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Mountains-to-Sound Trail

Revised August 2012

UPDATE: Come enjoy the trail!

Construction of the Mountains-to-Sound Trail from the southwest end of the Jose Rizal bridge south along I-5 to Holgate was completed the fall of 2011! A grand opening held October 29 was led by Mayor Mike McGinn, Deputy Mayor Darryl Smith and a host of partners to celebrate this new trail through Beacon Hill, with the story covered by Seattle Channel.

The Mayor joined Mountains to Sound Greenway Executive Director Cynthia Welti, Beacon Alliance of Neighbors representative Craig Thompson and Project Manager Terry Plumb to cut the ribbon, opening a new chapter for the East Duwamish Greenbelt.

See the SDOT Blog story about the event for links to more information!

WBRConstruction of this section of the Mountains-to-Sound Trail, which travels through Jose Rizal Park and state-owned right-of-way property, began on June 20, 2011. The project was substantially complete by late October, 2011 with installation of fencing around the off-leash area, to create a four-plus acre site, following shortly thereafter.


This project created a multi-use trail on Beacon Hill that extends from where the existing Mountains-to-Sound Trail ends, at the Jose Rizal Bridge, moving west along the south side of I-90 and then south along I-5 to the Holgate Bridge. The new trail connects to a signed bicycle route and has way finding signs as part of a regional trail system.  The $2.58 million project is funded by $1.8 million from the City’s eight-year Pro Parks Levy, which passed in 2000; as well as funds from WSDOT and a federal grant through the Puget Sound Regional Council.

The final design applies the principles of Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design (CPTED) principles to improve safety.  Lighting on 25-feet tall poles is installed every 160 feet or so, illuminating the path and park area, and new landscaping enhances the experience.  Walkers, cyclists and runners now have a new paved, fenced and well-lit path adjacent to Interstate Five from Jose Rizal Park, a popular off-leash park and South Holgate Street, greatly improving access to this East Duwamish Greenbelt.

The Washington State Department of Transportation managed construction of the Mountains-to-Sound Trail, awarding the project work to Tri-State Construction.  The Seattle Department of Transportation oversaw and coordinated the design and construction effort, with input from the Seattle Department of Parks and Recreation. 

The Mountains-to-Sound Trail is part of the larger Mountains-to-Sound Greenway effort that has helped create 100 miles of trail along I-90 from Central Washington to Seattle, focusing on preserving open spaces and wildlife habitat. 



new photos


In 1990 group of citizens marched from Snoqualmie Pass to the Seattle waterfront to publicize the need to save some of the nearby forests and open spaces just outside of the growing city. From that group of activists, the nonprofit, Mountains-to-Sound Greenway Trust, was born and the idea for this Mountains-to-Sound Trail project.  That project idea moved forward over the years through various concept and budget discussions, with multiple agencies at the table.  With partial funding, project design got underway in 2006 and 2007.  The budget remained uncertain and the scope went through much iteration – at one time including a pedestrian/bicycle bridge over I-5 that connects the trail to 4th Avenue South & South Royal Brougham Way.  Due to funding constraints that element was set aside.  During all of this public outreach continued:

When SDOT presented the Mountains-to-Sound trail extension to the Seattle Design Commission the spring of 2009, the design was well-received. The presentation highlighted the design features that were important to the community and trail users while displaying the work achieved as a result of the cooperative effort between WSDOT, SDOT, and Seattle Parks and Recreation. The design commission gave a majority vote in favor of the project. The Mountains-to-Sound project went on to 60 percent design completion the fall of 2009. 
A favorable climate for construction costs combined with $1.8 million in funding from the eight-year Pro Parks Levy and $810,000 in federal grants allocated in 2010 enabled the construction schedule to be finalized; which brings us to where we are today.

Project Contacts:

LeAnne Nelson, Communications Lead, at or (206) 684-3897

Terrance Plumb, Project Manager, at or (206) 733-9053


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