Birdwatching in Tualatin Valley’s Wetlands of Wonder
Hark! What’s that? I do believe it is the sound of birds calling you to Tualatin Valley! Whether you’d like to try bird watching or you’re already a bona fide expert, Tualatin Valley is the place to be for a one- or two-day trip to see our fine-feathered friends.
From wetlands dotted with birds to biking trails through forested areas, our outdoor opportunities satisfy every visitor. Plan a full day of wildlife watching in Oregon with us.
Start the day at the Tualatin River National Wildlife Refuge, home to nearly 200 species of birds, more than 50 species of mammals, 25 species of reptiles and amphibians, and a variety of insects, fish and plants. Explore the Wildlife Center, nature store and the one-mile trail that meanders through the refuge, providing great photography opportunities along the way.
Stop for a wine tasting at Cooper Mountain Vineyards, and sample a flight of its exquisite organic, biodynamically grown wine.
Next, migrate to Cooper Mountain Nature Park and traverse 3.5 miles of nature trails through several distinct habitats, from conifer forest to prairie to oak woodlands. Soak in the spectacular views of the Chehalem Mountains.
The newest natural space in Tualatin Valley is Orenco Woods Nature Park, in Hillsboro. Jog or bike along the Rock Creek Trail, and watch great blue herons and beavers in Rock Creek and the wetlands.
Catch the last hours of sunlight at Fernhill Wetlands, where round-headed American Wigeons bob in the water and Great Blue Herons will calmly nestle themselves into the wetlands’ marshes.
Catch the early morning light at Jackson Bottom Wetlands Preserve, a 725-acre wildlife preserve with 4.5 miles of trails, wildlife viewing blinds and picture-perfect views. Visitors also enjoy the 12,000-square-foot education center, which has hands-on exhibits and an authentic bald eagle’s nest recovered from the wild. The attraction also houses a nature store and expansive deck with views overlooking the preserve’s acreage.
Enjoy an early lunch at Cruise In Country Diner, which serves hearty burgers and fries made with locally grown ingredients and served with local brews, wines and sodas.
After lunch, visit the Rice Museum of Rocks and Minerals. The largest museum of its kind in the Pacific Northwest, this one-of-a-kind museum houses an impressive collection of rocks, gems, gem stones, petrified woods, geodes and more.
Finally, venture over to Tualatin Hills Nature Center and explore its 222-acres, check out the exhibits and the nature store, or ask the center’s experts about wildlife in the area.
Dogs and other pets are prohibited at most wetlands and nature parks in Tualatin Valley. Learn more about dog-friendly parks in Tualatin Valley >>>
COVID-19 note: Many restaurants, wineries and attractions now require reservations. Check individual websites before visiting to learn about new protocols. Masks are required inside and in outdoor areas where physical distancing is not possible.