The "Secret Stairways" of Belvedere Island

Posted on: May 3, 2023

In the picturesque town of Belvedere, one resident's curiosity led to the revelation of a charming and hidden aspect of the community. Charlie Harrington, a newcomer to Madrona Avenue, stumbled upon a network of enchanting stairways that wind their way through Belvedere Island. Little did he know that this discovery would not only become a personal adventure but also inspire a community event that would bring neighbors together.

Last July, Charlie Harrington embarked on a journey of exploration after moving to Madrona Avenue. As he strolled through the neighborhood, he stumbled upon what locals fondly referred to as the "secret stairs" of Belvedere Island. These hidden stairways, each with its own unique charm, seemed to create a labyrinth connecting the community in an unconventional way.

Charlie's creative mind immediately saw the potential for turning this hidden gem into a unique and exciting local event. Drawing inspiration from Mill Valley's famed Dipsea footrace, he envisioned a smaller-scale fun run that would not only showcase the beauty of Belvedere Island but also bring the community together in a fun and active way.

With enthusiasm and determination, Charlie began pitching the idea of the Belvedere Challenge to friends, neighbors, and fellow residents through WhatsApp groups. What started as a simple concept soon evolved into a reality, with more than two dozen participants eagerly joining the inaugural Belvedere Challenge held on Feb. 25, 2023.

The Belvedere Challenge 2023 featured a 4-plus-mile course that took participants on a scenic journey through Belvedere Island. Starting at San Rafael Avenue and West Shore Road, the route included a series of ascents and descents, making its way through the "secret stairs" like Belvedere Way Lane, Golden Gate, Park Lane, Woodwardia, Pomander Walk, Hawthorne, Cedar Lane, Woodland, Pagoda Lane, and McLean. Zig-zagging surface-street runs added an extra layer of excitement to the course. More than just a race, the Belvedere Challenge became a celebration of community spirit. Neighbors cheered each other on, forging connections as they conquered the stairs and embraced the breathtaking views along the route. Charlie's vision of creating a local event that brought people together was beautifully realized on the charming streets of Belvedere.

Charlie Harrington's discovery of Belvedere's "secret stairs" not only added a new dimension to his daily walks but also sparked a sense of adventure and community in the hearts of his fellow residents. The Belvedere Challenge stands as a testament to the power of exploration, creativity, and community bonding, turning hidden treasures into cherished memories for all who participated.

Read more at The Ark Newspaper.

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