Contributing writer, Tabitha, has a report on a fun park to try in University Place.
Update from SFM-One of our awesome readers on Facebook let us know that the water is quite high, cold, and swift right now (probably from all the Spring rains and snow melt), so keep that in mind. Also, keep in mind that some parts are swift and not good for very small children year round. More on that ahead…. I know you’re always cautious with your children around water!
I also want to let you know that another reader said she’d observed some homeless folks drinking here. I really don’t want to spoil a lovely park for you, but there’s all your information…..
Kobayashi Park is a hidden gem just perfect for Tacoma and Lakewood area families looking for a short nature walk for beginning hikers, or just a pleasant place to picnic, splash, and play with the kids.
We discovered this local secret in University Place a few years back.
It’s called Kobayashi Park, and it’s where Leach Creek meets Chambers Creek and flows into the Puget Sound. It is the perfect spot to have fun, get wet, and cool off during the summer months, and explore nature and rejuvenate during the cold months.
When the water is warm enough, kids (and you), can splash around in the creek, throw rocks, search for bugs and crawfish (kinda hard to find, though), and just have fun cooling off. Even if you don’t want to play in the water, this place is still the perfect spot for summer time, because plenty of tree coverage equals lots of shade. This park is truly perfect for all ages.
Keep in mind, Leach Creek is not very deep and the stream of the water is very mellow, so this side is perfect for children! Leach Creek flows into Chambers Creek and that is the creek you need to use more caution around, especially with young ones. There is also very small waterfall.
Besides the creeks, this park offers a trail to explore, and it’s a great place to walk the dog and get some exercise. It’s also perfect for anyone looking for a short and easy hike or nature walk with young or beginner hikers. There are a couple benches throughout the 5.5 acre park, if you want to just sit and relax.
The park also is a great spot to picnic or have a get together; there are flushing toilets, picnic tables, two covered picnic shelters with electrical plugins and bbq pits. During the warmer months, this is a popular location for family picnics and for good reason.
Getting there: We drove by this park for years without knowing it was here. The address is Kobayashi Park Drive University Place, WA 98467 If you do happen to get lost, just keep in mind it is down 67th Ave W just before it turns into Chambers Creek Rd. Once you turn onto Kobayashi Park Drive (it has a Dead End sign), drive down and you will see a white fence. Then to your right you will (finally) see the park sign. The park itself is down the small hill.
Parking: the park only has about 10 parking spaces(wheelchair parking available) down below, and on a hot day this is a popular spot, and you may have a difficult time finding a parking spot if you come at prime time. Don’t let that scare you away, though. If there are absolutely no parking spaces available down below, you are allowed to park up on Kobayashi Park Dr. It is a short walk down the hill, and there is usually not much traffic to worry about while you’re walking down.
Hope you enjoy this beautiful park as much as we do.
Note from SFM: I found another post by a travel site that has driving directions that are a teensy bit more specific if these don’t work for you. It’s here!
Tabitha Black- local mom, lifestyle, travel and family blogger at Love Tabitha
If you enjoyed this post, you may also like our round up of South Sound parks with shade. Got kids who love to splash and wade? The bottom of our post on swimming lakes has a short list of places for the wading set!
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