All About Finn Hill
Located in northwest Kirkland and bordered by Kenmore to the north, Finn Hill is the City’s largest neighborhood geographically (2600 acres), its second most populous (approximately 16,000 residents) and its most environmentally diverse: Finn Hill features deep ravines, multiple watersheds and wetlands, a variety of parks and woodlands, and an extensive lakeshore.
The Finn Hill chapter of the Kirkland Comprehensive Plan describes our neighborhood and its residents as follows:
Finn Hill is a predominantly residential, heavily treed and picturesque neighborhood overlooking Lake Washington. Rising to a height of 535 feet above sea level, with ravines and steep slopes on its flanks, Finn Hill is bounded by Lake Washington to the south and west, NE 145th Street to the north, and the Juanita Neighborhood to the east. Access to the neighborhood is limited to three main entry points: Juanita Drive provides access to the southern and western portions of the hill, and Simonds Road/NE 145th Street and NE 132nd/90th Streets provide the northern east/west access to Finn Hill.
Finn Hill residents feel very strongly about the unique setting of their neighborhood. Parks and natural areas are the stars of Finn Hill and are considered high-value resources that provide important wildlife and recreation connections. There is a deep affinity with, and a desire to care for, the natural environment, parks, open space, tree canopy, and Lake Washington. Residents take pride in their history of participating in fundraising campaigns, work parties, and planning activities focused on protecting the neighborhood’s woodlands, streams and parks. Preserving or improving natural open space connectivity wherever possible is a major goal for Finn Hill residents, and received overwhelming support through the public outreach process.
Finn Hill's History
The great Corderillan ice sheet that covered the Puget Sound for millenia slowly began to retreat about 18,000 years ago, leaving behind the Puget Sound, freshwater lakes, and drumlins, including Finn Hill. Thereafter, Finn Hill’s streams and shores served as fishing grounds for the indigenous Salish Peoples. Prior to European settlement, the hill was dominated by Douglas fir, hemlock and western red cedar.
Finn Hill’s Topography and Wildlife
From its highest points in Big Finn Hill Park, Finn Hill drops steeply on its flanks to Lake Washington on the west and south and to Juanita Creek on the east.
3D Model of Finn Hill Topography
Source: U.W. Green Future Labs
Finn Hill's Environmental Issues
Finn Hill’s history of logging, agricultural use, and suburban development has created a host of environmental issues that the Finn Hill Neighborhood Alliance is working to remedy. These challenges include:
Surface Water Management