Update: Effective Monday, March 23rd, all Oregon State parks and trails will be closed to the public until further notice. This includes the Banks-Vernonia State Trail, L.L. Stub Stewart State Park and Tillamook State Forest.
Any Oregonian or Oregon lover what’s great about the state and they’ll likely say something about hiking. Tualatin Valley is no exception, with miles and miles of trails and open spaces to explore. Whether you’re looking for a causal walk outdoors or a serious hiking challenge, our area has trails for hikers of every level to get out and about and moving around.
If your idea of a “hike” is more like a walk in the park — we’ve got you covered in Tualatin Valley. With plenty of nature parks all over the area, there’s something for every skill level to get outside without a crowd.
Tualatin Hills Nature Center is a 222-acre wildlife preserve in Beaverton. The park has 1.5 miles of paved trails and 3.5 miles of soft-surface trails. Head there for an easy taste of nature and wildlife spotting.
Farther west is the Fernhill Wetlands, a 600-acre safe haven for many creatures we love in the Pacific Northwest. There are 1.5 miles of trails and shelters for views of the wetlands, including an ADA-accessible Water Garden with a great view.
There’s also the Fanno Creek Trail, which runs for 18 miles from Beaverton to Tualatin. The paved trail has sections surrounded by trees, parks and several playgrounds along the way if you’re wandering with kids.
The Banks-Vernonia State Trail is an easy to moderate trail open to walkers, bikers and horseback riders. It’s mostly paved, wide and only a moderate grade — but 21 miles long — making it a perfect trek without being strenuous. The trail begins in the city of Banks and goes through forests and fields to Vernonia with spectacular views along the route.
Henry Hagg Lake in Gaston has nearly 15 miles of hiking trails on top of the water recreation, picnic and disc-golf offerings.
Kings Mountain in the Tillamook State Forest is a 5-mile round trip with 2,500-foot elevation gain. Experienced hikers would call this a “moderate” hike, but it is rugged with many switchbacks. If you’re up for the challenge, you’ll be rewarded with wildflower blooms in the spring, creek views and if you’re lucky — a peak at Mt. Hood in the distance. For even more of a challenge, continue on for the Elk Mountain-Kings Mountain loop. This makes a 10.8-mile trip with 3,700-foot gain that experienced hikers consider “very difficult.” The Kings Mountain summit is the high point with nice views, followed by a steep decline through the forest.
The Gales Creek Trail is another longer trail in the Tillamook State Forest that is more of a challenge for experienced hikers. The forest here was affected by the Tillamook Burn fires in the 1930s-1950s and has views of waterfalls and millions of trees.
There are ways to get out and enjoy time away from home for hikers of every level.