One of the most popular amenities at Point Ruston is the nearly mile-long scenic “Waterwalk” pedestrian trail system along Commencement Bay. The Waterwalk at Point Ruston offers a pedestrian-only open space for visitors and residents to jog, stroll, rollerblade or hang out with friends. It doesn’t hurt that it also comes with a jaw-dropping view of Mount Rainier over Downtown Tacoma.
The Waterwalk at Point Ruston is the missing link between the 700-acre Pt. Defiance Park and the Ruston Way waterfront. It is the centerpiece of Point Ruston’s commitment to creating world-class public amenities and the Pacific Northwest’s premier waterfront destination.
The Waterwalk brings to the community a scenic, walkable waterfront path system for the public’s enjoyment. Because of the flat shoreline, the Waterwalk is frequently used for fitness runs, smooth rollerblade rides, and strolls along the pristine Puget Sound waterfront. For those who enjoy a leisurely walk, they’ll find artwork and tile mosaics integrated into the trail system along the way. These distinctive tile mosaics were created by artists Robert Gilbert, Anna Fornachon and Jeremy Gregory and showcase a variety of Pacific marine life with large-scale flair.
Here are some of the other highlights of the Waterwalk at Point Ruston:
- Fantastic views of the Bay: While enjoying the Waterwalk, be sure to take in the amazing views of the Puget Sound waterfront. We highly recommend snapping memorable photos with families and friends, especially from the Hops Arbor Trellis which features jaw dropping views of Mount Rainier.
- Exercise and Fitness: The Waterwalk offers fitness enthusiasts a great place to run, exercise and get healthy. Regardless of whether you compete in fitness events or you enjoy fitness activities just for fun, such as the Downtown to Defiance Event that celebrates the connection of the missing link between Ruston Way and Pt. Defiance Park, the Waterwalk at Point Ruston has something for you.
- Eating and Shopping: An exciting part of the Waterwalk will be the continued addition of shops and restaurants opening in the coming years. These businesses will fill the area surrounding the Grand Plaza, making them accessible to people on the Waterwalk and nearby parks.
- Multiple Surfaces for a Variety of Uses: The Waterwalk trail system is generally comprised of three main surface materials: crushed rock, green grass, and smooth asphalt. The crushed rock provides a more giving surface for the runners and walkers out there who prefer to avoid impacts on asphalt. Between the crushed rock and paved asphalt is a ribbon of slightly elevated green grass for lounging and enjoying panoramic water views. Finally, the paved asphalt surface is ideal for bicycles, rollerblading, and other wheeled modes of transportation.
The Waterwalk at Point Ruston offers so much to residents and visitors of the South Puget Sound. This gorgeous mile of shoreline connects many more miles of walkways in both directions. Today, you can walk all the way from the Chinese Reconciliation Park at the South end of Ruston Way to Owen Beach in Pt. Defiance Park.
Along the Waterwalk, visitors enjoy seeing the tile mosaics, the flurry of athletic activity, and scenic views. Longtime residents of Tacoma remember when this area was unavailable for the public’s enjoyment due to the Tacoma Smelter. Now, because of the significant public and private investment opening the missing link between Ruston Way and Pt. Defiance, people are realizing the incredible public amenity they are fortunate to have in their backyard.