Keeping any kind of animal in your home comes with a certain amount of work. For most of us, the payoff for that work is companionship and occasional entertainment. But for a few dedicated households around Tacoma, the relationship is somewhat more complex and, from some perspectives, more beneficial.
Buckley Gulch is the kind of place a lot of people drive past and think, “Hmm… I wonder what’s down there.” but never actually take the time to find out. It’s so densely forested that even driving over it on the N. 21st St. bridge, you may not even realize you’re on a bridge. The N. Yakima Ave. bridge just north of there allows a deeper view into the gulch but to get the full experience, you have to see it from the bottom.
l Green started making knives around 2012 after falling down a Youtube rabbit hole of bushcraft videos. He found he had most of the necessary tools in his garage so he got some steel and tried making a knife based on a video he saw. It turned out terrible.
Garfield gulch exists in a sort of limbo between inaccessible wilderness and managed natural area. Of all the north end gulches, this one’s probably had the roughest history. Not only was it heavily logged like the rest of Tacoma, but a huge portion of it was actually filled in and built over. If you’ve ever wondered why there’s a four block gap in N. 7th St., it’s because that’s where the gulch used to be. The only evidence left is a slight dip in elevation.
You may be asking yourself why anyone would spend so much time and energy planting more trees in the Pacific Northwest. If so, you may be surprised to hear that Tacoma has a tree problem. In spite of its location in the heart of Tree Country USA, our city's tree canopy cover was last measured at only 19%; far less than the national average of 27-33%. Seattle, by contrast, has a 28% canopy cover.
Despite this being a properly maintained trail that actually exists on most maps, it’s still very lightly used compared to other nearby trails in Point Defiance. It’s more of a shortcut than a standalone trail but the shortcut it provides is the real fun part that makes it worth mentioning. Most beach walkers start at the more popular Owen Beach. This puts you out more than half a mile closer to the point.
Of all the trails in this collection, this one is probably the most well known. Nonetheless, you won’t find any useful trail maps online and the park itself is hidden in a neighborhood with no signage on the main road. The land was previously owned by the Kobayashi family who donated it to the city when they moved to Japan. The picnic shelters next to the parking lot are the hollowed out remnants of their home.
Tacoma is home to some of the oldest homes and buildings in Western Washington. It’s also a hotbed of real estate activity. It’s hard to drive anywhere in the city, especially in the North End, without seeing evidence of remodeling, house flipping, or demolition.