Swan Creek Park
Features You'll Find:Hover over an icon for more details
- Bike Trail / Biking / Bicycling
- Parking Stalls
- Trail / Hard
- Trail / Soft
- Community Garden
- Natural Areas
- Stream / River
Open ½ hour before sunrise
Close ½ hour after sunset
E. 42nd St. & Roosevelt Ave.
Tacoma, WA 98404
ABOUT THIS PARK
Total acreage is 373 acres - 290 owned by Metro Parks Tacoma and 83 owned by Pierce County.
Municipal Ownership Map
This park has two major sections:
The park is popular for bird watching, hiking, walking, picnicking and other recreational uses, and is also used for driver training by public safety and utility departments. And now it's the home of Tacoma's first trail system for mountain bikes!
(click map image to enlarge or print)
- 2820 Pioneer Way E. Canyon Entrance
Amenities: parking lot, picnic tables (maintained by Pierce County Parks)
- Coming from River Road (near I-5): When you are on Pioneer Way East coming from River Road, watch for the Clay Art Center and Barker's Barn (both on the right side of the road). There is also a small Swan Creek Park sign posted right before the park entrance parking lot. On the left, across from the park entrance, is a large fenced freight distribution center. If you reach the Waller Road stop light, you've passed it.
- Coming from Puyallup: If you are coming from the Puyallup area on Pioneer Way E., watch for Waller Road on the left. The park entrance is just past that, also on the left.
- Gathering Place
Amenities: parking lot, seasonal restroom, picnic shelter & tables
- Coming from Interstate 5: From Portland Ave., turn on East 44th St. into the entrance of the Salishan community. Drive east to East Roosevelt, turn left at the T, drive 2 blocks and turn right on East 42nd into the parking lot.
- 56th Street
Amenities: curbside parking
- Coming from Interstate 5: Head south on Portland Ave and turn left on East 56th Street. Trail head is located after the First Creek Middle School entrance on the left.
- Lister School
Amenities: curbside parking
- Coming from Interstate 5: Head south on Portland Avenue and turn left on East 44th Street. Turn right on East T Street.
MOUNTAIN BIKE TRAILS
Metro Parks Tacoma has partnered with the Evergreen Mountain Bike Alliance to create a 50-acre mountain bike trail network, which was expanded in 2016, and draws a diverse crowd of enthusiasts.
The trails include an easy perimeter trail, advanced trails and a technical skill building zone. Users can access this portion of the park from 56th Street or the Lister School entrances.
Non-motorized bikes of all types are welcome in the uplands area of the park, except on the soft pedestrian trails outside of the mountain bike park. The old roadway system is multi-use, open to pedestrians and all types of bicycles. Outside of the mountain bike course, bikes must remain on paved routes. Please be mindful of other users while enjoying your ride.
Remember to always wear a helmet when biking; protection is especially important when riding on trails with obstacles and more difficult features.
Want to get involved with the Mountain Bike Trails care and events? Check out www.evergreenmtb.org.
Connect with the Swan Creek MTB Coalition on Facebook
Mountain Bike Trails Phase 2
Outdoor gear retailer REI has given the Greater Metro Parks Foundation $20,000 to help build the second phase of the mountain bike trail system in Metro Parks Tacoma’s Swan Creek Park. READ MORE
TRAIL VOLUNTEER WORK PARTIES
Join a Washington Trails Association volunteer work party to help take care of the expansive trail network throughout this park.
In 2016 closed the McKinley off-leash area to comply with the Habitat Enhancement plan for the critical area buffer regulated by the City of Tacoma. We had hoped to move it quickly to Swan Creek Park. Unfortunately a series of events has changed the timeline. It was decided we should refresh the masterplan for the Lister Uplands portion of Swan Creek Park before starting on the next phase of capital improvements. Some of the delay is also centered around grant opportunities.
The good news is the public process should start in summer 2018. Please sign up for our email list to be sure you're notified of public meetings and other events related to Swan Creek Park.
- Provide free, accessible, nutritious food to community members experiencing food insecurity
- Enhance the recreational experience of park users and encourage outdoor activities by providing enticing fruits for consumption
- Beautify the urban landscape with flowering plants and trees, while implementing a sustainable urban canopy
- Provide our community with an edible urban design system that can be mapped and promoted as a unique program, worthy of positive attention for our region.
THE TACOMA FOOD FOREST: Art, Edibles + Sustainable Culture
This 2016 exhibit presented the artwork of 15 regional artists/team at the Food Forest.
Photos in this slide show were taken by Jefferson Mok, Russ Carmack and Lisa Kinoshita.
SWAN CREEK'S WOODED CANYON is a wildlife wonder - a space to learn, explore, appreciate and protect. Although much of its 373 acres haven't been developed, it is still a park and park rules apply so please:
- Smoke only off park property
- Visit only during daylight hours
- Leash and scoop when you have a pet with you
- Don't bring unauthorized motorized vehicles into the park
- Avoid camping and campfires
- Enjoy nature viewing opportunities but do not feed the wildlife or damage plants in the park
- When endangered salmon are spawning feel free to look, but DO NOT DISTURB. These fish have traveled thousands of miles to lay eggs in this stream where they were born.
These guidelines are for everyone's enjoyment and safety.
VOLUNTEER WITH THE FRIENDS OF SWAN CREEK WATERSHED
Friends of Swan Creek Watershed is a diverse group of adults and youth who work together to provide educational and volunteer opportunities in Swan Creek Park & Watershed.
- Students can engage in monitoring of the spawning salmon by doing visual counts, looking at the outtake flow, and marking the reds.
- Swan Creek Park's plant diversity makes for an ideal class for plant identification. For more information contact Sue Bernstein at
HELP KEEP THIS PARK CLEAN, GREEN & SAFE
Learn more about how you can volunteer your time, services and support to enhance this park.
It is illegal to operate all-terrain vehicles, motorcycles and other motorized recreational vehicles on park properties.
All users must enter and leave park property through established entrances and exits.
Penalties up to $250 per violation apply. (Section 8.27.200 of the Tacoma Municipal Code)
SWAN CREEK MASTER PLAN
HISTORYLocal Native Americans used Swan Creek and the surrounding property for hunting and holding councils up until the mid-19th century. At one time the land was part of the Puyallup Reservation. The first 152 acres for this park were purchased in 1966. Learn more Swan Creek history. . .
Events Happening Here: