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3 Kid-Friendly Tacoma Hikes That Lead to Water

Fantastic urban Tacoma trails bring families to the waterfront

Writer Heather Larson

Published on: June 20, 2019

3 Kid-Friendly Tacoma Hikes That Lead to Water

Walking toward the new Wilson Way Bridge and Trail. Credit: Heather Larson

Wilson Way Bridge and Trail

The 600-foot long, 50-foot tall Wilson Way Bridge links Point Defiance Park and its Dune Peninsula area with Ruston Way. This pedestrian and bike bridge — no motorized vehicles allowed — opened in 2019 and had long been the missing piece of a waterfront access puzzle. You are able to walk from Jack Hyde Park to Point Defiance Park, a distance of 4.8 miles. You can continue your water-to-woods experience by crossing the Wilson Way Bridge and connecting with nearly 15 miles of trails inside the park.

In addition to the elevated walkway, this construction project created stairs and slides going from Wilson Way to the boat launch. Wherever you begin this journey, a stop at Point Ruston is a definite must.

Choose a full meal at one of the many restaurants, opt for an ice cream treat or pepperoni from a vending machine. Take time for play in the Point Ruston Ferry Big Toy on the Promenade Playground and a splash in the spray park.

Point Ruston spray park. Credit: Heather Larson

If a walk doesn't appeal to your crew, Wheel Fun Rentals has bikes, surreys and specialty bikes to keep you and the kiddos exerting those leg muscles, just in a different way.

There you have it. Three unique ways to connect to Tacoma’s scenic waterfront with kids. Enjoy.

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