Tacoma’s “Swan Creek Park” ain’t no joke. The city of Tacoma with help from EMBA crews and REI have established a very promising trail system and a joyful place to be, amongst the not so glamorous low-income neighborhoods that surround it.
I love being in a place where the people on the streets are smoking newports while riding walmart bikes down Portland Avenue, and I am not kidding. These peeps are the 99% of our world; I am one of them and I took the bus to get there. No better place for an oasis like this to exist. To have a gem like this in a forgotten, urban wasteland is a step up for our communities and for the common good of our sport and our children’s children. We will stop letting our beautiful natural wooded settings become wastelands for noxious weeds, illegal activity and homeless encampments, where the only way to hang tough in the hood is to be tattered, street savvy’d and have the balls enough to represent.
Yes, regular new VW Jetta styling mtn bikers can go here too, but the EMBA ride guide sight recommends, more than once: “do not leave valuables in your car”.
They have definitely built an oasis. The woods here are marvelous, and the trails showed an exemplary amount of work. Yes more flow trail than natural singletrack, but FUN STUFF the whole way through. It was rocking pretty good on my hardtail 29’r.
The only draw back for me was that instead of digging into mineral soil to form the trails (this is an area that lacked in the ‘hero dirt’ category) they placed 3 to 5 inches of really loose dusty soil on top of the forest floor, to create the sculpts. Slow and loose going in the dried out summer, but sure to rock it in the moisture ridden winter long weather.
I had a big smile on my face afterwards and a joy in my heart that such a place exists just 25 miles north of us, in such a metropolis that is known for only its ‘aroma’.