Gig Harbor and The Great Outdoors
The Great Outdoors
And so begins a great exploration of everything natural on our pristine peninsulas. Impossible to see in a single day, or even a week, the following is a quick guide to some great places to start. Recreation is abundant in the Gig Harbor and Key Peninsula region. State and City parks provide acres of recreational and educational opportunities. Here’s a list of parks to help you get started.
Kopachuck State Park
Located on Carr Inlet on Henderson Bay. The 156-acre saltwater shoreline site includes 41 campsites, 15-and 35-person group camps, nearly 80 picnic sites, as well as water skiing, fishing, Scuba diving, birdwatching, swimming and boating.
Cutts Island State Park
Located on Carr Inlet just northwest of Kopachuck State Park. The park is a 5.5-acre saltwater shoreline site that can only be accessed by boat, including hand-launched craft from Kopachuck State Park.
Crescent Creek Park
This 5.8 acre site at the top of the bay offers basketball and tennis courts and a softball field, as well as a playground and restroom. A picnic ramada is available on a first-come, first-served basis. The park boasts some of Gig Harbor’s largest cedar trees, along with the Crescent Creek Estuary and new viewing platform and interpretive signage.
Jerisich Dock and Skansie Brothers Park
A pedestrian pier, picnic tables, restrooms and public dock are the primary features of this on-the-water park in the heart of Gig Harbor’s waterfront, and it’s home to most of the harbor’s favorite festivals and events. It’s also where the acclaimed Fisherman’s Memorial is on display.
Donkey Creek Park
The 1-acre park at the intersection of Harborview and North Harborview drives features a salmon-bearing waterway cuddled by the largest trees that remain on the waterfront. Viewing platform and interpretive signage shae the story of the migrating salmon. Restrooms are available.
Grandview Forest Park
The all-natural, 8.5-acre chunk of forested land next to the Gig Harbor Civic Center, 3105 Granview St., is a verdant retreat shielded from neighboring roads and houses by a collection of sizable cedars and firs. The park is a great place to see birds. Dogs on leashes are welcome at the park, and they’re even provided a drinking spigot. Restrooms are available.
Austin Estuary Park
Located at the head of the harbor, the new park allows visitors access to the water and views of the flora and fauna of the bay. Picnic tables are available.
The paved trail is a haven for walkers, rollerbladers and bicyclists. Stretching from the middle of Gig Harbor to nearly the Tacoma Narrows Bridge, the trail parallels State Route 16 and runs under the power lines. During 2008, construction will double the length of the trail to the north.
Adam Tallman Nature Trail
A small nature oasis in the middle of town, the Adam Tallman Trail is a short, easy walk on a comfortable trail through a wetlands area. Viewing of multiple birds, flora and wildlife is available on this hidden, scenic walk.
Wilkinson Farm Park
The 17-acre plot at Rosedale Street and State Route 16 features an authentic, turn of the century dairy barn and holly orchard, walking tours and lots of wildlife.
Sehmel Homestead Park
Located at 78th Avenue NW and Sehmel Drive NW, the Sehmel Homestead Park site is situated on a 98-acre parcel in the Swede Hill area, only minutes north of downtown Gig Harbor.
Located at Sehmel Drive and Bujacich Road NW, it’s a great hiking area near the Burnham Drive exit off State Route 16. There is a large network of foot trails, bicycle or horse trails that wind around McCormick Creek. The park is a 122-acre natural area containing old-growth trees, abundant wildlife and more than three miles of trails. Some trails wander through old-growth forest while others offer views down into the McCormick Creek canyon.
Fox Island Fishing Pier
Located at 1453 Ozette Drive on the south end of Fox Island, it’s a unique fishing pier that was built by the state Department of Fish and Wildlife and managed by the Pierce County Parks Department. It comprises a beautiful accessible fishing dock with a paved pathway and handrails for safety in a picturesque setting. Plenty of parking is available. There is also an unimproved trail to the beach. There is a small fee required for the day-use site.
If your idea of taking a trip is crossing monkey bars or reaching the end of a slippery slide, you’re in luck. Playground equipement is all over the Gig Harbor Peninsula aea—especially the schools.
Peninsula Recreation Center
Located on Rosedale Street NW behind Gig Harbor High School and Discovery Elementary School, the 22-acre property is home to baseball, soccer, and football fields, as well as a rubber-surfaced track. Four tennis courts area also available.
Crescent Creek Park
Located on Vernhardson Street on the east side of Crescent Creek, it’s a 5.8-acre park with a tennis court, basketball court and a youth baseball field. Playground equipment and picnic tables can also be found.
Gig Harbor Skate Park
Boarders and rollerbladers are welcome from dawn to dusk at the park located next to the Gig Harbor Civic Center. Restrooms are available.
Two playgrounds, a small gym, two youth ball fields, a soccer field and four half basketball courts are located at the school on Rosedale Street NW.
Four youth ball fields, a small gym two playgrounds, two soccer fields and two half basketball courts are near Peninsula High School on 62nd Avenue NW.
Located on 40th Street NW, the school has a small gym, two playgrounds, a soccer field, and four youth ball fields.
Harbor Heights Elementary
Located on 38th Avenue NW, adajacent to Goodman Middle School, Harbor Heights has a small gym, two playgrounds, a youth ball field, two soccer fields and four half basketball courts.
Goodman Middle School
Located at the 38th Avenue NW, adjacent to Harbor Heights Elementary School, Goodman has two gyms, a youth ball field, two soccer fields and a track.
Harbor Ridge Middle School
Located on Prentice Avenue overlooking the north end of the harbor, the school has two basketball courts, a grass soccer/football field surrounded by a track and two ball fields.
Gig Harbor High School
About 24-acres of the site on Rosedale Street NW have been improved with gyms, an indoor swimming pool and four tennis courts. In addition, full-size basketball, soccer and football fields exist, as well as a rubberized track.
Peninsula High School
A gym, an indoor swimming pool, four tennis courts, a baseball field and a football/soccer field with a surrounding track, highlight the recreation opportunities on 62nd Avenue NW.
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