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Point Defiance Park construction temporarily shifts boat trailer parking this summer

May 2, 2017

Boaters and visitors welcome while Destination Point Defiance work is under way

The construction of an elevated walkway with spectacular views will require boaters launching from Point Defiance Marina to use alternative parking arrangements for their trailers while they enjoy the local waters this summer.

Thanks to a partnership with Tacoma Public Schools, boaters can park their trailers at Point Defiance Elementary School, 4330 N. Visscher St., on Saturdays and Sundays from June 3 through Sept. 3. The marina will run a free shuttle between the school and the boat launch. Boaters are asked to follow the signage at the school and to park in the designated area. Out of courtesy for school neighbors, boaters also are asked to park inside the lot close to the playground if space is available. If they must park on a street, they are asked to park on the side nearest the school and away from homes.

“Point Defiance Marina is a popular place to launch a boat, so we appreciate everyone’s patience while we build a new and improved parking lot for boat trailers as part of a major expansion of the park,” said Phedra Redifer, regional parks attractions manager for Metro Parks Tacoma.

The partnership with the school will help compensate for the temporary closure of parking Lots A and B, which are popular with boaters, through the summer. Contractors continue to work on a waterfront project that includes a pedestrian trail and walkway connecting the park with Ruston Way. When it opens in 2018, the “Wilson Way” bridge – named for retired Metro Parks Executive Director Jack C. Wilson – will feature amazing views of Puget Sound, the Olympic Mountains and Mount Rainier.

For the best experience, marina operators recommend that boaters arrive early and use any of these options:

  • Get a pass from the boat launch to park at Point Defiance Elementary, 4330 N. Visscher St., and take the free shuttle, which is identified by the Point Defiance Marina or Metro Parks Tacoma logo, between 6 a.m. and 4 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays, from June 3 through Sept. 3. Please follow the signs at the school to the appropriate parking area.
  • Use a buddy system so that someone drops you and your boat off and comes back to pick you up when you return (we realize that will have to be a really understanding friend or relative).
  • Store your boat at the marina.

If you plan to launch a boat, ask the Point Defiance Marina launch attendant about the best options for your trailer. Call (253) 752-6663 for details.

More information about the marina can be found at The website posts regular updates about construction impacts as well as information about each of the projects, including the new trail, bridge, 11-acre peninsula, aquarium and education building.