This shady park might be Puyallup’s best kept secret, and it’s perfect for kids whose favorite playground is mother nature!
It’s great if you’re looking for a park where kids can wade or keep cool,and it’s also a nice spot to meet up for a nature walk (you can even bring the stroller!) or a picnic.
The two playground structures are by the little creek (Crick?). They’re nothing special, but the kids will have fun on them. The metal slide can get hot on those very rare days when they’ve been in the sun long enough.
For most kids, the water will be the primary attraction. It’s truly just a trickle, especially in the summer, but it’s plenty for kids to stomp in, and it’s just the right amount for making temporary dams and floating leaf boats. I always made my kids wear sandals or water shoes.
My boys and I have also spent many days here exploring the woods and walking on the trails. It’s an 80 acre park with more than 50 forested ares of towering trees.
A few things to know if you go:
I think if you go here you should plan on having the kids get wet and muddy (at least their feet). No kid is going to want to play on the playground and stay tidy while other kids are wading.
This park is hardly ever crowded, especially compared to hopping Bradley Lake, which is just a stone’s throw away. The only time I’ve seen a true crowd is during heat waves when people come to enjoy the natural air conditioning! Yes, I think you can expect plenty of company by the creek this weekend! It IS also a popular spot for bday parties, bbqs, and the occasional day camp, but even then, it’s so big that it’s not hard to spread out if you can drag the kiddos away from the playground. Come outside of the summer months, and you’ll likely have acres to yourself!
Good walks include the exercise trail-if you’re without a stroller-or one of the paved paths off limits to cars if you’re with one.
While we love walking here, it does seem to be home to most of the stinging nettles in Washington! I exaggerate….but only slightly…..These are nettles. The stingy part is on the underside. The tops look almost soft, which is why kids tend to get into them.
Should your kiddos get in a tangle with some, just find a sword fern (see below), and rub the bumpy parts on the back on whatever is stinging. I promise it works-at least until you get to the medicine cabinet.
There is lots of parking. If the small lot by the playground is full, park above it and walk down the stairs. There are bathrooms, and they’re reasonably clean.
A caretaker lives on site at this large park, and we feel very safe here. As with all parks and trails, however, don’t leave valuables in your car or unattended.
Wildwood Park is at 1101 23rd Ave. E Puyallup, WA 98373 There is a baseball field next to it.
If you enjoyed this post, be sure to check out our round up of other shady parks. You’ll also love Kobayashi Park in University Place or the Mashell River in Eatonville for wading and splashing.