Open thread: Urban thru hiking

Apparently it’s something that’s starting to exist:

Day hiking within city limits isn’t a new concept, of course. There are guidebooks detailing trails in cities from San Francisco to Atlanta. But Thomas has pushed the pursuit further, mapping out routes as long as 200 miles from one corner of a city to another and using infrastructure like stairways and public art to rack up elevation gain and provide something approximating a vista. She started in 2013 with a 220-mile through-hike in Los Angeles called the Inman 300, named for one of its creators, Bob Inman, and the initial number of stairways it included. Among other efforts, she has since hiked 60 miles through Chicago, 200 miles in Seattle, and 210 miles in Portland, Oregon. In 2015, she trekked the 54 miles from Selma to Montgomery, Alabama, on the 50th anniversary of that historic civil rights march.

The way I see it, urban thru hiking lets you walk more comfortably with less gear since you never need to make camp. Routes that amount to a serious sustained hike can be added up from segments which avoid car traffic as much as possible, and which link up with public transit to let you get home at the end of the day and back at the trailhead easily the next one.


12 thoughts on “Open thread: Urban thru hiking”

  1. The best established urban hikes are currently out West, in cities like Los Angeles, Seattle, and Portland. The routes have one thing in common: lots of tall public stairways, a physically challenging feature. In fact, Thomas credits her discovery of urban hiking to a “renaissance of people who are super interested in stairways.” Three such enthusiasts are Bob Inman, Andrew Licht­man, and Ying Chen, who together created the Inman 300, America’s first urban through-hiking route, connecting about 350 public stairways in Los Angeles. Thomas was happily ticking off wilderness trails in 2013 when Lichtman reached out to her, hoping that the well-known hiker would bring some cred to the route as Inman worked on his Guidebook to the Inman 300. “It was my off-season, so I thought it could be training—and at least it was warm,” Thomas says. “I ended up really liking it in a way I didn’t necessarily think I would.”

  2. North Shore Spirit Trail

    Winding its way along our scenic waterfront, the North Shore Spirit Trail is truly a City treasure as a fully accessible 35km greenway that will extend from Horseshoe Bay to Deep Cove. This unique, waterfront-oriented trail provides pedestrians, cyclists, inline skaters and people with wheeled mobility aids safe access across the North Shore.

  3. Sooke Urban Trails

    The Juan de Fuca Community Trails Society has been working with the District of Sooke to develop and sign an Urban Trail System. These trails make use of existing Sooke parks, trails and sidewalks as much as possible. The main elements consisting of way finding posts, map tables and a central Kiosk are designed by Terry Cristall. Murray Tomkins has provided his expertise and equipment in the construction of these. Gus Vanarendonk has been his able assistant with Terry and Sid helping. There are three trails proposed as follows:

    The Stickle Back Trail

    The Stickle Back Trail connects the Galloping Goose trail at Kirby Rd, winds through the Sooke core along the park system and ends at Clarkson Park where it connects with other trails on Broom Hill. The marking of this trail is nearing completion. To-date despite maneuvering around Christmas, bad weather and now COVID-19, the way finding posts and map tables have been installed. The main kiosk has been built and is waiting installation. The minor way finding elements such as painted road symbols, colour coded tapes and arrows are prepared and awaiting an appropriate time and weather for installation.

    The route finding team Sid Jorna, Terry Cristall and Jim Bouthlier working with Jess Boquist, lead hand for Sooke Parks, have identified 2 other trails, yet to be posted:

    The Sun Run Trail

    The Sun Run Trail will connect central Sooke at John Phillips Park to Poirier School. It will connect to Sun River when the walking bridge over the DeMamiel Creek is completed by the District of Sooke.

    The Sea Walk Trail

    The Sea Walk Trail will connect central Sooke at John Phillips Park with the harbour front at the Rotary Pier.

  4. Pac Tom is a single-player game whose purpose is to run the length of every street in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Pac Tom takes several years to complete.

    I do this in a series of trips. Each trip must start or end (usually both) at “home”, and can go anywhere on foot (including off-road). I keep track of where I go using a wrist-worn GPS device. The first time I’m on a road segment I must run it; after that it’s acceptable (but wimpy) to walk. I can stop to rest any time, if I am a wimp. I mark off completed roads on a map after the trip, marking non-roads so that it’s clear that there’s nothing to do there, and occasionally correcting the route if there’s some problem with the GPS trail.

  5. This is RASPUTIN, my mission to run down all paths at U of T. Check out the rules for clarification on what I mean by that. This is inspired by Pac Tom, although I’ve added in paths as well as streets to make it harder for myself. RASPUTIN started on 17 October 2022 and is still in progress.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *