While honoring a friend and former budtender of House of Cannabis, Miguel Gonzales, who passed away recently, I had the opportunity to check out the hidden gem that is McKinley Park, in Tacoma, WA.
McKinley Park is situated on the bluff overlooking the Tacoma Dome and Commencement Bay, adjacent to the south side of I-5, looking north. The park includes some beautiful landscaping, great views, multiple ins & outs, gentle slopes, and if you prefer, serious, short climbs.
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Things to do while stoned is a whimsical look at general and specific activities that many people who are stoned oft enjoy. It’s meant to be a fun look at the lifestyle.
Photos by Krista W.
Parking is located on the extreme south side of the park, part way up the hill, towards the Lincoln District from the Dome District. I approached from downtown, passing directly adjacent to the Dome, going over I-5, and up to G Street, where you hang a left. It looks like a dead end, but it’s not. Take a right, and parking is plentiful. You are at the top of the park.
As you walk down the hill, you will pass tons of native plants, trees, and wetlands. There are several mini waterfalls in the park, as well. At the bottom of the hill, you are treated to the visual pandemonium of cars merging from the S. 38th/HWY-16 northbound collector, and I-705/HWY-7 onto I-5 near the final merge point. It’s easy to dip off park grounds to burn one to help heighten the experience here, while the cars stream (or crawl) by.
Walking along the trail, the length of the park is covered to the east before you switch back and start walking up through the thicker hillside woods. Most of the water features are on spectacular display on this portion of the path. The scenery is beautiful, and I saw two snakes, several squirrels, and a few songbirds on this walk.
It took about 45 minutes to walk through the park at a fairly leisurely pace, but if you were exercising, it could be done easily in probably 10-15 minutes, depending on level of exertion. Overall, it was a beautiful walk in one of Tacoma’s most beautiful parks.