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PostThu Jan 30, 2020 9:55 pm 
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Swan Creek Park / Swan Creek Trail 10-27-19

Low elevation urban dayhike. Total trail length: 4.0 mi. Max. elevation gain: 380 ft.

Jointly owned by MetroParksTacoma and Pierce County, the 373 acre Swan Creek Park is (according to a phone conversation earlier today) administered by MetroParksTacoma.

MetroParksTacoma shows the address as Roosevelt & East 42nd Street, which is at the top of the hill where the new mountain bike trails were completed about five years ago.

The Swan Creek Trail begins at the bottom end of the Park, at 2820 Pioneer Way East, about 200 feet west of Waller Road East.

Five years have passed since my previous report on Swan Creek Park, and I was curious to see if there had been any changes or improvements since then. I also needed to try out a recently-acquired pair of used old-school waffle stompers somewhere with a bit of up-and-down.

The first thing I noticed was the used hypodermic syringe that I almost stepped on when i got out of the car wearing my Tevas, and the young woman parked nearby who was obviously living in her car.


Swan Creek Park 102719 01
Swan Creek Park 102719 01

I changed into my boots and made sure the alarm on the car was turned on.

The Swan Creek Trail, 2.38 miles in length, passes by a detention pond at the lower end of the creek, and very gradually ascends up the canyon for about the first half mile.

Swan Creek Park 102719 02
Swan Creek Park 102719 02
Swan Creek Park 102719 03
Swan Creek Park 102719 03
Swan Creek Park 102719 04
Swan Creek Park 102719 04

From the point where the small foot bridge crosses over the creek, the trail gradually ascends, with the creek in view below. As with all the other places I visited during this fall, the different types of fungi were in abundance.

Swan Creek Park 102719 05
Swan Creek Park 102719 05
Swan Creek Park 102719 06
Swan Creek Park 102719 06
Swan Creek Park 102719 07
Swan Creek Park 102719 07
Swan Creek Park 102719 08
Swan Creek Park 102719 08

Along the lower stretches of the trail are points at which one can drop down to the creek.

Swan Creek Park 102719 09
Swan Creek Park 102719 09

There are a number of "You Are Here" maps posted at several points along the trail, but having been vandalized they are next to useless. That notwithstanding, it would be difficult to get lost here.

Swan Creek Park 102719 10 map
Swan Creek Park 102719 10 map
Swan Creek Park 102719 11
Swan Creek Park 102719 11
Swan Creek Park 102719 12 map
Swan Creek Park 102719 12 map

The carefully observant, on good days, can catch a glimpse of Mt. Tucci off in the distance.

Swan Creek Park 102719 13
Swan Creek Park 102719 13

We walked up to the top of the canyon rim, where the trail breaks out into the open. On this day, the sun was delightfully warm.

Kitty Swan Creek Park 102719 01
Kitty Swan Creek Park 102719 01
BK & Kitty Swan Creek Park 102719 01
BK & Kitty Swan Creek Park 102719 01

We walked back down, watching the light play on the trees.

Swan Creek Park 102719 17
Swan Creek Park 102719 17
Swan Creek Park 102719 18
Swan Creek Park 102719 18

While MetroParksTacoma has obviously made a concerted effort to get the area cleaned up - I didn't notice any old tires or broken chaise lounges in the creek on this visit - it's clear that there are issues which will require continual vigilance.
One of the really positive aspects is that the area seems to be a very popular destination site - there were at least a dozen vehicles in the parking lot when we came out.


Many thanks to Mr. Horstman for the efforts he and his crew have obviously made, as well as to Christina for her help. -BK  up.gif

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"I shall wear white flannel trousers, and walk upon the beach. 
I have heard the mermaids singing, each to each."
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flatsqwerl
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PostFri Jan 31, 2020 8:17 am 
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Parking is also available in front of the community garden on the upper level. Pickup the trail behind the garden, head north and then make a left, dropping down into the Swan creek canyon.
The garden parking is likely safer ( vehicle-wise ) because of the close proximity of houses and visibility.
I have not seen any salmon down in the creek yet.
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neek
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PostFri Jan 31, 2020 8:53 am 
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Spent a lot of time there as a kid, we owned the blueberry farm a couple miles up there road. Cool place but yeah some classy individuals hang out there.
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Hesman
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PostFri Jan 31, 2020 7:11 pm 
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I did some volunteer work a few years ago with WTA to improve the trail that runs along the creek.

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You can fool all the people some of the time, and some of the people all the time, but you cannot fool all the people all the time. - Abraham Lincoln
Don't cry because it's over. Smile because it happened. - Dr. Seuss
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