Imagine paddling down 40 nautical miles of a peaceful, slow-moving river. Hear the sounds of birds greeting the passersby, while enjoying a cool trip through tree-lined waterways. Here in the Tualatin Valley, it’s not just your imagination; it’s a reality.
In October 2020, the U.S. Interior Department designated the Tualatin River Water Trail as one of the newest routes in the National Trails System. This designation has been years in the making and joins the existing Willamette River Water Trail as Oregon’s only two nationally designated water trails. National water trails feature multiple access points, resting places and attractions along lakes and rivers. Keepers of the trails also involve shore land preservation and stewardship programs.
About the Tualatin River
The Tualatin River is a relatively slow, meandering river that is ideal for beginner paddlers and families. The water trail flows from west to east, starting in the coastal mountains and ending at the confluence with the Willamette River. This calm river also is a popular waterway for birding and wildlife viewing, and hikers can access the river’s spectacular Ki-a-Kuts Falls, which is only accessible through a rugged hike through forests.
The Tualatin River Water Trail starts at the Willamette River at Willamette Park in West Linn, and travels through the Tualatin Valley’s farmlands and natural spaces to Rood Bridge Park in Hillsboro, the end of the designated Water Trail. With 12 access points, you can make it a daylong voyage or a quick round-trip between two points.
River access points in Tualatin Valley include:
- Jurgens Park, Tualatin Community Park and Brown’s Ferry Park in Tualatin
- Cook Park in Tigard
- Rood Bridge Park in Hillsboro
Plenty of eateries also are available within a walkable distance from the launch sites. In addition, several parks, which provide parking, picnic tables and restroom facilities, are located along the river.