A World of Nature at Your Fingertips
Experience the Natural Beauty of the Tualatin Valley
The Tualatin Valley spans 727 square miles, with many miles devoted to pristine, rural wetlands, nature parks, wildlife refuges, verdant forests, tranquil waters, open fields and several miles of hiking and biking trails. These natural surroundings offer outdoor enthusiasts, bird and wildlife watchers, cyclists, equestrians, hikers and other nature lovers the chance to experience beauty of Oregon, all within one destination.
MULTI-USE NATURAL AREAS
L.L. “Stub” Stewart State Park is a 1,654-acre full-service park with hiking, biking and horseback riding trails, for day use, overnight camping—sites include hike-in, drive-in, RV hook-ups and rustic cabins—and a full-service horse camp, Hares Canyon. Located 33 miles from downtown Portland, the park’s lush rolling hills, forests and deep canyons and a stretch of the linear Banks-Vernonia State Trail that runs through the park makes it an ideal spot for outdoor adventurers. Various improvements to this decade-old park have been made, including the completion of a championship 18-hole disc golf course, the addition of an off-leash dog park, and the installation of a single-track free-ride mountain bike trail.
The 83-mile meandering Tualatin River provides a habitat for wildlife and recreational opportunities visitors and residents alike. Several parks and trails are located along the river, some with boat-launch and river-access points. Guided paddle trips and kayak/canoe rentals are offered by the Tualatin Riverkeepers, and other vendors.
Hagg Lake and Scoggins Valley Park, located in Gaston, Oregon, approximately one hour west of Portland, is a reservoir in the Tualatin River Watershed. The lake provides abundant day-use recreational opportunities, ranging from fishing, swimming and water sports and activities to hiking and biking on 15 miles of trails. Picnic areas and a disc golf course round out the available amenities at the park.
NATURE WALKS, HIKES AND WILDLIFE VIEWING SPOTS
Jackson Bottom Wetlands, a 725-acre wetlands preserve located in Hillsboro, is home to indigenous and migratory birds, such as bald eagles, egrets, red-tailed hawks and a host of mammals. This attraction includes four miles of walking trails, covered observation deck, and hands-on Wetlands Education Center, with the first (and perhaps only) eagle’s nest to be rescued from the wild on exhibit.
Located near Gales Creek, just outside of Forest Grove, the 600-acre Fernhill Wetlands boasts a variety of open water sources providing safe haven to eagles, hawks, herons and migrating waterfowl, as well as beavers, minks, otters and many other species. Approximately 1.25 miles of trails, raised dikes and two viewing shelters provide unobstructed views of the wetlands.
Please note: Due to construction, all trails at Fernhill are closed to the public through the end of the year (2017). Visitors are asked not attempt to access the trails and follow all posted signage. Updates will be provided as soon as the trail are reopened.
Tucked inside Beaverton is the Tualatin Hills Nature Center, a 222-acre wildlife preserve featuring evergreen and deciduous forests, creeks, wetlands and ponds, as well as nearly five miles of trails (1.5 miles of which are paved and ADA accessible), native plant garden and interpretive center. Red-tailed hawks, blue heron, deer, squirrels, rabbits and reptiles are commonly sighted in the park.
Located in Sherwood, the 7,370-acre Tualatin River National Wildlife Refuge is a sanctuary for indigenous and migrating birds, waterfowl and mammals. Operated by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the refuge is one of a handful of urban national refuges, and includes various restored habitats that best represent examples of depleted habitats in the Willamette Valley. Walking trails in the refuge include a one-mile trail open year-round and a three-mile service road open from May-September. The Wildlife Center is open year-round and offers exhibits and a nature store.
Cooper Mountain Nature Park is a 231-acre park featuring 3.5 miles of walking trails with varying difficulty through the mountain’s three distinct habitats – forest, prairie and oak woodlands. With spectacular views of the Chehalem Mountains and the Tualatin Valley, the park features a demonstration garden showcasing native and drought-tolerant plants. The park also is a popular spot for wildlife viewing and nature walks.
(Note: To protect the wildlife and natural vegetation, bicycles and pets are prohibited on most nature trails listed above.)
CYCLING TRAILS AND TOURS
The many miles of diverse biking trails throughout the Tualatin Valley complement Portland’s status as one of the bike-friendliest states in the U.S. Cyclists have long known about enjoyable, yet challenging, bike routes in the region, and cyclists of all levels can take advantage of the dedicated trails that traverse through scenic areas and rural landscapes.
The 50-mile Tualatin Valley Scenic Bikeway is a state-designated cycling route, which takes riders along rural roads in the valley’s rich agricultural region. Along the route are farms, farm stands, wineries and other small-town amenities.
Cyclists have the option of starting and ending the two-wheeled trek in the in the Tualatin Valley, or traveling to the area via TriMet’s MAX light-rail originating in Portland (or Portland International Airport) and riding from a MAX departure point within the county to the desired trail.
ABOUT OREGON’S TUALATIN VALLEY
The Tualatin Valley is the heart of Oregon’s Washington County, and is scenically situated between Portland and the Oregon Coast. The destination is home to world-class golf courses, award-winning wineries, an array of outdoor recreation opportunities, lush, natural and scenic wetlands and wildlife preserves, superb dining, and tax-free shopping centers and boutiques.
Tualatin Valley covers 727 square miles and includes the growing communities of Banks, Beaverton, Cornelius, Forest Grove, Gaston, Hillsboro, King City, North Plains, Sherwood, Tigard, Tualatin and Wilsonville. Learn more at tualatinvalley.org