Tacoma is called the City of Destiny, but it could also just as easily be called the City of Hills. This can make it especially challenging for those of us who want to bike around town, and it can also be especially daunting if you’re starting your running journey.

If you’re new to this whole running thing, the most important thing to do as a runner in Tacoma is probably to find a flat place to run. It also helps if it’s scenic so you’re not completely miserable (at first!), and do keep in mind that if you’re just getting starting, being able to run 1-3 miles per run session is absolutely badass. That’s your pep talk for the day! 

Here are 4 places to run at in Tacoma if you’re a beginner: 


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1. Ruston Way in North Tacoma 

Ruston Way runs right along the waterfront in North Tacoma, and this stretch of paved walkway is perfect for running (or walking!), rollerblading, pushing a stroller, etc. Metro Parks puts the walkway at 2 miles, but it technically extends from Tacoma Chinese Reconciliation Park all the way to Dune Peninsula Park, giving you about a 4-mile expanse. With views of Commencement Bay the entire time, you at least have one of the best views in town while you huff and puff. 


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2. Thea Foss Waterway in Downtown Tacoma

This is another waterfront run with—you guessed it—primo views. Here you’ll find flat terrain that runs alongside the marina, and you can enjoy views of boats coming and going, Commencement Bay, the Port of Tacoma, the Glass Museum, pristine landscaping, and more. You can start at 21st Street Park and run all the way north to Thea’s Park (which is a 1.4-mile run), and if you want an extra challenge, run up the stairs at South 11th Street to the Murray Morgan Bridge. (You’ll know you’ve graduated to the next level of runner when you can tackle this one!) 


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3. Owen Beach in Point Defiance 

Tucked away in Point Defiance Park in North Tacoma, Owen Beach is a popular destination for picnics, beachside play, kayaking, photography, etc. When views are your priority for places to run in Tacoma, Owen Beach is home to an 0.8-mile long Promenade with dreamy views of the water. You’ll also find lots of other trails/running opportunities within the rest of the 760-acre Point Defiance Park


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4. Wapato Lake Loop in Southeast Tacoma 

Located in southeast Tacoma, the expansive Wapato Park includes an off-leash dog park, a playground, picnic shelters, a gorgeous pergola, and a trout-stocked lake a the center of it all. The trail that winds around the lake is 0.9 miles long, perfect for a run with a view. 

Don’t want to run alone? Find a group to keep you motivated! A great place for beginning runners to start running in Tacoma is with the folks at Tacoma Runners. Check out this episode of TryTacoma.tv where Marguerite joins Tacoma Runners for a run: