Kirkland, a community of over 80,000 people, is fortunate to have a charming downtown area located on the waterfront of Lake Washington. It’s proximity to I-405 and 520 provides easy access to Seattle, Bellevue and the Eastside. Kirkland has so much to offer residents and visitors: the arts, outdoor recreation, vibrant dining options , and unique local shops.
The origins of the city of Kirkland reach back to the late 1800s, to when Peter Kirk, along with his business partners, built Moss Bay Iron and Steel Works. They dreamed of creating the “Pittsburgh of the West.” Due to the financial climate, however, their steel mill never produced any steel. The city’s commerce grew financially stable on wool milling and ship building. The first wool mill in the State of Washington was built in Kirkland; it produced wool products for prospectors during the Alaska Gold Rush, and then for the U.S. military during World War I. Carillon Point, which now houses the luxurious Woodmark Hotel, Yacht Club & Spa, headquartered Kirkland’s Lake Washington Shipyard. The shipyard’s initial product was ferries, but during WWII they produced 25+ warships for the US Navy.
Today, Kirkland’s economy features a robust mix of corporate headquarters, light industrial, small business and manufacturing. High-tech and home-based businesses are also on the rise in Kirkland. It’s innovative and positive atmosphere, along with several commercial districts like Downtown, Carillon Point and Totem Lake, has enticed internationally recognized companies like Google, Allyis, Clearwire, Nintendo and Inrix to set up shop within the city.
Twelve distinct residential neighborhood areas, each with its own unique character, make up the city of Kirkland. Each neighborhood possesses a healthy, active neighborhood association. Throughout the city, its small town feel, sense of history and its residents’ strong appreciation for quality of life is visible. Kirkland enjoys numerous city parks, open markets and community events. Also, the city of Kirkland is committed to providing quality services to its neighborhoods and residents.
The tree canopy throughout the City of Kirkland encompasses over 21,000 trees lining the city’s streets. Trees are abundantly located in Kirkland’s parks and private landscapes. The city’s urban forest enhances the natural Pacific Northwest beauty which is a strong facet of Kirkland’s identity. Also, Totem Lake, Forbes Lake, Juanita Creek, Forbes Creek and Yarrow Creek, in addition to local wetlands and portions of Lake Washington shoreline located within Kirkland’s city limits, provide vital habitat for fish and wildlife.
The charm and atmosphere of a small waterfront town, combined with readily available urban amenities, makes Kirkland an excellent city to reside in. In fact, 87% of residents polled rated Kirkland a good or excellent place to live. Kirkland was also named one of the Best Overall Neighborhoods by Seattle Magazine in 2008 and 2009.
Bridle Trails State Park
NE 53rd and 116th NE, Kirkland, WA
Sometimes called “the wilderness in the city,” this park is a popular getaway destination for Seattle residents. The park is known for its riding trails and summer weekend horse shows. The park is a lowland forest, typical of the vegetation which once covered Puget Sound. The woods abound in Douglas-fir and western hemlock, with some western red cedar, big-leaf maple, and alder mixed in. The park consists of 482 acres of open space surrounded by neighborhoods.
- 28 Miles of Horse & Hiking Trails
- Equestrian Shows
- 30 Picnic Tables
Saint Edwards State Park
316 acres and 3,000 lineal feet of waterfront on Lake Washington
- 85 Picnic Tables
- Ball Fields
- Horseshoe Pits
- Hiking Trails
- Mountain Biking
- Water Skiing
- Indoor Pool
Saint Edward State Park was once a Catholic seminary, and the park’s rich history reflects in its grounds and architecture. Walks along the undeveloped lakeshore are peaceful and give the visitor many opportunities for nature study. The park offers many outdoor play amenities. The park hosts the last undeveloped waterfront along Lake Washington’s shore. Bald eagles, otters and other animals may be viewed along the 3/4-mile natural portion of the perimeter. An indoor swimming pool and gymnasium are available. The Carol Ann Wald Pool, named in 1969 for the sister of a seminary student by their father (a major donor), now provides year-round, indoor public swimming programs for all ages and abilities. The park has two sites suitable for weddings and other special events.