirkland. The release party goes from 5:30–7:30, and a portion of proceeds go to Eastrail Partners.

Promo for the Eastrail Ale release party with Chainline Brewing Co and Eastrail Partners logos. Thursday, July 13, 5:30 to 7:30 PM at Chainline Station, 604 5th Place South, Kirkland.

Eastrail concert series

Eastrail Partners is also promoting a summer concert series July 12, 19 and 26 at the amphitheater in Kirkland’s Feriton Spur Park near the Google campus and Chainline Station.

Summer concerts on the Cross-Kirkland Corridor of the EasTrail. July 12 is 24 Madison Band, July 19 is the Youth Music Showcase and July 26 is the Cross-Cultural Celebration. 6 to 8 PM at Feriton Spur Park.

EDIT: I have been informed that I’m not the only one who did not like the capital T in EasTrail, and that the official name of the trail and the organization Eastrail Partners no longer capitalizes the T (except in their logo). I have changed all the Ts to ts in this post.

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9 responses to “Saturday: Totem Lake bridge will connect Eastrail to Sammamish River and Burke-Gilman Trails + Eastrail Ale launch and trailside concerts in July”

  1. Kyle

    Thanks for the update! Any idea if/when the Kirkland sections of Eastrail will be paved? I feel that would greatly improve these trail connections.

  2. Rich Knox

    I rode across the bridge today, and it is wonderful. One remaining issue in Kirkland is where the trail crosses 132nd Ave NE. Currently bicyclists are directed to use the crossing signal at 124th. This requires some slightly technical sidewalk riding. Kirkland has done a study identifying alternatives for this crossing (https://www.kirklandwa.gov/files/sharedassets/public/public-works/transportation/plans-and-studies/ckc-132nd-ave-ne-trail-crossing-study.pdf). I’m hoping that they can find a way to at least install an RRFB to mitigate the problem in the short term.

    1. Al Dimond

      That whole thing just perfectly encapsulates how devotion to car stuff makes everything harder. They’ll only study a bridge or tunnel, with huge costs, long timeframes, and more complex infrastructure to maintain forever, just to cross a road like Slater/132nd, which is very wide at that particular point but hardly very important. A traffic signal and a narrowed-down Slater is the obvious answer but we’d never do it.

      1. asdf2

        Actually, they did recommend just putting in a signal for now, keeping more expensive options in reserve if traffic conditions warrant it. But yes, the need for such a huge study to begin with shows how car focuses the planning process is. A little bit of vehicular traffic bottlenecks during rush hour should not force a trail detour 24/7 to cross a street.

      2. Al Dimond

        LOL I think I missed that whole section of the document *facepalm*.

  3. Redarts

    We rode in with the group from the south park and ride for good company. What a nice event and a great achievement by the community!

  4. Tom

    It’s Northup Way, not “Northrup”

    1. Tom Fucoloro

      This is just like that Berenstein Bears thing. When did we switch to the “Northup” timeline?!? lol. I’ll fix it. Thanks.

  5. Al Dimond

    A year ago when my arm was broken and I couldn’t do a lot of other stuff I walked from Bellevue to Woodinville, mostly using this route. Because i was working in Kirkland when the rails were removed I saw a lot of that happen and probably have been on the trail more times before the rails were removed than after. It’s come a long way… still a weird trail to travel, alternating between pockets of high-intensity suburbia, the undersides of high-intensity suburbia, and a few places it feels like time forgot.

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