There is the Totem Lake Area.
There is the Totem Lake Shopping Center.
But is there a Totem Lake?
To many’s surprise there really is a Totem Lake in Kirkland. Small and nestled in the rushes but there is a little plaque and you can barely see the lake through the brush.
The plaque says, in par t, that the name was Lake Wittenmyer, then Watsine Lake, and eventually Totem Lake in the spring of 1973 being named after the shopping mall. Odd as it may seem this was in fact named after the shopping mall instead of the other way around.
Anyway, the area is 24 acres, it is all a wetland and was sold to King Conservation District in 1979 by the mall developer. Now it is managed jointly by the King Conservation district and the City of Kirkland Parks and Recreation Department.
It is a delightful and amazing area, with a walk around two sides and a walkway all the way to the open water of the lake itself.
At the north end of the park is another plaque. This one says in part, “The Totem Lake Wetland Trail strives at educating and raising public awareness of the benefits wetlands can offer by inviting visitors to learn about the Lake’s history and Wildlife.”
“The Totem Lake Wetlands have been preserved for the natural systems… water, wildlife and plant communities. These wetlands act as a sponge and a filter to hold runoff, cleanse it and slowly release water into the nearby stream. Pollutants are removed in this process known as biofiltration. From here, water flows into Juanita Creek and Lake Washington.”
It is peaceful and quiet an d on a beautiful summer day the birds are chirping and singing happily. Take a picnic! Have a private lunch right at the edge of the lake! (Clean up carefully, of course, and don’t leave any thing behind)
There is some parking along the northern edge, but you will have to use a map to find it. It is well hidden. There are several routes along the Totem Lake Park area including the Black, Blue, Red, and Orange Routes running in different directions to and from and around the park.
Totem Lake Park – wonderful hidden gem in the middle of the suburbs of Kirkland.
From I-405 S, take exit 20 toward NE 124th Street. Turn left onto NE 124th Street then turn left at Totem Lake Boulevard NE. Turn right onto 120th Avenue NE then turn right onto NE Totem Lake Way.
From I-405 N, take exit 20B toward NE 124th Street. Keep right at the fork and follow signs for Totem Lake Boulevard. Merge onto 120th Avenue NE then turn right onto NE Totem Lake Way.
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