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Time to Get Outdoors in Puyallup and Sumner, WA

Multiple outdoor recreation options in western Washington add to the region’s quality of life.

By Kevin Litwin on March 15, 2023

For feature about outdoor activities in Puyallup and Sumner, WA

Puyallup/Sumner, geographically nestled between Seattle and Tacoma, offers an outdoor landscape that’s tough to beat – and the Puyallup/Sumner locals can’t get enough.

Whether it’s enjoying the views, breaking a sweat or both, this area offers more than enough ways for residents to enjoy hours of fun outside in western Washington.

And short drives bring even more options, including to major sites like Mount Rainier (it is actually categorized as a volcano) or the fun and sun of the Pacific Ocean about a two-hour drive to the west.

Also within short driving distance is Northwest Trek Wildlife Park, a refuge in Eatonville with animals on display like bald eagles, gray wolves, bobcats, wolverines, cougars, and black and grizzly bears. Highlights for visitors include a 45-minute tram tour.

Northwest Trek Wildlife Park in Pierce County, WA
Katie Cotterill

Plenty of Parks in Puyallup and Sumner

Whether they prefer walking or cycling, Puyallup/Sumner residents have access to numerous outdoor nature attractions in and around this area.

“For people here in Pierce County, they have the convenience of many excellent outdoor recreation gems,” says Eric Johnson, public affairs officer for the City of Puyallup. “Parks, trails, lakes, forests and playgrounds as well as sports fields for kids and adults are in abundance.”

Johnson says one of the region’s hidden outdoor gems is Bradley Lake Park, which spans 59 acres and includes a 12-acre lake.

“Bradley Lake Park is actually tucked away behind the Walmart Supercenter in Puyallup, and a lot of people don’t even know it’s there when they drive along Meridian Avenue,” he says. “There’s a nice 1-mile trail along with a playground, baseball fields and trout fishing. Bradley Lake also hosts family friendly movies in the warm weather months.”

There are numerous other parks in the region. The City of Sumner is home to Loyalty, Rainier View, Reuben A. Knoblauch Heritage and Seibenthaler parks, while Puyallup is graced with Clarks Creek, DeCoursey, Grayland, Manorwood, Pioneer, Rainier Woods, Van Lierop, Wildwood and more.

“All of the parks are obviously well-visited in the spring and summer, but Wildwood Park in particular is especially popular with visitors during the fall season because it is heavily forested,” Johnson says. “The leaf foliage is incredible at Wildwood Park.”

Event Spotlight

Be sure to check out the annual Moonshine & Mulligans, a roaring 20s-themed golf tournament that is held at Linden Golf & Country Club with rip-roaring fun at each hole. An awards banquet follows with a Moonshine Libation Station, a lively auction and a raffle.

Miles and Miles of Trails

Another outdoor recreation hot spot – Puyallup Loop Trail – is a 5-mile nature trail that starts in Clarks Creek Park and winds through residential neighborhoods.

“A lot of people don’t know about Puyallup Loop Trail either. It’s also a hidden gem,” Johnson says. “I’m a runner who uses that trail often, and I don’t ever see a lot of people on it. It’s ideal for runners and nature walkers.”

Johnson says other outdoor locales that are great for exercise are Foothills Trail, Interurban Trail, Lakeland Hills Trail and Wildwood Park Trail.

“Riverwalk Trail stretches 5 miles and hugs the Puyallup River, starting at Mama Stortini’s Restaurant on its east end and going west to 80th Avenue,” he says. “You can’t beat the beautiful scenery along Riverwalk Trail, no matter what time of the year you use it.”

And for those who like the club scene for their outdoor exercise, well-manicured golf courses in this region include Linden Golf & Country Club and High Cedars Golf Club in Orting.

“We have a healthy recreation system in place here in Pierce County, and we’re always making improvements,” Johnson says. “Western Washington is a beautiful place to be outdoors.”

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