Walking and Biking
Lakewood Park (on Steilacoom Blvd.) has a trail that circles Waughop Lake. Drive down Dresdon Lane, then park by the barns to get to the trailhead.
A two-mile cycling and jogging path runs along Ruston Way, good for a breezy post-lunch or -dinner walk all the way down to Point Defiance, or just to the waterfront at Commencement Park or Marine Park along the way.
Tucked away where you'd least expect it is the Tacoma Nature Center (1919 S. Tyler St., 253/591-6439, www.tacomaparks.com). The 54 acres of marshland and evergreens are just a stone’s throw from busy 19th Street, but this is a fine place to watch ducks and other birds. There are two miles of self-guiding nature trails. Trails are open 8 a.m.–dark daily; the interpretive center (8 a.m.–5 p.m. Mon.–Fri., 10 a.m.–4 p.m. Sat.–Sun. year-round, donations) is filled with hands-on exhibits.
© Ericka Chickowski from Moon Washington, 8th edition