The opportunities to get outside and explore year-round in Oregon’s Tualatin Valley are truly endless. In celebration of National Hiking Day on Tuesday, November 17th, add these hikes to your list of must-dos and enjoy Tualatin Valley’s premier outdoor recreation with stunning views of mountains, forests, and wildlife.
Tualatin Hills Nature Park is an oasis in the middle of a bustling city. Once on the 4.5 miles of paved and soft-surface trails, you would never know the 222-acre wildlife preserve is surrounded by Beaverton’s businesses and homes. All ages can enjoy the wildlife viewing here, where unique habitats are home to a variety of birds, mammals, reptiles and insects. See if you can spot a red-tailed hawk or a blue heron on your leisurely hike through the park.
Located in the Tillamook State Forest off Highway 6, the Summit Trailhead offers hikers two moderate trails open year-round – the Storey Burn Loop hike and Low Divide Creek hike. The Low Divide Creek trail is a 5.6-mile trek that begins at the Summit Trailhead and ends at the Gales Creek Trailhead. This family-friendly hike follows the Low Divide Creek where you can see remnants of beaver dams and large cedar stumps that once towered over the forest. For a more challenging hike, try the Storey Burn Loop. This trail is a 7.6-mile loop through the Douglas Fir forest with ample creek crossings and sights of small waterfalls along the way. If hiking in the early morning or late afternoon, keep an eye out for elk and deer that roam the Tillamook State Forest.
Cooper Mountain Nature Park provides picturesque views of the Tualatin Valley below. The 230-acre park invites visitors to explore 3.5 miles of trails of varying difficulty. The park includes a natural demonstration garden, picnic tables, and a nature play area for children. Hiking the trails of the nature park provide great opportunities to view wildlife and even catch a glimpse of rare animal species like the Northern red-legged frog and Western gray squirrel.
Wandering through wetlands, forests, and parks, the Fanno Creek Trail spans 4.5 miles of ADA-accessible trail through three Tualatin Valley cities; Beaverton, Tigard, and Tualatin. The mostly flat trail is great for families to walk, run or bike together as the trail is made for pedestrian and cycling traffic. Spend the morning on the trail or make this an all-day excursion with stops along the way including, Main Street Tigard, Greenway Park, and Koll Center Wetlands.
Next time you are looking to spend some quality time outdoors, take in the sights while hiking in Tualatin Valley’s natural beauty.