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Offleash Areas: I-5 Colonnade Park

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Description: The park area consists of approximately 7.5 acres of open space under I-5 in the Eastlake neighborhood. The south end is devoted to an off-leash area, while the north end sports hilly trails and switchbacks for mountainbikes. I-5 Colonnade Park is aptly named, with towering (surprisingly majestic) supporting columns for I-5.

Downsides: The off-leash area is very roomy, but unfortunately Droopy did not do so well on the surface which is entirely gravel. He was ready to go home after a little while (but he had also had a long day). This is a convenient, easy-to-care-for park for local residents, but parking can be tight.

In November 2000, Seattle voters approved a $198.2 million levy lid lift for Parks and Recreation, including $1.8 million to improve the area under I-5 in Eastlake. The Eastlake Neighborhood Plan, completed in Sept. 1998, contained the following initial ideas for the open space: (1) making pedestrian and bicycle connections from Fairview Ave through the area under I-5 to the steps leading up to Capitol Hill via Blaine and Howe Streets, (2) treating storm-water run-off, (3) planting suitable trees and other vegetation, (4) improving safety by installing lighting and call boxes, (5) incorporating public art, and (6) creating sport climbing and mountain biking facilities. Parks and Recreation added an off-leash area after community input.

Directions: I-5 Colonnade Park is located under I-5 near Eastlake, south of E. Howe St. between Lakeview Blvd. and Franklin Ave. E. It is fairly close to REI and where Mercer Street continues right before the on-ramp to I-5.

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