Time to hit the local trails and enjoy the beauty the South Sound area offers in early spring. The focal point of Point Defiance Park may be its famous rose garden, which attracts visitors from June through September, but other gardens and trails burst forth with spring color as the park awakens from a winter slumber.
In March, daffodils, hyacinth, oxalis, cherry blossoms, bleeding hearts, and early rhododendrons make vibrant, fragrant displays as you walk through old-growth forest and along the bluffs overlooking the Puget Sound.
With more than 10 miles of primary trails and walkways, and four miles of secondary trails, you can spend a few minutes or all day enjoying the sights of the park; including eight formal gardens; old growth forest and beaches; as well as views of the Narrows, Gig Harbor, and Vashon Island.
From the Gig Harbor overlook, you can often see bald eagles fishing and then flying their catch back to nests. If you’re lucky, you may see a pod of resident orcas.
In the Japanese gardens, pink flowers are flourishing on cherry blossom trees. Later in the season, when the wind blows, they become airborne and become like a pink snowfall. A footbridge crosses one of the ponds beneath giant sequoias, and you may discover many hidden treasures such as Japanese lanterns, sculptures, and a small teahouse.
While you are in the park, you may also want to visit the Fort Nisqually Living History Museum, the Point Defiance marina, the off-leash dog park, or the Point Defiance Zoo and Aquarium.
Afterward, stop by the Defiant Goldfish for pizza, wine, beer, and more. Or head to the water to Anthony’s at Point Defiance for fresh Northwest seafood and a view, especially stunning at sunset.
Spring is an exciting time to get out to Point Defiance Park for some fresh air, exercise, and to enjoy this unique local treasure.