Seattle Central District


Day Hike - Seattle Central District

Night hike Seattle's "CD" during Black History Month to explore Seattle's racist housing past. This second in a series of four February walks follows "redlining" E 30th St via Marion to I-5 and return along Yesler.

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  • Moderate
  • Mileage: 5.7 mi
  • Elevation Gain: 600 ft
  • High Point Elevation: 390 ft
  • Pace: 2.0 mph

Meet shortly before 6pm, geared up and ready to walk, at the intersection of E 30th Ave and Marion St.  Plenty of on street parking. 

This up and down night hike criss-crosses East Seattle to follow the central boundary of a large "redlined" district noted in a Kroll 1936 real estate map. We traverse Seattle University and move through the heart of the Central District on Marion St  to I-5 before returning via Yesler, then north through Powell Bartlett Park to our start. We'll look for enduring evidence of 20th century segregation in our fair city.

March 2013, Seattle Post-Intelligencer:   "A clear-eyed view of our past reveals a history of racial and ethnic intolerance. In the 19th century, all Native Americans were banned from living in Seattle, a city named for a local tribal leader. In the 1880s, Chinese workers were expelled amid riots. The Japanese internment during World War II remains a stain.

"But Seattle’s exclusionary practices extend beyond those events, and were in place much more recently. The city was stitched together with racial exclusions written into property deeds and community covenants. Real estate agents and lenders used “redlining” to draw racial boundaries. In 1960, Seattle was 92 percent white. More than 90 percent of Seattle’s black population was pushed into the Central District. In 1964, Seattle voters soundly defeated an “open housing” ordinance that would have let anyone live anywhere. It lost by more than 2-to-1. The city was segregated, and a large majority wanted it that way."

The University of Washington Seattle Civil Rights Labor History project provides insights to our history of racial segregation:


Seattle Central District

Required Equipment

Required Equipment

The Ten Essentials

  • Navigation
  • Headlamp
  • Sun protection
  • First aid
  • Knife
  • Fire
  • Shelter
  • Extra food
  • Extra water
  • Extra clothes
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