Notes for Potential Hikers
While researching our trip to Seattle, we found many city walking guides. However, nearly all have routes that are just a few miles long. We wanted to have day-long hikes, so we pieced together routes using pieces of information from the four sources listed in Resources, as well as incorporating convenient streets to connect places we intended to visit. The routes are not random, but they are also not refined over multiple iterations like our San Francisco Stairway Walks have been. That said, we think this set of seven routes is satisfying and we do not hesitate to encourage others to use them. A walker can use our routes as starting points and easily modify them to suit their personal interests. Our ultimate goal is to encourage people to get out walking and exploring and not to proscribe a specific path to take.
On this series of walks, we enjoyed the company of a friend who lives near us and had joined us previously on many of our San Francisco walks. It was great to have her along and she pointed out many things we might have missed. We also had a few friends from both Seattle and Portland join us for one or more of the walks, so the experience was nicely reminiscent of our Stairway walks.
We drove to Seattle, but made little use of our car to access the start or finish of the walks. We used a ride-sharing service on two occasions and public transit a few times. We stayed near Gas Works Park where several of our routes started and/or ended and did not need to use vehicular transportation. On one walk, we took a public ferry from downtown Seattle to Bremerton and back. This was a fun and easy way to experience another aspect of the Seattle area and provided great views of the city and the surrounding area. Bremerton itself, the home of a major naval shipyard, was interesting place to visit as well. The ferries run frequently to many different places around Seattle providing a variety of itineraries. The ferry ride was a great addition to our itinerary.
One thing we really enjoyed were the Little Free Libraries scattered throughout the area. We encountered a surprising number of these and some were wonderful pieces of street art in their own right. We also spent an hour in the Seattle Asian Art Museum in Volunteer Park. Normally we do not stop to visit places like a museum, but it was along the route, and we happened to be there on a free admission day, so we went in. We all had a very enjoyable time in a well designed, compact and very human scale institution filled with wonderful visual treasures. It was well worth the time we spent there.
Another highlight was Seward Park on Lake Washington. Through lucky happenstance, the park is home to some of the last remaining old-growth forest in the entire region. A series of quiet trails allows visitors to experience what the Seattle area must have been like prior to the arrival of European settlers. As a contrast, the Olympic Sculpture Park on Elliot Bay has a number of striking works; Serra’s Wake was a favorite for our group.
Although Seattle has a reputation for being damp and gray, summertime there can be very sunny and quite warm. We were there for their 50th consecutive day without precipitation.