One Foot in Front of the Other

This week’s One particular Foot in Front of the Other stroll attributes special guest Susanna Ryan, creator of Seattle Wander Report and writer of “Secret Seattle,” who created this exceptional 3-mile loop around Mount Baker.

Stringing alongside one another a number of parks with stellar Lake Washington and Mount Rainier sights, and with bits of living Seattle historical past scattered throughout the route, this walk is truly worth an afternoon. Check it out for a style of the Central District and South Seattle as the seasons alter.

South Seattle loop


Spherical-excursion length: 3.3 miles

Our wander commences at Sam Smith Park on Martin Luther King Jr. Way South. Look for the paved route accented by a sequence of rock sculptures paired with philosophical musings from Lao Tze, Plato and some others. “Crooked is the route of eternity,” writes the constantly-cheery Nietzsche, subsequent to a metallic etching of a stick figure on a winding path concerning two obelisks. Every quotation/stone duo has an antithesis opposite it on the path, with contrasts like DAWN / TWILIGHT scrawled across the concrete.

Proceed down this existential pathway to the Mount Baker Ridge Tunnel, which prods stress and anxiety in the sort of passing bikers but is commonly significantly less considered-provoking. The tunnel was acknowledged by the American Modern society of Civil Engineers as an Outstanding Civil Engineering Accomplishment in 1990 and nowadays capabilities an ever-modifying collage of graffiti and freestyle art. There are stunning murals, like a pair of metallic snakes shimmering black and silver, and also abandoned sketches, CDC conspiracy theories and proclamations like, “We stan Nicki.”

You’ll emerge from the tunnel and be greeted by views across Lake Washington to Mercer Island and past. Keeping an eye out for bikers coming in warm from the Homer M. Hadley and Lacey V. Murrow memorial bridges, consider a few uphill lefts to achieve Lake Washington Boulevard South and the East Portal Viewpoint.

Acquire a moment at this small plaza to admire the floating bridges, which were being an engineering marvel on their 1940 completion. The bridge-tunnel intricate was specified a National Historic Civil Engineering Landmark in 2008 of course, the authentic stars on the horizon are the Cascades and Mount Rainier over and above Seward Park to the southeast.

Observe Lake Washington Boulevard south by way of higher Mount Baker, which is rife with attractive gardens and houses worthy of unimaginable sums with giant evergreens in the entrance yards. A stone’s toss down the road is Colman Park.

Just prior to the indication welcoming people to this Olmstead Brothers-intended gem, hop on the dirt route main into the woods at left. If you overlook the shortcut, fret not: The filth path leads to the boulevard, well-known with bikers. Preserve that head up.

Reconnect with the tree-lined boulevard at the base of the hill, inland from Colman Beach, and head south together Lake Washington Boulevard with the water to your remaining. Mount Baker Beach front is a wonderful location to catch your breath, use the restroom or take a dip in the lake (if you dare). (That parenthetical is pulling double obligation Lake Washington is frigid, positive, but on dry land, if you are scared of spiders and you have to strike the lavatory, really don’t seem up. You’ve been warned.)

This 6-ton granite stone lantern was gifted by Kojiro Matsukata of Kobe, Japan, to the city of Seattle in 1911. It stands today in Mount Baker Park.  (Susanna Ryan / Special to The Seattle Times)


Turn absent from the seashore, cross the road and go on on the paved route into Mount Baker Park. Glimpse for the impressive, 6-ton granite lantern in between the path and Lake Park Generate South. This was a gift from Japanese businessman Kojiro Matsukata of Kobe, Japan, to the metropolis of Seattle in 1911 next the Alaska-Yukon-Pacific Exposition in 1909. Retain heading uphill right after admiring the pale lantern.

You are going to pop out of the park at the corner of South McClellan Street and Mount Rainier Drive South. Glimpse for grassy Mount Baker Boulevard throughout the avenue, but do not skip the can’t-miss community gardens primary to Franklin Higher College. On a walk very last thirty day period, 1 particularly eye-catching yard had sunflowers, pumpkins and flowers of all kinds of shades and smells blooming in attractive harmony.

On our wander, Susanna pointed out a hand-painted indication on the boulevard inquiring readers not to enjoy “hardball” in this article. She reported it’s dependable with other antiquated park signs from the 1950s that still hold in trees at various Seattle parks, historical Easter eggs nailed suitable into tree trunks.

Over and above the superior faculty, 30th Avenue South capabilities far more brick homes and really yards (like just one property inside of a property outfitted for fairies, comprehensive with a mushroom yurt of types). Our route potential customers uphill and north past the Franklin Superior School soccer discipline.

Martin Luther King Jr. Way South routes right back again to our starting off stage, but if you get distracted by a canine out for a community wander and miss out on your flip, South Walker Road also connects to Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Park and our map. There’s a shallow pool and monument there that are value a moment of silent reflection right before ending up this walk.

Whether or not on MLK or 28th Avenue South, wander north using the Seattle skyline as your guide. Past the Amy Yee Tennis Middle and South Massachusetts Street is the southern edge of Sam Smith Park, where by you are going to materialize upon “Urban Peace Circle,” a bronze piece in the kind of a lightning bolt by legendary Seattle sculptor Gerard Tsutakawa. The piece is committed to Seattle kids killed by gun violence in the interior town.

Just over and above the bolt is the gravel pathway in which we began. Test back again in with William Blake, Isaiah and corporation if you’d like to further more ponder the that means of everyday living. Or (no judgment) just get back to your auto and get property protected.