Recently we joined 20 urban explorers for a Feet First walk in Kent's Lake Fenwick Park. We've never been there, and especially when walk leader Chris mentioned a youuuge stairway in his Meetup description, we just had to sign up!
Construction traffic made us 40 minutes late, but we eventually made it onto the trail. We ran into our group just after they had reached the turnaround point. Our route took us 3 miles round-trip, on a one-way trail through parts of heavily-wooded Lake Fenwick Park. The weather was perfect : about 70 degrees, with a brilliant blue sky visible beyond the deep-green canopy.
About midway along, the trail turns east to top a ridge above Lake Fenwick, revealing a steep, 160-foot downslope ahead. The stairway down this slope is reminiscent of the now-closed Eagle Landing stairs: a zig-zag steel structure standing on piers, running downhill at a very steep pitch. We counted 178 stairs. Beyond the stairway, the trail finishes with a long boardwalk, hovering above wetland on either side. We stopped on the boardwalk awhile, to silently watch a Great Blue heron almost imperceptibly stretch its long neck to stalk a tasty meal.
To get to Lake Fenwick Park from Seattle by car, take I-5 south to Exit 149 (SR516, or Kent Des Moines Road). Head south and east for about 3 miles, then take a sharp hairpin right at the traffic light marking Reith Road. Continue for about 0.2 mile on Reith Road before taking a left fork onto Lake Fenwick Road (the street signs are hard to see). The park will be on the left; continue about one mile on Lake Fenwick Road to the third park entrance. The trail starts there, close to the street.