If you're looking for a shorter Seattle stairway walk, the Golden Gardens route is a good choice. Like the Solstice Park walk in West Seattle, it's scenic and full of interest, yet it can take less than an hour. It starts at the edge of the Loyal Heights neighborhood and descends 272 steps to Golden Gardens beach, with glorious views of the Olympic Mountains and Puget Sound from there.
Loyal Heights is centrally located with respect to other northside neighborhoods and neighborhood attractions, which aren't mentioned in detail in the book, but are expanded on here, if you scroll down toward the bottom of this post.
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North Beach/Blue Ridge Neighborhood: This nearby side trip gives a more northward-looking view of the Sound and Olympic Mountains. It's easy to do it on foot, doubling your walking distance to a total of 2.8 miles (or you can drive it). Start at the junction of NW 85th Street and 32nd Avenue NW where you start the main route. Take 32nd north, going about 2/10 of a mile until you reach a three-way intersection. Take the middle street straight ahead, which puts you on Loyal Avenue NW. You'll begin a gradual downhill curve to the right until Loyal Avenue ends at View Avenue NW. At this point take a right onto View Avenue for excellent sightlines as far as 31st Avenue NW. You can return to your start either by retracing your steps or by turning right up 31st and making a loop back to NW 85th Street.
Crown Hill Glen Park: This is the first of two very cool attractions you can find heading east along NW 85th Street, in the Crown Hill neighborhood. Crown Hill Glen Park features 34 timber stairs overlooking a beautiful native garden, with more stairways connecting additional levels within the park. To get there, turn left onto 19th Avenue NW, which dead-ends right at Crown Hill Glen Park. The park consists of four lots of land the city bought in 1997 from the estate of George and Theodora Plumis under the Open Space bond program. During WWII the Plumis' used the property as a Victory Garden, and planted fruit trees and blackberries here as well. Today volunteers have restored the Glen with native vegetation and careful landscaping. It's a peaceful, scenic neighborhood haven for people and birds.
Baker Park: Baker Park is also in the Crown Hill neighborhood. It's located east of Crown Hill Glen Park, two blocks past busy 15th Avenue NW. Turn right (south) onto 14th Avenue, and you'll find the park just past the corner on the right. It extends a full block back, from 14th to Mary Avenue, where there's another park exit/entrance. The land was acquired by the Open Space bond program the same year as Crown Hill Glen Park, and it too was built with heavy community involvement. There's a small butterfly garden, and don't miss the unusual totem pole in the back. It was carved from a dead Monkey Puzzle tree, right on the spot.
Sunset Hill Park: From the start of the main stairway walk route, drive south on 32nd Avenue NW to explore the nearby Sunset Hill neighborhood. Sunset Hill Park is popular with the locals, for its broad views from Shilshole Marina across the Sound to the Olympic Mountains. From 32nd turn right onto NW 75th Street. Two blocks straight ahead, the street runs right into the park. Turn right onto 34th Avenue NW, and you'll find plenty of streetside parking.
Farther south in Sunset Hill, you can learn about this area's deep Norwegian roots at the Nordic Heritage Museum. To get there from Sunset Hill park, go south on 32nd Avenue NW, turning left onto NW 68th Street. The museum entrance is on the right.