Nathan Chapman Memorial Trail (The NCT Trail) and South Hill Community Park
Contributing writer, Amy, has a report on a park and trail great for hunting painted rocks, taking a stroll, or having an adventure with new bike riders near Puyallup’s South Hill. If you’ve heard references to the, “NCT trail, ” and wondered where on Earth it is, we’re here to help!
Nathan Chapman Memorial Trail (simply known as “NCT” to locals) and South Hill Community Park are a sweet little two-fer that includes both a nature trail and playground. Nestled discreetly on South Hill on the corner of 144th St E and 86th St E, just down the road from Rogers High School, you would never know that this calm and beautiful landscape is mere blocks from the hustle and bustle of Meridian.
Trail at Nathan Chapman Park
The 1.6 miles of paved trail is actually split into two separate walks, both accessible from the trailhead access point at the north end of the parking lot, or the playground trail at the south end of the parking lot. All of the trails are paved with almost no incline, making it perfect for strollers, wheelchairs, and little ones learning to ride. Trails are pet-friendly and offer waste bag stations at both ends of the trail.
The South Hill Loop is a short loop that encircles the soccer fields and wetlands, perfect for those looking for a short walk. The Nathan Chapman Memorial Trail is a longer path that meanders through the woods and back toward the surrounding neighborhood. Both trails are mostly forested, offering ample shade on a warm day and beautiful colors in the fall.
This trail system gets a lot of use, seeing increased usage over the past year or so as it has become a popular spot for the rock painting movement. It’s not uncommon to come across people hiding or finding painted rocks along the path, so keep your eyes peeled and you may find a treasure for yourself!
Playground at South Hill Community Park
The playground boasts three separate structures. One for older kids that includes a climbing wall and tube slide, one for toddlers that includes a short tunnel and small slide, and a set of two swings. Both are “big kid” swings, and there are no baby swings or special needs swings at this park.
The modest restroom facility includes two bathrooms and a water fountain that are only open seasonally and typically close during the winter. There are no baby changing tables, so plan to head back to the car if you’ve got littles in diapers. There are also two picnic tables near the playground as well as a few benches.
One draw of this play space is the huge field area, consisting of two full-size soccer fields. They can get a little muddy during the rainy season, but offer ample space for all park goers to find an area to play the sport of their choice.
**Be aware that there have been reports of car prowls in the parking lot. Be certain that you secure your vehicle and do not leave any valuables in sight in your car!
** Also, several readers on our Fb page warn that there is a big problem with dog poop here-even right on the trail. Ewwww. Also, Ewwww. Anyway, look out for that, and those of you with dogg-os, please do scoop the poop!