Updated March 2017
Today I have my second post in my series on Hidden Point Defiance-you know, all that stuff there besides the zoo!
In Part One, I told you about the native gardens, the duck ponds, the pagoda, and the areas surrounding those spots. Today, I’m going to tell you about the trails that wind through the Rhododendron Garden right in the middle. To get there, just follow the main drive past the picnic area, and go straight instead of turning left for the zoo. You’ll see the sign for the Rhododendron Garden on your left. We just park on the shoulder, but you could continue on to parking at one of the viewpoints and double back. As always, keep valuables out of sight.
The garden is close to six acres and has over 500 plants. Most remarkably, it’s in a rare chunk of old growth forest with some truly, “Wow,” sized trees. There are three trails to choose from (this is a pdf file): the spine trail, the outer perimeter trail, and the inside perimeter trail. Each is labeled with a triangle, circle, or square, and there are posts in the garden indicating which path is for which trail.
Before you go, you should know that right now the rhododendrons aren’t blooming. If you want to see flowers, wait a few months. It’s also Really muddy right now, and some trails had downed trees. While the paths are mostly easy and level, there are plenty of trippy roots. Our oldest suffered a one millimeter scratch on his ankle, which we heard a lot about during our walk. It was touch and go, but we think he’s going to make it.
Assuming you have appropriate footwear and take reasonable precautions, it’s an easy ramble that would be a nice test run for a family hoping to do more far flung hikes this spring. As we headed back to our car, a deer walked right down the path across from us. How cool is that?
If you’re new here-welcome! I write about affordable, family fun just for the South Sound, and I have new ideas every day. I hope you’ll stop by again. We also have a great community of fun loving local families over at the our Facebook page.