Metro Parks Tacoma

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Trail Map

Duck Paddling in Nature Center Pond

At 71 acres, the Tacoma Nature Center preserve boasts more than 20 different species of mammals and about 100 species of birds. It is also home to reptiles, amphibians and native plant populations.

The central feature of the Tacoma Nature Center is the 17-acre serpentine-shaped lake and wetland. The lake is home to the spectacularly colored wood duck, which is frequently seen at the first bridge. Mallards and Canada geese are common year-round residents. The plants and animals that live here are representative of those that share life with us in an urban environment. For the health of our ducks and geese, we ask you to refrain from feeding them.

More than two miles of soft-surfaced walking trails wander through the wetlands and forest areas. There is also a half-mile outdoor access route for wheelchairs.

  • Trails are open daily from 8:00 am to 30 minutes after sunset
  • General admission is free for the preserve
  • Since this is an urban nature preserve, we ask you to leave pets and bicycles at home while visiting
  • Smoking is prohibited
  • Accessibility Information
 Cover of Nature Center Trail Guide


Pick up a self-guiding booklet in the Visitor Center to help you learn about the natural and human history of the area while you explore,or you can download it here.

Relaxed Pond Turtle in Exhibit at the Nature CenterINTERPRETIVE CENTER
The interpretive center offers informative displays and interactive wetland, watershed and wildlife exhibits.

  • Center is open 9:00 am-4:00 pm Monday-Saturday
  • Gift Shop
  • Conference/meeting hall (available for rent)
  • General admission is free for the building
  • For more information, call (253) 404-3930