Monday, November 26, 2012

Laurelhurst Hills and Stairways Walk This Afternoon

Stairway in Laurelhurst -courtey of Seattle Stairways

A reader sent us information about a walk around the neighborhood today at 2pm organized by a member on MeetUp, a group that organizes various activities city and nationwide.

"Even if you can't do this walk today, it looks like a great walk to do on your own as the route is given," the reader added.

The organizer based her walk on Seattle Stairway Walks, a book published recently, by Jake and Cathy Jaramillo, who are Seattle stairway explorers and detail their many stairway walks and wealth of the city on their website.

Along with providing information on the various stairways and how to find them, the Jaramillos also tell exactly how many steps in each stairway, provide a detailed map and give other helpful and interesting information.

Two years ago the couple explored stairways in Laurelhurst and documented some fascinating information and history about the many staircases in the neighborhood, some maybe not known to those living in the neighborhood.

Their website also gives a detailed history of the Laurelhurst neighborhood starting from its beginnings in 1910, when Seattle annexed "Laurelhurst," as a small community of less than 20 homes, isolated by water and rough terrain.

One of the stairways the couple visited in the neighborhood is the well-traveled in the summer months "Laurelcrest Stairs" very near the Beach Club.

"You'll discover a hidden stairway disappearing down a shadowy arbor just off someone's driveway, and pay a visit to an unexpected pocket park tucked between shorefront homes, " the website says.

Other neighborhood stairways well detailed and documented are:
  • "Hidden Stairs" starting at the top of NE 45th and ending at the bottom at NE 45th and 55th Avenue NE
  • NE 43rd Street-end Stairs and Lake Access
  • NE 42nd Stairs
  • NE 31st Street-end Lake Access
  • Belvoir Park Lake Access
You can read the full blog post called "Stairway Walk #6: Laurelhurst" here.

And here is a post the Laurelhurst Blog published a few years ago about discovering Seattle stairways and the book.

Here are the details of the Meetup walk today:

Laurelhurst Hill and Stair Loop Walk 2pm -
Meet at the park's gravel loop trail on the south end of the park near the parking lot entrance and sign
Does your definition of "North End" include Seattle's Laurelhurst neighborhood? If so, sign up for this "urban hike" emphasizing this beautiful neighborhood's hills and stairs. 
We will be walking about a 3.5 mile loop, and while the elevation gain is only about 330 ft. overall, this includes around 200 stair steps up over 3 different staircases.  
Plan on at least 2 hours for us to complete the loop.
We'll start and end at the top of a hill in wonderful Laurelhurst Park/Playfield with its fabulous collection of large trees, and after a brief warm up on level or downhill paths, get down to work on hill/stair climbing. 
Along the way, you'll be able to look west to see the Olympic Mountains or east across Lake Washington to the Cascade Mountains (assuming the weather cooperates!), or more towards the south, perhaps Mount Rainier will peek out if we are super special. You'll also be able to see landmarks like the 520 floating bridge, the tippy top of the Space Needle, and, across Union Bay, Husky Stadium. 
We will be passing and briefly visiting several pocket parks with water views or great old trees: Palisades Landing, Laurelhurst Triangle, Belvoir Place, and the street end by Laurelhurst Beach Club where some unknown dog from the past has been immortalized in paw prints in the street concrete.


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