“Tour through forest and field, a perfect compliment to the wetlands of the Second Bridge Loop Trail.
— Emily Roeben
Birding · Fall Colors · Spring · Wildlife
Open daily from 8 am to 30 minutes after sunset. General admission is free for the preserve. Since this is an urban nature preserve, pets and bicycles are not allowed.
The hill and flat trail along the ridge offer well maintained, easy paths to navigate.
Connect to this trail from the Second Bridge Loop Trail
, and head immediately uphill. Once at the top, you can continue onto the Hillside Loop Extension
and the Proctor Valley Wetland Loop
where you'll enter the open area of Proctor Wetlands in the elevated portion of the preserve. Alternatively, you can stay within the forest by taking staying on the Hillside Loop and bypassing the open field altogether.
After looping around the wetlands, you re-enter the forest into what feels like a tree tunnel, as the canopy is immediately arching thick and low over the trail, eventually opening into taller evergreen cover. The south side of the trail offers a very short spur loop where you can see two large anthills, impressive in size and soil displacement.
This preserve offers well-marked trails with clear signage at every major intersection. There are multiple self-guided tours, with a booklet available in the visitor center (or on their website). This portion of the preserve is marked with numbers for the Self-guided Forest Walk, adding depth and history for those seeking additional connection while exploring the Proctor Valley Wetland and Hillside Loop.
For more information visit the Tacoma Nature Center's website
Flora & Fauna
Dozens of mammals and even more bird species call this nature preserve home. The wetlands also provide habitat for many reptiles and amphibians, with visitors often seeing turtles in the water.
On the south end of the trail there are multiple anthills that deserve a look, but be careful as the ants bite.