Best Places to Walk in Tacoma

Posted on: February 1st, 2022 Posted by: Puget Sound Orthopaedics Posted in: News

If you are fortunate enough to live in the lovely city of Tacoma, you have probably noticed the abundance of walkers who frequent the city’s sidewalks and trails. Some walk alone, some walk with baby strollers, some walk with a friend or family member and others walk with a pup. When there is sunshine in Tacoma, the chances that you will see someone walking are very high!

Going for a walk outdoors is a terrific way to exercise, get fresh air and build stronger bones. For most people, walking has a long list of health benefits. According to the AAOS, walking slows the development of arthritis, slows the loss of bone mass, and gently tones your muscles.

If you are new to Tacoma, or new to walking, you might be wondering where the best locations are to walk. With forests, beaches, bridges, wildlife and coastal views, there are a variety of tranquil places to take a stroll. Read on to learn more about the delightful places to go walking in Tacoma, according to a local.

Point Defiance Park

Point Defiance Park is 760 acres of jaw-dropping scenery. You can explore the park’s beaches, trails and gardens all year long. A highlight of the park is the mystical temperate rainforest that is home to many different species of plants, animals and fungi. While you are walking, you may get a glimpse of seal pups, bald eagles, squirrels and deer. The paths and trails are well maintained, but be ready for mud during the rainy months.

Other Information:

  • Point Defiance Park is kid friendly. Children can enjoy the Point Defiance Zoo and Aquarium and the playground that is located near the Japanese Garden.
  • Leashed dogs are allowed throughout the park. You can unleash your dog at the designated off-leash dog park area.
  • The Fort Nisqually Living History Museum is a historical site that is fun for people of all ages! Buy tickets for a guided tour here.
  • Point Defiance Park Map.

Ruston Way

The Ruston Way sidewalk is a flat and neatly paved path that runs along the water’s edge. It is a popular location for cyclists, roller-skaters, runners and walkers of all speeds. A beautiful view of the Puget Sound makes the scenery at this walking spot hard to beat. Bring your camera on sunny days to get the perfect shot of Mt. Rainier in all of its glory. Since the sidewalk can get busy in the summer months, be sure to walk on the right side so faster pedestrians and bicyclists can move around you safely.

Other Information:

Chambers Bay

Located in University Place, the well-known Chambers Bay Golf Course is a great place to play golf, picnic, run, or just be outdoors. The paved loop that weaves around the golf course is three miles long and very hilly. Be ready for steep inclines! There are bathrooms conveniently located throughout the loop and the abundance of open green spaces are perfect for playing sports and flying kites. On a clear day, stay until the sun goes down to watch a spectacular sunset.

Other Information:

  • There are two off-leash dog parks, one for small dogs and one for large dogs.
  • On some winter days, Chambers Bay can get extremely windy and cold. Check the weather before you go and dress accordingly.
  • A children’s playground is located at the upper portion of the loop.
  • Hungry? The Chamber’s Bay Grill is open for lunch every day of the week.

Tacoma Narrows Bridge

A famous landmark in Tacoma, the Narrows Bridge offers a bird’s-eye view of Gig Harbor, Tacoma and the Puget Sound. If you are afraid of heights, you might want to consider choosing a different walking location from this list! With sturdy barriers and a wide sidewalk, the bridge is a perfectly safe place to walk and explore. It is a 3-mile out-and-back when starting and finishing  at the War Memorial Park in Tacoma. In addition to it’s awesome scenery, the Narrows Bridge has a fascinating history. In 1940, a wind storm caused the first Narrows Bridge to collapse.

Other Information:

  • Learn more about the history of the Narrows Bridge here.
  • There are no resting spots, bathrooms or shaded areas on the bridge.

Titlow Park

Titlow park is a great place to walk because of the park’s maintained trails, sidewalks and flat grassy areas. The beach frontage and estuary lagoon makes the park an interesting place visit. It is known for amazing views of the Tacoma Narrows Bridge and the Olympic Peninsula. It is also a popular place to birdwatch!

Other Information:

  • If you don’t feel like walking, you can launch your kayak or paddleboard from the beach!
  • The Hidden Beach Trail loop is 1.3 miles and the Lagoon loop is .75 miles.
  • View the Titlow park map here.

University of Puget Sound

The University of Puget Sound is located in North Tacoma and has great pathways, gardens, trees and brick buildings. The campus is open to the public for walking and allows access to a 400m standard track.

Other Information:

  • You can bring your dog to the UPS campus, as long as they are leashed!
  • To provide security, the campus pathways are lit at night.

As you now know, there are many wonderful outdoor places to go walking in Tacoma. However, the weather in Tacoma can be very unpleasant and harsh at times. When this is the case, don’t shrug your shoulders and give up on your walk. Instead, get a membership to your local gym and try out a treadmill! Listen to a podcast, audiobook or your favorite music to make your time on the treadmill more enjoyable.

If you have recently undergone a surgery, procedure or medical complication and are unsure if walking is the right choice for your body, reach out to your health care provider before you start adding walks to your routine.

Thank you for reading, we hope you have the opportunity to enjoy many great walks in your future!