Cedar Park and the Burke-Gilman Trail
Wednesday, April 13
Jake Jaramillo in Burke-Gilman, Burke-Gilman Trail, Burlington-Northern, Cedar Park, Daniel Gilman, Matthews Beach, NE 130Stairs, NE 135th Stairs, North Lake Washington, North Seattle, Thomas Burke, bicycle trail, landslides
NOTE: A major stairway on this route was replaced in early 2013. This posting shows the old stairway; for pictures of the new stairway plus several additional pictures along this route, click here.
This is another tour of Seattle stairs that is hugely influenced by the relationship of Lake Washington and the bluffs above it. Here, up in the northwest corner of the lake, the neighborhood of Cedar Park spills over the bluff down to the water. While Lake City Way is an important auto route up and over Lake Washington, there's not a lot of reason for your average car-driving Seattleite to venture here, between Lake City Way and Lake Washington. The streets aren't as dense or numerous as elsewhere, and further progress is blocked by the lake. But, for us adventurous urban hikers, this provides the perfect opportunity to explore a completely charming spot we probably wouldn't see otherwise.
The walk starts out with vistas of northern Lake Washington from a long, steep stairway. Then there's a set of half-hidden stairs meandering toward the lake, interrupted in the middle by a pathway running down a quiet, shallow ravine. You'll spend some time lakeside, walking along the incomparable Burke-Gilman Trail - one of the finest rail-trails in the nation. You'll leave the trail to head back up the bluff and check out the rest of the scenic neighborhood. If time is a limiting factor, the book details an optional route that keeps the stairs, but shortens the neighborhood exploration.
The "www" icon marks additional pictoral content referenced in the book.
A view of Lake Washington as you descend the first stairway's 196 stepsA hanging moss garden flourishes on a salvaged concrete retaining wall
The top of the NE 130th Street stairs is not easy to spot on its way toward the lake; watch for an opening in the traffic barrier
The final flight of the NE 130th Street stairs ends at the Burke-Gilman Trail
Along some parts of the Burke-Gilman trail you can see signs of slope movement (note leaning trees); wildlife abounds right next to lakeside houses
Residents use landscaping in a variety of ways to capture views and reflect their surroundings
The walk begins and ends at Cedar Park - the park, that is
Cedar Park has a nice play area and portable restrooms
Article originally appeared on Seattle Stairway Walks (http://www.seattlestairwaywalks.com/).
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