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.
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.
Washington State has no shortage of octopus myths. The well known Pacific Northwest Tree Octopus haunts our canopies from coast to mountain top, but it’s Tacoma that is home to the real King of the North.
“It is the city's responsibility to preserve a place where the people can get recreation, where children from the congested districts can congregate without danger, and where mothers, nurses, and invalids can find a healthful resort during mid-day without being cramped for space or menaced by shows and their consequent temptations...
Have you ever wondered how long it would take nature to reclaim a neighborhood if everyone just got up and left? It’s hard to say how long an average house would last, but if you wiped the neighborhood off the map and left the ground bare, 67 years is, evidently, more than enough time to blend the land back into the surrounding wilderness.