40 Wild Years! Northwest Trek Wildlife Park’s Birthday Celebration

Northwest Trek Wildlife Park News Release

April 7, 2015


Three-day celebration set for July 17-19, and it will be a party to remember

© Northwest Trek

Half a century ago, David T. “Doc” and Connie Hellyer dreamed of bison roaming free on their land near Eatonville. They looked at the water and the woods on their idyllic acreage in the shadow of Mount Rainier and knew it should be preserved for public enjoyment.  They wanted their land to shelter animals, as it was meant to do, and to help educate people about nature.

Their foresight and generous donation of land to Metro Parks Tacoma ultimately became Northwest Trek Wildlife Park, where conservation and education are daily watchwords.

Northwest Trek opened as a different kind of zoological park on July 17, 1975.

There is nowhere else like it in the Pacific Northwest.

A three-day celebration of Northwest Trek’s 40 “wild” years is set for July 17-19, and the public is invited. Details on the party will be coming as plans progress, but now’s a good time to mark the calendar and make plans to visit.

Over the last 40 years, the now 735-acre wildlife park has fulfilled the Hellyers’ original dream – and more. It draws visitors from around the world for a naturalist-narrated tram tour through the Free-Roaming Area and quiet walks along forested pathways to view animals as they would appear in the wild.

It’s where American bison, Roosevelt elk, woodland caribou, moose and deer roam through a 435-acre habitat of meadows and forests.

Where grizzly and black bears, Canada lynx and bobcats, wolves, foxes, coyotes and other animals explore natural wooded exhibits.

Where owls hoot, beavers and river otters splash and people stand in awe.

There are forested trails to walk. And zip lines sing high overhead as adventurous visitors from 5 through adult challenge themselves mentally and physically on a super-fun, exhilarating series of Zip Wild zip line and aerial obstacle courses.

Northwest Trek, accredited by the Association of Zoos & Aquariums, is a recognized leader in the conservation of Northwest species and twice won the prestigious North American Conservation Award in recent years.

It’s conveniently located only about an hour’s drive from just about anywhere in the Puget Sound region and the perfect setting for a day stop on the way to Mount Rainier or while taking a break in the country away from city life.

For more information and details on hours and admission prices, go to www.nwtrek.org.

Northwest Trek, accredited by the Association of Zoos & Aquariums, is a 725-acre zoological park dedicated to conservation, education and recreation by displaying, interpreting and researching native Northwest wildlife and their natural habitats. The wildlife park, a facility of Metro Parks Tacoma, is celebrating its 40th anniversary in 2015. It’s located 35 miles southeast of Tacoma off State Highway 161.