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    Swan Creek Park Trail

    This reflects the 10Adventures difficulty rating for each route. We aim to keep ratings consistent across regions.
    This reflects the estimated time the majority of users will take on this trail. If you are slower, add time to the top-end figure. If you are fast, then you may complete this route faster than this time range.
    This reflects the return distance of this route as measured by the GPS file.
    8.5 km
    This reflects the total elevation gained throughout this route as measured by the GPS file. This includes all ascents and descents, and is higher than what is quoted in most route guides, which simply measure the distance between the starting-point and high-point of the route.
    133 m
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    Directions to Trailhead

    Swan Creek Trail is an 8.5 km heavily trafficked lollipop hike near Tacoma. This trail cuts through Swan Creek Park, a gorgeous park with lots of trails. The park also boasts community gardens and babbling streams, making it a lovely stop. This trail is easy enough for all skill levels and dogs are allowed on leash. Since the park does receive plenty of visitors, we recommend visiting during the week or early in the morning if you’re hoping for a quieter trail.

    You can do this fairly quick out and back walk as is or use the other trails in the park to extend your adventure.

    Some of the trail footing is paved and some is soft dirt, and there are bridge crossings that may require you to lift a stroller a modest height.

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    Route Description for Swan Creek Park Trail

    Swan Creek Trail is a picturesque 8.5 km hike in Swan Creek Park that is suitable for all skill levels. This hike shows off the beauty of the park, with slow-moving streams, dense green forests, and an abundance of birds. The trail can be hiked as an out and back, combined with other trails in the park, or shortened to suit your needs. While this particular trail is easy to follow, we recommend downloading a map of the park’s trails if you intend to venture further, as there are many intersecting routes in the southwestern portion of the park.

    Swan Creek Park is roughly divided into two sections, the first of which is the creek and the wooded canyon and the second of which is an upland area with second-growth Douglas fir trees.

    This trail can get busy on nice weekends, so we recommend visiting early in the day or later in the afternoon, or stopping by midweek if you can. After you’ve hiked, check out the community garden or look for salmon in the creek.

    This park has mountain biking trails, so try to stay on trails designed and signed for foot traffic to avoid any possible collisions. There are also no restrooms in the park, so come prepared.

    Begin your hike from the end of the parking access road on the obvious trail. You’ll pass a small pond on your right a couple of steps in and then cross Swan Creek not long after. Hike closely along the creek, admiring the verdant forest and the peaceful atmosphere of the park.

    Walk beside the Swan Creek Park Food Forest and then stay left at the next two junctions. Where the trail splits into a Y, you can complete a short loop. Stay right, then stay left at all upcoming junctions. You’ll hike to where the trail loops back on itself at the far south end of the park.

    From here, hike alongside the creek again to the Y-junction, where you’ll retrace your steps back to where the trail began.

    For another hiking option in the park, try the 1.9 km Canyon Rim Trail high above the creek on the canyon.

    Trail Highlights

    Swan Creek Park

    Swan Creek Park is a 373-acre park southeast of Tacoma. This park offers trails for hikers and mountain bikers and a community garden set within a wooded canyon. The forest in the park is spectacular, and the stream that flows through from top to bottom holds salmon. The park is frequented by locals for nature walks, hikes, and bike rides. It’s also a good spot for birdwatchers.

    Frequently Asked Questions

    Is there a fee to visit Swan Creek Park?

    No, the park is free to visit.

    What can you do in Swan Creek Park?

    Hike, bike, picnic, birdwatch, walk the dog, jog, take a forest bath, ID plants and animals- lots of possibilities!

    Where can I get a map for Swan Creek Park?

    You can get a full park map on the park’s website.

    Insider Hints for Swan Creek Park Trail

    • Explore both the canyon and the uplands for the full park experience.
    • Check out the Clay Art Center near the northern park entrance.

    Getting to the Swan Creek Park Trail Trailhead

    The trailhead for the Swan Creek Trail is on an access road off Pioneer Way E.

    Route Information

    • Backcountry Campground


    • When to do


    • Pets allowed

      Yes - On Leash

    • Family friendly


    • Route Signage


    • Crowd Levels


    • Route Type


    Swan Creek Park Trail Elevation Graph

    Weather Forecast

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    Swan Creek Park Trail Reviews

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