Metro Parks Tacoma

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Helpful tips from Ranger Mary to help you get the most out of your park visit

  • Get on the Trails - My favorite place to start a hike is at the Gig Harbor Viewpoint. From there you can hop on any of our marked trails. I recommend the Spine Trail - marked with light blue circles on trail posts - which will take you deep into the heart of our old-growth forest.
  • See Puget Sound - Another favorite of mine is the watefront Promenade. I love to walk all the way from the ferry terminal to Owen Beach and watch for marine animals swimming by. The Harbor Seals are my favorite.
  • Watch for Wildlife - My favorite park animals to watch are the creepty crawlies on the forest floor. Even the slugs and snails excite me, and they remind me that every inch of our park is full of animals who need our protection and respect. Remember to never approach or feed wild animals in the park. This is their home and we are just visitors.
  • Stop By to Say Hello - I always enjoy meeting people who are vising the park. Stop by the Visitors Center (open Memorial Day through Labor Day) and ask if I'm in to say 'hello' - or, if I am not in, you can chat with one of our friendly Park Ambassadors to get the inside scoop on Point Defiance. While you are at the center, pick up a Junior Ranger Booklet to earn your Point Defiance Junior Ranger pin.
  • Leave No Trace - Now that you know my favorite ways to have fun in Point Defiance Park, I need your help to keep our park clean and safe for everyone. Here are some simple things you can do:
    • Stay on designated trails
    • Leave plants and animals where you find them
    • Refrain from smoking in the park and follow park rules for proper barbecuing
    • Keep you pets on leash
    • Keep wildlife wild - do not feed or approach wild animals
    • Pack out all trash you bring in with you
    • Come prepared with a map, snacks, water, and appropriate clothing for your time in the park


Are you interested in bringing your students to Point Defiance Park for a private Ranger Program? Click here to submit a request to the Park Ranger >

Junior Ranger Program

Pick up a free booklet at the Point Defiance Visitors Center. The Visitors Center is open from Memorial Day through Labor Day.  Learn more

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