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Originally published Friday, May 15, 2009 at 12:00 AM

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Sammamish trails tied to Burke-Gilman for a total of 42 miles

With the opening of a 1.5-mile connector trail through Marymoor Park on Thursday, a cyclist or hiker can now ride or walk all the way from Fremont to Issaquah entirely on trails.

Seattle Times Eastside reporter

With the opening of a 1.5-mile connector trail through Marymoor Park on Thursday, a cyclist or hiker can now ride or walk all the way from Fremont to Issaquah entirely on trails.

King County Parks opened the Marymoor Connector, a bike and pedestrian trail that cuts through the middle of Marymoor Park in Redmond, connecting the East Lake Sammamish Trail from the east with the Sammamish River Trail on the west — which then connects to the Burke-Gilman Trail at Blyth Park in Bothell.

The $2.9 million connector trail "is short, but it packs a punch," said King County Parks spokesman Doug Williams. By filling in a missing link in the trail network, the unbroken trail corridor from Seattle to High Point, east of Issaquah, is now 42 miles long.

Before the trail was built, bicyclists and drivers shared the narrow road that snakes through Marymoor. There was no sidewalk.

The trail was paid for in part with money from a 2007 parks levy. It's landscaped with native plants, and bordered by a split-rail fence. On its eastern side, an elevated concrete bridge crosses a seasonal wetland.

The paved trail gives bicyclists and walkers a route through the park that connects to the unpaved East Lake Sammamish Trail without having to go through a busy Redmond intersection.

Marymoor has become a popular outdoor venue for concerts and performances, and "we really needed a way for pedestrians through the park," said Jessie Israel, manager of the county's partnership in business development program for the parks.

Israel said the project was completed on time and under budget.

For anyone who visits Marymoor without a bike, the park has about 20 cruiser-style bikes, with fat tires and one gear, that can be borrowed for free for the day, Israel said.

But you'll need to bring your own helmet.

Katherine Long: 206-464-2219 or klong@seattletimes.com

Copyright © 2009 The Seattle Times Company

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