Burke-Gilman Trail Professional Review and Guide
"Like a number of the region’s ?at, broad, off-road paved trails, the “B-G” was originally created as a way to move large numbers of goods. Thomas Burke, Daniel Gilman, and 10 other investors created the Seattle, Lake Shore, and Eastern Railroad in 1885 in a bid to put the city on the map by connecting their railroad to the Canadian Transcontinental Line for shipping Northwest goods to larger markets.
Although the line never got past Arlington, it created a valuable link to logging communities east of Seattle in its youth. The railroad operated until 1963 and was abandoned for rail use in 1971, at which time a citizens’ effort led to acquisition of the line as a recreational trail. The conversion of this trail, which opened in 1978, marked a renaissance of bicycling in Seattle that had not been seen since the turn of the 20th century."