A Hike And Some History
One of the best things about living in the Pacific Northwest is that you're just a hop, skip, and a jump away from a hike, especially when running short on time.
Recently, I drove out to Tacoma and hiked the 5 ½ mile loop around Point Defiance Park. There are over 16 miles of trails available with stunning views of Vashon Island, Dalco Passage, Gig Harbor, and the Tacoma Narrows Bridge.
Point Defiance Park began as a military reservation in the 1840s to map the bays and estuaries of Puget Sound after the Wilkes Expedition visited the area. President Grover Cleveland authorized its use as a public park in 1888.
Since then, the park has grown to include a Rose Garden, Japanese Garden, Tacoma Public School’s Science and Math Institute (SAMI), Fort Nisqually Living History Museum, and the Northwest’s only combined zoo and aquarium, the Point Defiance Zoo and Aquarium.
A delightful surprise was Fort Nisqually Living History Museum. The 1930's restoration of the Hudson Bay Company outpost was originally located in what's now DuPont Washington, The granary and factor's house (both Historic Landmarks) are the only two buildings moved from their original location.
Doing great on time, I decided to pay the $8 admission fee and take a visit. Since it’s a Living Museum, it was fun to watch volunteers in period clothing demonstrate the crafts of the 19th century and engage us in historic dialogue.
While we didn’t see any wildlife, the park is home to deer, red foxes, pileated woodpeckers, Douglas squirrels, and raccoons.
*Remember not to feed the wildlife in the park!
If you're looking for a scenic hike not too far from the city, Point Defiance Park is the perfect halfway point from either Seattle or Olympia.
Fort Nisqually is operating on Winter Hours: October 1 - April 30. Open Wednesday to Sunday, 11:00am to 4:00pm
Point Defiance Park is open daily from 1/2 hour before sunrise to 1/2 hour after sunset.
See ya' out there!