At the beginning of 2017 the STA set out to make a list of goals for the upcoming year with the intention of furthering our mission of supporting equitable access for all of Seattle through a well-used, interconnected, and maintained urban system of trails. During this process, we identified a MAJOR opportunity to improve trail accessibility and use for communities around the City of Seattle.
Through our work with the Seattle Trails Program we noticed that there was no unified set of trail maps for Seattle, and among existing maps outdated data was being referenced and there was different information being portrayed between parks. While Larger parks like Discovery and Seward have advisory councils that provide maps to their visitors, smaller parks tend to not have maps, and if they do the maps are not easy to locate online. Additionally, not one park was using the City of Seattle’s most current trails data that was collected in the Fall of 2016.
As a team we identified sixty-seven parks of varying sizes and use that are home to the nearly 100 miles of soft-surfaced trails within the city. We began developing a template trail map for Discovery Park, the methodology of which would be used to create trail maps for the rest of Seattle’s parks. The map for Discovery Park was made by combining GIS layers from Seattle’s online open data portal, existing park maps (where they were available), Google Earth aerial images, and first hand on-the-ground accounts of existing conditions. After communicating back and forth with the STA advisory council members until we were happy with a design and the content of the template, the Discovery Park map was complete (for now).
Both the Discovery Park and Seward Park trail maps were released to the public on June 3rd for National Trails Day. The STA was in Discovery Park for the release and ended up handing out hundreds of maps to the public. Both maps are available for free at seattletrails.org, and new maps will be released periodically throughout the summer.
As new maps are released we will be coordinating events like the one in Discovery Park. Please give us any feedback you may have, these maps are working documents. We want the you, the user, to get the most out of these maps as possible. Let us know what works and what doesn’t work, what you would like to see and what would be interesting know. Thank you in advance and please keep an eye out this summer for new maps, and be sure to come out and get a copy of one at an event near you!
If you have any comments please email Joe@seattletrails.org