Parks

Perfect Parks for puffing at around Tacoma

Washington state is well known for its natural beauty, forrests, beaches, wildlife and, of course, marijuana.

Upon enacting Initiative 502, the state brought recreational cannabis use to the masses, allowing retail purchases as well as public consumption (unless specifically noted, cannabis smokers are treated basically like tobacco smokers and are allowed to smoke in areas such as parks and beaches.

So, we decided to take a look at Tacoma and ask which are your favorite parks to puff at?

We started our search at the Metro Parks Tacoma Park Finder Feature as the selection (124!) is too large to include in one piece, we chose a few to highlight this time and produce more in the future as we explore them ourselves and encourage readers to explore unfamiliar parks and discover something new to share with us as well.

Please note all area parks are open one half hour prior to sunrise and close one half hour after sunset.

China Lake Park

China Lake Park, located at 1811 S Shirley Street, is a 28 acre parcel which is largely undeveloped and contains one of the largest lakes within city limits, the first parcel of which was acquired in 1943. There is a beautiful path that encircles a lake which is roughly half a mile in length.

A great park to take your dog, your kayak, your bong and your backpack, you could make a morning of waking and baking before heading into work at that new cannabis career you can also score in Tacoma.

Events Happening Here:
  • 02 FEB  China Lake Volunteer Work Party Register Online   Help restore your local park’s natural area every first Saturday. Our habitat steward and Friends…
    09:00 am
  • 02 MAR China Lake Volunteer Work Party Register Online   Help restore your local park’s natural area every first Saturday. Our habitat steward and Friends…
    09:00 am
  • 06 APR China Lake Volunteer Work Party Register Online   Help restore your local park’s natural area every first Saturday. Our habitat steward and Friends…
    09:00 am
Fern Hill Park

Fern Hill Park at 502 S. 88th Street is a smaller, 2 acre park with special play equipment which was designed to provide safe play for all children, including those with limited motor skills. This would be a good option for busy parents, maybe an after school stop?

5 Mile Trails

For the more serious hiker there is the 5 mile hike (which also has driving trails) on north Pearl Street, you can wind your way through old growth fores with vistas of Puget Sound, the Cascade and Olympic mountain ranges, Tacoma Narrows and Narrows Bridge, Vashon Island and Gig Harbor. Pack a bag and get lost for the day near Point Defiance, you won’t regret it.

What a view from the trail at 5 mile

The Tacoma Nature Center is designed to be a family friendly favorite by offering nature programs, summer day camps. It shows exhibits and collections, hosts walks and even virtual tours while situated on a 71-acre nature preserve encompassing Snake Lake and the surrounding wetlands and forest. You can enjoy a joint as you stroll nature trails to experience native birds, animals and plants (please remember – always in and out – never leave trash or roaches). Turtle spotting is one of our family favorite activities at this particular park.

Cruising the Tacoma Nature Center

Wright Park, at 501 South I Street, is ideal for a leisurely stroll or taking your kids to the playground or sprayground, situated close to downtown and many historical buildings. A fun, informative and not too scary way to explore the area on foot is with Tacoma Ghost Tours, which we did last Fall, absorbing all the stories about early settlers, art, statutes and, of course, ghosts, in addition to the architecture, general vibe and aroma (just kidding, Tacoma smells fine, just fine).

This 27 acre arboretum is home to a rich collection of more than 600 trees. The new bridge at Wright Park is approximately 54 feet long, 8 feet wide and weighs just under 22,000 pounds. It was fabricated off-site and lifted into place with a crane.

Wright Park Bridge

Wright Park Arboretum

Take a self-guided tree tour
Download a Champion Tree Tour Booklet or pick up a free booklet in the Conservatory gift shop.

Parking
Street parking is available around the perimeter of the park.

RENTALS

W.W. Seymour Botanical Conservatory rentals
 

PARK IMPROVEMENTS

Wright Park Bridge Replacement
Demo and replacement of existing bridge over the pond and some ADA upgrades in the park.
 Click here to view status.
   
Conservatory Improvements
Metro Parks Tacoma is poised to embark on improvements to the W.W. Seymour Botanical Conservatory. Learn more and give your input.

View status of all parks and projects
  • HISTORY
    In 1886 the Tacoma Land Company, under the leadership of its president, Charles B. Wright, donated a parcel of land approximately 20 acres in size to the City of Tacoma for the sole purpose of being developed as a public park. His mandate was that ‘upon condition nevertheless that said land shall forever be exclusively used as and appropriated for the uses and purposes of a public park.’ From this original 20-acre parcel the park quickly grew to its current size of 27 acres filling out 10 city blocks. 
  • Read more about the history of Wright Park
  • “Wright Park is the only considerable breathing space reserved to the people thronging the central part of this city.” It is the city’s responsibility to preserve a place “where the people can get recreation, where children from the congested districts can congregate without danger, and where mothers, nurses, and invalids can find a healthful resort during mid-day without being cramped for space or menaced by shows and their consequent temptations to spend their spare time within the walls of a packed building rather than in the health giving environment of trees, plants and flowers.”
  • This quote comes from a document written by the Board of Park Commissioners in 1909 in response to different organizations wanting to build in the park.

Park Attractions to Explore:

W. W. Seymour Botanical Conservatory

This is just a brief example of the multitude of great parks to puff at around Tacoma and we are looking forward to exploring and reporting on more. If you have any suggestions or personal favorites, feel free to let us know. We are always down for an adventure in Tacoma!


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