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Urban 'mountains' can make a good hike

June 19, 2008 12:00:00 AM PDT
Usually when you think about hiking, you think of the great outdoors and nature.Many people are taking a different route and going urban. They're getting exercise and learning a little about their neighborhood in the process.

"I thought, you know, you can go drive to the mountains and hike, or you can walk out your door and hike," said Silver Lake resident Dan Koeppel.

Koeppel started discovering staircases five years ago, and has since developed several urban hikes.

"You know, you can run or double-step it, actually," said Koeppel.

Starting point is usually the "Music Box" steps made famous by Laurel and Hardy.

"They have a famous movie where they're carrying a piano up this flight of stairs, and they never get it to the top because it keeps sliding down, and it's this famous slapstick thing," said Koeppel.

The shortest route includes sixteen staircases and takes just over two hours to hike.

"We start about 7:30. And we start and finish at a bakery, so people who wish to erase their walk can do that. We get to the Silver Lake reservoir. And you know, people who know the route, sometimes they get down here and they run a loop around the reservoir. So, you can sort of adjust the route to your fitness level or what you want to do," said Koeppel.

Then, it's off to what Dan calls the 'terrible trio.' It's a set of three different staircases that crosses two sets of streets. "And it's pretty tough," said Koeppel.

"[We] didn't quite make it up the second one that well the first time we did it, but we knock them out pretty well now," said Drew Wright.

"I think the best part is getting to know the neighborhood. People like go out in nature and are like, 'Oh the trees, the birds.' Well, you have the same thing here. You have the houses, the people, the dogs and cats, you know, and the birds, and the trees. It's just... it's fantastic," said Koeppel. "You get to learn that there's so much beauty right here in L.A."

Click here for some stairway walks in Los Angeles from Dan Koeppel

 

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