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Seattle Parks and Recreation

Cheshiahud Lake Union Loop

Seattle Parks and Recreation Information:
206-684-4075 | Contact Us TTY Phone: 206-233-1509


You can make a tax deductible donation to this park through the Seattle Parks Foundation.

Seattle Parks Foundation Logo

More Information

David Graves, AICP
Senior Planner
Major Projects & Planning
Seattle Parks & Recreation


Currently no events are scheduled.

Free loop trail map available at Seattle Parks and Recreation administration building in Denny Park at:
100 Dexter Ave N
Seattle, WA 98109
Folded Loop Trail Map

Field Notes Map
Field Notes Map
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Cheslahud Lake Union Loop Master Plan
Master Plan
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Cheslahud Lake Union Loop Map
Trail Map
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Cheslahud Lake Union Loop Concepts
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The City and the Seattle Parks Foundation created a multi-use loop around Lake Union. The vision is to invite community use and enjoyment of Lake Union; providing a loop that connects people to open space – connecting us to new and existing lakefront parks, celebrating the lake’s historic working waterfront, and revealing the unique character and quality of the lake itself.

The loop creates safe and attractive access to the lake for all Seattlites - connecting Gasworks and Lake Union Parks, linking more than 35 pocket parks, street ends and waterways that ring the lake, and improving access from adjacent neighborhoods, downtown, and the University of Washington.

By connecting existing parks and improving access to the lake, this loop provides a continuous network of open spaces that are ideal for a range of active and passive recreation, from boating, bicycling and walking, to family picnics and quiet contemplation. This loop celebrates the rich and varied history of Lake Union and its ties to Seattle’s maritime and industrial past, present and future.

At the geographic and historic heart of Seattle, the loop enhances the vitality and livability of neighborhoods surrounding the lake, the City, and the Seattle region. Parts of a lakefront trail already exist—segments of the Burke Gilman Trail, Westlake Avenue and trails within Gasworks and Lake Union Park. But as a whole, Lake Union remains inaccessible and disconnected as a resource, both for the communities that surround it and the general public.

Public Art

Field Notes: Observing Lake Union is an audio tour that focuses on four sites along the Cheshiahud Lake Union Loop: Lake Union Park, Fairview Park, Gas Works Park, and Lake Washington Ship Canal viewing spot under the Aurora Bridge on the Burke Gilman Trail. The artwork explores the underlying ecology of Lake Union and its dramatic transformation through eras of geologic change, Native American stewardship, European settlement, commercial industry and large-scale infra structural development, as well as urban planning and park design.

Each site incorporates an introductory piece narrated by the Studio for Urban Projects, indicated with a sign and call-in number on the trail. Within each site, printed flags mark observation points and provide additional call-in numbers. Call in and listen to a collage of voices gathered from interviews with local scholars, ecologists, historians, plant experts, foragers, residents and designers, among others. The observations focus on the specifics of the site and collectively speak to the lake's layered history.

You can also call the project hotline at 206-395-2311, ext. 50, and offer you own observations about the site. The artists will edit and publish these contributions periodically for the duration of the project.

At the park, you can use your cell phone to hear the audio. Preloaded MP3 players are also available at the Northwest Outdoor Center and Dutch Bike Co., Seattle.

Founded in 2006, Studio for Urban Projects is an artist collaborative that perceives art as a means of advancing civic engagement and furthering public dialogue.

Field Notes is created in collaboration with audio engineer Tim Halbur. The artwork is commissioned by the Seattle Office of Arts and Cultural Affairs with Seattle Department of Transportation and Parks and Recreation 1% for Art funds.

Trail Name

The new six-mile trail around Lake Union is named Cheshiahud Lake Union Loop in honor of a Duwamish chief who led a village located on Lake Union. Mayor Greg Nickels chose the name from suggestions submitted by the public in a naming contest.

History of Lake Union

Lake Union is the lens through which we can view the history of Seattle. Home to Native American villages, lumber mills, airplanes, boat-building, the military, and recreation, Lake Union has a fascinating history.

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Open House #1 06/17/08
Open House #2 09/11/08
Open House #3 12/11/08


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Updated January 27, 2015

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