L.A. Urban Hikes, September 2012: El Sereno, San Pedro, the Arroyo Seco

Photo: Alissa Walker (aka Gelatobaby)/Flickr/Creative Commons License

Did you know Los Angeles has a plethora of public staircases, just perfect for perambulating some of the city's neighborhoods? If not, make sure to watch this video, and to get started, here's a guide to some group events if you don't want to go alone.

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"Secret Stairs" Walk
Charles Fleming, author of "Secret Stairs: A Walking Guide to the Historic Staircases of Los Angeles," leads a monthly walk, often walks related to his book and mobile app. It usually occurs on the first Sunday of the month, but thanks to Labor Day, it was pushed to this Sunday when he'll take walkers to El Sereno on L.A.'s eastside for a 3.5 miles walk to cover some 500 steps in 1.5 hours. On a scale of 1 to 5, he calls it a 3.
Details: Sunday, September 9 at 9 a.m. Meet at the corner of North Eastern Avenue and Lynnfield Street, at roughly 2900 North Eastern Avenue.

A Walk Around San Pedro
Bob Inman, too, has written a book about the stairs -- "The Guide to the Public Stairways of Los Angeles" -- and his monthly walk in September takes people down to San Pedro for a 14-miler. "San Pedro is my favorite neighborhood of Los Angeles," he writes in a Facebook event post. "It is very different from the rest of the city and has jealously and successfully maintained its own identity." Besides the stairways and pathways, there's the historic downtown district, old coastal defense gun emplacements, and maybe some Croatian-style pizza.
Details: Sunday, September 23 at 9 a.m. Meet in the parking lot of Peck Park, just to the right of the driveway from the entrance at Western Avenue and Crestwood. 560 North Western Ave., San Pedro, CA 90732.

Arroyo Epic
Dan Koeppel leads a monthly stair walk leading up to his annual Big Parade, which covers some 100 staircases over two days in the spring. September's all-day 15-mile walk takes urban hikers over the Arroyo Seco "ten times as we walk stairs, dirt paths, tunnels, and bridges," he says in his Facebook event invite (Note: Keep checking the invite as plans may change between publishing and the event).
Details: Sunday, September 30 at 9 a.m. Meet at the Metro Gold Line Del Mar Station.
Bonus: KCET's Departures: Highland Park has a great field guide to the area.

Tomato Pie Walks
Dave Ptach of the Los Angeles Stairstreet Advocates continues his weekly Tomato Pie Walks each Tuesday. In all, the weekly route is 2.7 miles over 14 staircases in the Franklin Hills neighborhood, which takes about one to one and a half hours. Then it's time for pizza -- at Tomato Pie in Silver Lake, of course.
Details: With shorter days on their way, the walks start at 6:30 p.m. at Tomato Pie in Silver Lake. Keep an eye on his Facebook page for details on the walks, which he usually posts the Sunday before the walk.
Also: The Stairstreet Advocates will be hosting a cleanup on Saturday, September 22 on the Loma Vista Stairs in Silver Lake (at Loma Vista and Glendale Blvd). Rakes and trash bags will be provided by the city, so all you need to do is bring some gloves.

Say hello: "Like" SoCal Wanderer on Facebook and follow @SoCal_Wanderer on Twitter to talk about the latest in outdoors with other enthusiasts.

About the Author

Zach Behrens is KCET's Director of News, Region and State, working on digital and on-air news products that relate to Southern California and beyond.
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