Pets allowed
Elevation Gain
0.00 ft (0.00 m)
Trail type
3.70 mi (5.95 km)
Please respect the outdoors by practicing Leave No Trace. Learn more about how to apply the principles of Leave No Trace on your next outdoor adventure here.

The Burke-Gilman Trail is a popular multi-use recreational trail that stretches through Seattle, Washington. The segment between the Ballard Locks to Golden Gardens Park offers a picturesque and enjoyable experience for walkers, cyclists, joggers, and nature enthusiasts

Starting at the Ballard Locks, officially known as the Hiram M. Chittenden Locks, the trail passes by one of Seattle's iconic landmarks. The locks are a complex system that connects the waters of Lake Washington, Lake Union, and the Puget Sound, allowing boats to move between different water levels. Visitors often gather here to watch boats pass through and to observe the salmon ladder, where salmon migrate upstream. Before setting off along the trail, hikers can enjoy the locks as well as use the restroom at the visitor’s center. 

Leaving the locks behind, the trail follows a former rail corridor and meanders through lush greenery, offering a pleasant escape from the urban environment. You'll pass through neighborhoods, under overpasses, and alongside streets, with sections bordered by trees and foliage. The trail's surface is primarily paved, providing a smooth pathway for various activities.

As you continue along the Burke-Gilman Trail, you'll gradually make your way toward the picturesque Golden Gardens Park. This park is situated along the shores of Puget Sound and offers stunning views of the water, sunsets, and the Olympic Mountains in the distance. The park features sandy beaches, walking paths, picnic areas, and a play area, making it a popular destination for families, beachgoers, and anyone seeking a serene natural setting.

Throughout the journey from the Ballard Locks to Golden Gardens Park, you'll encounter a mix of urban and natural landscapes. There are multiple opportunities to get a wonderful view of the Puget Sound with the Olympic Mountains in the backdrop. The trail provides a unique blend of recreational opportunities and a chance to connect with Seattle's beautiful outdoors. Remember that trail conditions, amenities, and surroundings can vary, so it's a good idea to check for any updates or changes before embarking on your adventure.


Logistics + Planning

Preferable season(s)




Parking Pass


Open Year-round



Beautiful Option to Explore Seattle Neighboorhoods.



Trailhead Elevation

36.00 ft (10.97 m)

Highest point

36.00 ft (10.97 m)


ADA accessible
Family friendly
Near lake or river

Typically multi-day


Suitable for


Permit required




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