On the morning of Saturday, February 7, nearly 100 participants across Seattle neighborhoods participated in Feet First’s Third Annual Stairway Walks Day. This unique event featured thirteen distinct walks from Jake and Cathy Jaramillo’s outstanding guidebook, Seattle Stairway Walks: An Up-and-Down Guide to City Neighborhoods.
From the quiet, wooded Ravenna Park ravine to the bustling streets of downtown Seattle, the diversity of scenery offered on Feet First’s Stairway Walks Day was quite extraordinary. Through the region’s remarkable public stairway network, participants explored the history of our neighborhoods, and examined the impressive but ever-changing landscape of today’s built environment.
In Alki, Neighborhood Walking Ambassador Timothy Lowry guided folks around Alki from above, exploring winding paths and stairways. The loop began from outside the southeast corner of Schmitz Preserve Park, heading along residential streets through North Admiral. A series of stairways took people down to the Alki Beach Trail, where they enjoyed fresh air and fantastic views.
On the other side of the bay, Walking Ambassador Jack Bennetto, led an expedition of Downtown Seattle. The route kept mostly inside the West Edge district between Pike Place Market and Pioneer Square, edging along the Waterfront area to the west and the retail core to the east. Highlights on the back stretch include the Benaroya steps, the 1910 Cobb Building, and the 27-story, awesome art deco skyscraper – the Seattle Tower.
By the end of the day, participants had collectively walked up and down more than 100,000 steps, acquainting themselves with some of area’s longest stairways. A lot of eyes were opened as many became more aware of public stairways, our region’s scenic byways for neighborhood connection and discovery. Author Jake Jaramillo said, “We hope these unique stairway walks give people a better appreciation of our wonderful public stairway infrastructure, which is a vital pedestrian resource.” See you next year for this wonderful event.