When I started on the rowing team last Fall, our coach suggested walking or running the Larkspur Stairs to build up cardio endurance. My son had used them many times with his rowing team for conditioning, and I had driven down Magnolia Avenue right past them (apparently) countless times, but I never knew where they were. Well, turns out they’re well hidden but well worth finding, too.
They consist of two long flights of stairs up a hillside, broken by a small landing half-way up. I figure there are probably about 100 steps total, but I could be over-estimating since my lack of cardio endurance may have just made them seem that long! They’re well shaded, too, so even when you get heated up from the exercise, it doesn’t seem unbearably hot.
It’s a lot of fun to see all the people who use them, from young, sprinting teenagers wearing spandex and looking incredibly fit to slowly but doggedly plodding sweatsuit clad adults. The stairs are wide enough that two people can pass so it keeps the traffic moving pretty smoothly. I myself frequently get “lapped” a couple of times by some of the teenagers and adults who run the steps.
It’s actually a lot of fun because it’s a pretty outdoor exercise venue and people smile and acknowledge encouragement and give attaboys. Plus, walking or running a fixed number of flights seems very finite and achievable.
To find them, go to the west side of the 200 block of Magnolia Avenue, and look for the bus stop right by the crosswalk at 272 Magnolia. There’s a concrete path to the right (north) of the bus stop that runs perpedicular to Magnolia back away from the street and about 50 feet of the road, voila, you meet the stairs. The top of the stairs is on a one-way street, Walnut Avenue.
Where: 281 Magnolia Avenue, Larkspur (map)