Business aims to inform and engage locals and visitors alike

Nat Williams started offering tours on Strawberry Festival weekend and is now running weekly “European Style” guided walking tours on Vashon.

Did you know Vashon used to have its very own dynamite factory, producing a ton of dynamite every day?

To learn how dynamite shaped Vashon and many other obscure and fascinating historical stories, take a walking tour offered by Vashon Walks LLC, a new company recently launched by island local Nat Williams.

Williams started offering tours Strawberry Festival weekend, on July 16, and is now running weekly “European Style” guided walking tours in Vashon Town.

The tours explore Vashon’s most interesting and obscure history.

Williams, who uses they/them pronouns, describes their walking tours as “European Style” — based on their experiences while backpacking in Europe and discovering that the most interesting and fun way to learn the history of a new place was to take a walking tour lead by a local guide.

In developing their tours, Williams said their goal was to create the most informative tour possible for residents and visitors alike, replicating the experiences they had in discovering Europe.

After practicing with friends and longtime residents of the island, Williams said they were all surprised to learn so many new things about the place where they had already lived for years.

Williams grew up on Vashon, attending local schools, becoming a Troop 294 Eagle Scout, and then heading off to Western Washington University to earn a degree in biology.

After college, they conducted fieldwork for U.S. government agencies, across the west, before returning to Vashon and changing course to fulfill a long unrealized dream of starting a tour business.

“Offering tours has let me draw on my experience teaching at college and as a sailing instructor, my interest in learning about new places, and my love of conversing with others — all of which my friends have joked would make me a great tour guide,” Williams said.

Vashon Walks LLC is offering group tours every week as well as private tours, by reservation.

Information on timing and tour start locations can be found on the website, www.vashonwalks.com.

Questions? Email contact@vashonwalks.com.