An unusually warm, dry Winter is turning quickly into Spring, and the stairway walking has been great lately. This is especially true in the parks! Over the next few weeks, you'll still be able to get views and perspectives unlike anything you'll see in summertime, after the trees have all leafed out. The picture below gives a sense of the open feeling you'll still find if you go walking now.
Our book has a special "PARK" icon next to some of the chapters listed in the Table of Contents. The icon shows where parks and park stairways feature prominently along a route. A few of these routes provide especially scenic overlooks of Lake Washington or Puget Sound in Winter, and it's on these stairway walks that you'll enjoy those special, exhilarating glimpses of water and mountain as you move among the bare trees in Winter. On the Lake Washington side, we especially recommend Madrona and Leschi (Chapter 8) and Mount Baker (Chapter 20). For a stairway walk overlooking Puget Sound, Fauntleroy and Morgan Junction (Chapter 16) is a good bet.
With such gorgeous sunny weather going on, we decided to check out Frink Park and the surrounding area, which is peppered with public stairways. We suggest you visit Frink Park too, and soon! The Indian Plums were putting out little fountains of leaf by the thousands, soaking up the sunlight that beamed unimpeded past the leafless alders and bigleaf maples towering above. We got our first glimpse of Skunk cabbage on this walk - a traditional token of Spring for us!
We covered almost the entire park trail system in a couple of loops, traversing about 770 steps total. This included a couple of SDOT stairways outside the park: the new stairway at S Jackson Street and Lakeside Avenue S; one we hadn't walked before, at E Alder Street and Randolph Avenue; and another one climbing up to 31st Avenue and S Washington Street. The steps inside the park were mostly built of timber, and in a few stretches they were fashioned from hewn stone.
Here are some of the visual impressions from our recent walk in Frink Park and environs.