This mostly flat paved trail meanders through two parks and quiet residential neighborhoods, and is a great option for a long walk or jogging workout without traveling very far from home.
This guide details the route starting from the northern end at S 47th Street and S Tacoma Way and ending at the southern end near 80th Street Court SW and S Tacoma Way.
The trail is paved the entire way, and begins at the northwest corner of South Park, next to the Tacoma Cemetery. Follow the trail, taking care to look both ways before crossing the marked crosswalks coming up.
In just over 0.1 miles, pass a gazebo with some stone benches to sit on to the right, a lovely place to sit and listen to the birds chirping overhead. More benches are scattered throughout the park, but these are the only stone benches.
In another 0.1 miles, come to a number of park features on the right: restrooms and water fountains (these may be closed during the off-season), picnic tables, garbage cans, play structures for children, a baseball field, and a basketball court.
Continuing on, the trail hits the end of the park in 0.25 miles. Here, you’ll begin to navigate through quiet, mostly residential neighborhoods. There are a number of road crossings along the way, all of which are marked crosswalks; some of the more trafficked roads you need to cross will have a yellow crossing light or traffic light available to you for a safer crossing.
In about 0.5 miles, there is a bench to take a break at if you would like. At the next intersection on S 62nd Street, the trail briefly turns into a residential sidewalk, heading south just for one block. There is no signage for the trail again until the southern end of the block on S 64th Street.
In about 0.6 miles, there’s a traffic light intersection on S 74th Street; cross safely to the southeast corner of the intersection to continue on the trail. Enter Oak Tree Park, where there benches, garbage cans, and children’s play structures, but no restrooms.
The park ends in about 0.1 miles, and walk slightly uphill along the trail to leave the park. From here, there are several small metal placards along the trail with information about the habitats of and uses for flora in the area. The highlighted plants include Oregon grape, Garry oak, oceanspray, snowberry, sword fern, beaked hazelnut, and saskatoon serviceberry — see if you can find them all!
Hit the junction for the Camas Trail on the right in just a few hundred feet, one way you can extend your hike further. The trail ends in another 0.3 miles, next to an information board about the trail at S Tacoma Way.
To get back to the street parking, head south along S Tacoma Way for 0.1 miles and turn left on S 50th Street. Continue forward for a few hundred feet to reach the street parking.
Of course, you also have the option of heading back the way you came for a longer hike, or spending some time at South Park or Oak Tree Park if you walk back up the trail half a mile, where there are plenty of peaceful spots to sit and relax.
Transit option: If you'd like to end your hike at S Tacoma Way, you have the option of taking the Bus 3 line back to the northern end of the trail. Turn left and cross the street just a couple of hundred feet south of the trailhead at the corner of S Tacoma Way & S 80th Street. The bus will pick you up here and drop you off near the northern end at the S Tacoma Way & S 48th Street stop.