Usually when people think of hiking, they envision forests, mountains and open space. Hiking in a city? Isn’t that a walk? Maybe. Unless that “walk” entends 35 miles over two days, climbing 101 public stairs, covering four parks, six community gardens, paved and dirt trails passing through a dozen neighborhoods. In other words, a walk like the fifth annual Big Parade.
Mark your calendars, because Big Parade 5 is less than two weeks away. May 18-19, hundreds of Angelinos will join in this urban exploration, disproving the theory that nobody walks in LA.
The Big Parade is the brainchild of Dan Koeppel, writer and LA resident. Koeppel has been “obsessively walking stairs” for over six years, and published his first 17-mile, 48 stairway walk in Backpacker magazine in 2003.
What is Big Parade About?
It’s more than just an urban hike. It’s an opportunity to claim the city for walkers. It’s a chance to change the future, one step at a time. It’s an opportunity to really see LA in a way that you will never know from a driver’s seat. And it’s a parade — a chance to gather with friends — old and new.
Big Parade is more than a walk through LA
The walk begins on Saturday, May 18th in downtown LA at the Angel’s Flight stairway, and finishes on Sunday, May 19th atop Mt. Hollywood in Griffith Park. Koeppel planned the route in a series of connected loops so that you can pick a section that suits your fitness level and interest. Routes range from one to seven miles, starting and ending at the same point to make transportation to and from the event easier.
There is no registration or fee. Just bring your walking shoes, water and a smile.
Along the route, you will visit historic landmarks, meet community leaders, look at art, hear music, share stories, and eat! Saturday night there will be a potluck reception at the Micheltorena Elementary Garden in Silverlake (rsvp on Facebook).
Although I’m a second-generation Angelino, I lived elsewhere for years, returning to Los Angeles less than 12 months ago. I’ve been determined to get to know the city on foot. I joined the Great Los Angeles Walk back in November. I trained for and ran in the LA Marathon this past March. And now I’m looking forward to exploring the city again, this time in the Big Parade. Join me!
Get the Details on Big Parade
- Complete information about the Big Parade, including FAQs and final route info (and super-handy print-ready PDFs) can be found at www.bigparadela.com
- Join the Big Parade – Los Angeles group on Facebook to interact with organizers and fellow walkers
- For parade-day updates, follow @bigparadeLA on Twitter
- See photos from past Big Parades, and share yours in the Big Parade group on Flickr
Photo credit: Walking Flowers