Tualatin River Greenway Trail
Oregon’s rich history goes further back than just pioneer times. With the newly opened Tualatin River Greenway Trail, visitors can go back—way back!—to the Ice Age, when mastodons roamed the Tualatin Valley. Now, you get to be the one roaming the trail that runs adjacent to the Tualatin River. Walking or cycling the trail allows for nature lovers to stay in the present with the beauty around them while simultaneously learning about the Tualatin Valley’s prehistoric past.
While the trail has plans for expansion, the ¾ mile stretch that is currently open can be accessed at Barngrover Way, next to the Tualatin Public Library. Additional access points are located along the trail, including outside of the Cabela’s outdoor store (so you can get outfitted for your stroll). The soft gurgle of the water, the trees in constant flux from the seasons and the light whistle of a breeze all make the trail beautiful; however, it’s the interpretive panels and inventive Ice Age renderings that take the path from a simple trail and into a “walk through time.”
Inviting to curious kids, history buffs, nature lovers and the casual walker, the interpretive elements along the trail go beyond panels of information. Along with the historical re-caps, be prepared for replicated footprints of ground sloths and mastodons imprinted in the pavement. Adding even more imagination to the experience, stumble upon cast fossils of these animals as well. The footprints and fossils—and the animals they represent—change as the panels explain the evolution of the area from the Ice age into the cataclysmic Ice Age floods, leading all the way into the emergence of the Native America communities and early settlers of the Tualatin Valley.
The Tualatin River Greenway Trail is an enchanting addition amidst the bustle of this popular Tualatin shopping area, bringing awareness and access to the beautiful nature that has persevered through the ongoing geological and cultural evolution of the Tualatin Valley.