Wapato Park lies in a beautiful setting of lake and forest and is one of the most urban parks in the city. At over 85 acres, visitors can enjoy display gardens, a walking trail around the lake (0.9 miles) and an impressive, historic pergola.
This park has 17 features:
- Baseball Field/Softball Field Baseball/Softball Field - Nonregulation Unlighted
- BBQ Grills Grills
- Beach Access - Linear Feet of Fresh Water Fishing Beach Access - Linear Feet of Fresh Water Fishing
- Beach Access - Linear Feet of Fresh Water Swimming Beach Access - Linear Feet of Fresh Water Swimming
- Bridge Bridge
- Building 1 Buildings 9
- Dock (3) Fishing Pier/Dock or Platform (Sq.Ft.)
- Dog Park
- Park Games Horseshoe Pits
- Picnic Shelters - w/o Cooking Facilities Picnic Shelters - W/O Cooking Facilities
- Picnic Shelters - With Cooking Facilities Picnic Shelters - With Cooking Facilities
- Picnic Tables Picnic Tables - Uncovered
- Playground Playground - Uncovered
- Restrooms Restrooms
- Trails Trail - Dirt (Miles)
- Volleyball Court Volleyball Court - Sand Outdoor Uncovered
This park has 1 rental facility:
- Picnic Shelters - With Cooking Facilities
Wapato Park History
One of the earliest settlers in South Tacoma was R.A. Radebaugh, owner of the Tacoma Ledger newspaper. Radebaugh purchased over 300 acres surrounding Wapato Lake for what he envisioned as a fashionable residential district and public park.
Radebaugh's Wapato Lake Park opened to the public in 1889 and was described as "rapidly becoming the most beautiful vista of landscape in this section of the northwest." Following financial difficulties in the 1890s, Radebaugh lost most of his Wapato Lake property, but the lake continued to serve as a popular recreation area for residents of South Tacoma.
Shortly after the establishment of the Metropolitan Park District of Tacoma in 1907, residents began requesting the Park Board to add Wapato Lake to the growing list of Tacoma parks. With little money available for land acquisition, it was the generous donation of 20 acres of lakefront property by Horace and Helen Scott in 1920 that started today's Wapato Park.