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Walking Chamber's Bay after Sunday

It doesn’t look like this right now, but once the Open is over, the scenery around Chamber’s Bay should be more nature than security tents and TV cable cords. File photo

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Currently, Grandview, the road in front of the U.S. Open is closed until after the tournament, more than a week later. Your opportunity to has come to an end.

But, once the hoopla is over, you may return, and the best way to check out the enhancements and changes is on the walking trails around the course.

Officially known as the Chambers Creek Properties, Chambers Creek Regional Park - or the more popular name Chambers Bay - is comprised of more than 950 acres located along the shores of the Puget Sound, in University Place. It includes a world-renowned golf course (Chambers Bay Golf Course, thus the commonly used name), enormous central meadow, miles of paved trails, beach access, and off-leash dog area, playground, soccer fields and some of the most stunning views in Pierce County. Everyone I've ever taken there on a sunny day has the same reaction, "holy cow!" It's a stunner ladies and gentlemen. And in my experience, shuts up even the biggest critics.

Over the last 200 years, the entire Chambers Creek Properties area has been used as a location for a paper mill, a proposed match company, a major industrial center, multiple lumber companies, a railroad center and a gravel mine. The gravel mine left the largest imprint with the hillside having been carved away, and large concrete structures left dotting the landscape. Pierce County purchased the property to house its wastewater treatment plant. Yes, on the part of the property not open to the public there is a sewage treatment plant. But the beauty of their plan was that the plant only takes up a fraction of the property. The rest is for the public to enjoy.

The highlights:

  • A large off-leash dog area - let the puppies run!
  • Miles of trails. Just the loop around the golf course is approximately three miles.
  • The Central Meadow. A seemingly permanent kite flying breeze, perfect Frisbee tossing grass, picnicking possibilities, and really, I could go on. Anything you would want to do on a wide-open expanse of grass.
  • Beach access. Terrific beach for finding treasures, tossing rocks in the water and watching the sunset.

The breath-taking view of Puget Sound, Fox Island and the Olympic Mountains is my favorite part. Inevitably, after taking an out-of-town guest there they say, "Now I get it." And even the most critical Seattle-ite has admitted there is something nice about Tacoma/Pierce County.


Take Exit 130 off of Interstate 5 to South 56th Street West.  Take the Tacoma Mall Boulevard ramp toward South 56th Street West. Turn Left on Tacoma Mall Boulevard. Then right onto 56th. Stay on 56th for approx. three miles when 56th becomes Cirque Drive West. Get out of your car and stretch. Get back in your car and continue on Cirque Drive West to Grandview Drive West. Turn Left at Grandview Drive West. Pass through one roundabout. Chambers Bay will be on the right.

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