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Seattle Stairway Walks: An Up-and-Down Guide to City Neighborhoods 

by Jake & Cathy Jaramillo

* The only guidebook to stairway walks in Seattle
* Explore Seattle neighborhoods in a new way with these interesting walks in Seattle
* Written for people of all ages who want to get outside, exercise, and explore
*Learn more --> 


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Links & Media

* KPLU 88.1 "Tourist in Your Own Town" - Mount Baker Stairway Walk (2013)

* KING 5 Evening Magazine - Discover the Secret Stairways of Seattle (2013)

* KUOW News - The Hidden Legacy of Seattle Stairways (2013)

* AAA Journey - Last Stop: Stair Attraction (2012)

* Seattle Times - Guidebook Authors Show Ups and Downs. . . (2012)

Feet First - Seattle Walkability Advocates

* Sound Steps - Great Walking Groups for Over-50s!

* WalkOn inBellWa! - Walking Routes in Bellevue's Parks and Neighborhoods

Inventory of Seattle Stairs of 100 Steps or More website by Doug Beyerlein

* All Stairs Seattle Guide website by Susan Ott & Dave Ralph

* Year of Walking Seattle's Parks blog by Linnea Westerlind

*KOMO News - Year of Mapping Seattle's Stairs (2011)

*Seattle Times -  Queen Anne Stairways Map (2009)

* Washington Trails Association Magazine -  Urban Hiking (2007)

* Seattle Times - Seattle Stairways: Taking Time to Learn More About the City (2003)

* Seattle Weekly - Stairway Weekend (1999)

The Mountaineers as well as our publisher, Mountaineers Books

Monday
Jul252016

Hidden Stairway in Kent!

Recently we joined 20 urban explorers for a Feet First walk in Kent's Lake Fenwick Park. We've never been there, and especially when walk leader Chris mentioned a youuuge stairway in his Meetup description, we just had to sign up!

Construction traffic made us 40 minutes late, but we eventually made it onto the trail. We ran into our group just after they had reached the turnaround point. Our route took us 3 miles round-trip, on a one-way trail through parts of heavily-wooded Lake Fenwick Park. The weather was perfect : about 70 degrees, with a brilliant blue sky visible beyond the deep-green canopy. 

About midway along, the trail turns east to top a ridge above Lake Fenwick, revealing a steep, 160-foot downslope ahead. The stairway down this slope is reminiscent of the now-closed Eagle Landing stairs: a zig-zag steel structure standing on piers, running downhill at a very steep pitch. We counted 178 stairs. Beyond the stairway, the trail finishes with a long boardwalk, hovering above wetland on either side. We stopped on the boardwalk awhile, to silently watch a Great Blue heron almost imperceptibly stretch its long neck to stalk a tasty meal. 

To get to Lake Fenwick Park from Seattle by car, take I-5 south to Exit 149 (SR516, or Kent Des Moines Road). Head south and east for about 3 miles, then take a sharp hairpin right at the traffic light marking Reith Road. Continue for about 0.2 mile on Reith Road before taking a left fork onto Lake Fenwick Road (the street signs are hard to see). The park will be on the left; continue about one mile on Lake Fenwick Road to the third park entrance. The trail starts there, close to the street.

 

Monday
Jan182016

A Big Stairway Loss - Eagle Landing, Burien

The centerpiece stairway in Chapter 23, "Burien: Eagle Landing Stairs," has been closed indefinitely, for safety reasons. Quiet, lovely Eagle Landing Park is still accessible, and well worth a visit. But stairway walkers can no longer descend the spectacular zig-zag steel treads at the end of the park's single trail.

This stairway was designed to "float" above the landscape, in hopes that it could withstand the slow movement of the steep slope beneath it. However Burien city engineers recently shut it down, finding it was no longer safe for pedestrians (see slides below for further explanation).

Slope movement is not the only damaging force this stairway has faced. High tides and strong winds have repeatedly walloped it at the base. There's no word when, or if, the stairway will reopen.

Here's some of what you'll see if you go there now. But take heart: there are lots of other stairway adventures awaiting you all over the city!