What urban adventure should I look into?
March 11, 2014 11:45 AM   Subscribe

I have been reading up on walking around Los Angeles as an "urban thru-hike." What urban thru-hike/scavenger hunt would you recommend for your city or a city you've visited?

The gist of LA's Inman 300 is that hikers visit each of ~300 public staircases in the city. That kind of adventure appeals to me and I would like to think of other examples. Things to visit that are somewhat unique or special about a particular city. Not, for example, every bar in Cleveland, since I could visit lots of bars in any city. But I can't visit 300 public staircases in just any city, ya know?

So, what other cities have easily quantifiable, somewhat unique public features that I could walk to? And what are those features?
posted by thewestinggame to Travel & Transportation (11 answers total) 16 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: For Portland, you could sip from all 52 "true" Benson Bubblers.
posted by Lutoslawski at 11:48 AM on March 11, 2014 [1 favorite]

Montreal has a well-developed underground network that could be explored through a number of different paths. There's even a festival!
posted by ddaavviidd at 11:52 AM on March 11, 2014

Best answer: Well it's also L.A., but The Great Los Angeles Walk is pretty cool. It's a once-a-year event where they walk a single street from beginning to end. Last year was Sunset Blvd.
posted by BlahLaLa at 11:56 AM on March 11, 2014

In New York, walk from one end of Broadway to the other, which will take you diagonally across the entire island of Manhattan from tip to tip.
posted by Sara C. at 12:52 PM on March 11, 2014

In Chicago there is the pedway system. Would link but I'm on my cell.
posted by AlexiaSky at 1:08 PM on March 11, 2014

In Tokyo, I walked the Yamanote Line alignment. It took us about 17 hours, but that included lots of snacking. You could do the same with any ring line.
posted by chocotaco at 1:08 PM on March 11, 2014

A broader self help kind of answer but geocacheing would be an excellent framework for this and its exactly how I use it. "Hey I'm in a new city, let's see what cool geocaches there are.... And discover neat city stuff"

Examples: historical markers series around pittsburgh. Waterfalls series around Hamilton Ontario etc.
posted by chasles at 1:11 PM on March 11, 2014 [2 favorites]

In the same spirit as GeoCaching, there is also Letterboxing. A lot of these are near landmarks, but quite a few are in places that only locals frequent.
posted by TooFewShoes at 7:25 PM on March 11, 2014 [1 favorite]

Though official qualifying events occur only a few times a year, The Wanderer's Union is a fun way to see parts of the San Franscisco Bay Area and Los Angeles that you would never encounter otherwise. The SF team has several old maps online for temporally asynchronous exploration. (The LA team could be easily be talked into sharing previous maps if you're interested.)

Also, if you're LA based, consider stopping by the Center for Land Use Interpretation an asking for suggestions. Their website is neat, but represents a tiny fraction of what's available in person. (And, there's often a fluffy cat suitable for petting, if you're into that kind of thing, and assuming he takes a liking to you.) Their sites of interest tend to be far-flung and often hard to get to without a car, but they're very thoughtful curators.

Disclaimer: I'm personal friends with several the people who organize the Wanderer's Union events. But, I'd be a fan even if I didn't know them, and it seems appropriate.
posted by eotvos at 12:40 AM on March 13, 2014

Best answer: > I can't visit 300 public staircases in just any city, ya know?

You can do twice that in Seattle! Or you can be a little pickier about which stairs you climb.
posted by The corpse in the library at 2:42 PM on March 13, 2014

Best answer: Due to the cold, Calgary has an indoor network of above ground bridges between buildings called "plus 15s". There are 59 of them according to this site.

The Trans Canada Trail also has interesting routes through many Canadian cities. The sign posts might be something to count.
posted by stp123 at 9:01 AM on April 19, 2014

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