Tuesday, July 07, 2009

Put on Your Urban Hiking Shoes: "The Big Parade" Tackles L.A.'s Outdoor Staircases

Given our own Great Los Angeles Walk, the Franklin Avenue crew knows a thing or two about walking in L.A.

But journalist/author Dan Koeppel has elevated walking in L.A. into an art form, creating the ambitious two-day Big Parade, which promises to climb over 100 of L.A.'s staircases, as well as cover 40 miles in two days. The event takes place July 18 and 19.

According to Koeppel, the walk will visit with community groups along the way; pass over 50 historic and cultural landmarks, hit the Echo Park Lake paddle boats, and even include an inner-city campout at a park.

Dan writes:

The route starts at the Angel's Flight Stairway downtown, passes through the area south of the 101 Freeway toward Angelino Heights, goes up through Echo Park, crosses into Elysian Park, heads into Silverlake, then turns south again toward the freeway, back through Silverlake, into the Franklin Hills, up to Los Feliz, until Griffith Park to the observatory, across the park, into the Beachwood Canyon area, up to the old Hollywoodland subdivision, and finally to the Hollywood sign.

Dan, who's been spending six months developing the route, has been chronicling L.A.'s starcases for years.

"Our organizing group is now about ten people, and our goal is to meld different disciplines - fitness, mapping, social science, art, eating churros, and whatever else we can make up - to get people to come along. For a mile, an hour, a day (there are some camping restrictions, though - and we're still wrangling permission for that.) I want community groups to tell us about themselves and get involved."

Here's what the Day One route looks like:

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