Saturday, March 26, 2005

NW ~ Willow Creek

Date last visited: March 18, 2005
Agency: Tualatin Hills Parks and Recreation District
Path Surface: Paved and boardwalk
Elevation gain/loss: minor
Distance: 2.5 miles
Ratings: Setting+++ Calorie-burning ++
Directions: Hwy 26 to the Cornell Rd exit. South on NW 158th .6 mile, right on NW Schendel Ave, which loops around Fred Meyer. Start at 45 31.178N, 122.50.617W

The floral and faunal awakenings of spring surround your walk through several united parks.

Start across the street from the Fred Meyer parking lot (near the garden section), where a wide paved path takes you through the Hunter's Run Apartments. After .1 mile, you come to a T intersection, with the private Jenne Lake directly in front of you. Don't pause here, a much better view of the lake is ahead. Turn left, then veer right next to the RV storage area into Waterhouse Powerlines Park. Continue in a generally northerly direction under the power lines on the path through football-field sized grassy areas-- a great place for kids to burn any excess energy.

At the northwest corner of the Waterhouse Soccer Field, .7 mile, turn left and enter the Willow Creek area, a paved and boardwalk path through a very pretty suburban forest/wetlands area. At 1.2 miles, the path ends at NW 173rd (also a potential starting point). Apollo Ridge Park is directly across the street, but no improved path yet extends through that park.

Return the way you came, but when you reach the soccer field again, continue at its north edge and reenter the woods until you emerge, after 1.8 miles, at the east of the park. Turn right on Waterhouse Ave. and enjoy homes in the area of one of the early "Street of Dreams" home shows. At NW Blueridge Dr. cross the road to another paved path that takes you through the Waterhouse Rose Garden and Waterhouse Park. At the next junction, veer right, pass the picnic area and reach the bridge over Jenne Lake, where you have great view of the waterfowl, who don't seem to mind the 'burbs at all.

After crossing the bridge, continue on to the wide path to your left (near the fountains in the lake) and go back through the apartment complex to your starting point.

Our fowl and fauna list for the day included rabbits, squirrels, red-shafted flickers, chickadees, bushtits, towhees, song sparrows, scrub jays, starlings, a single robin, house sparrows, a ruby crowned kinglet, two white-breasted nuthatch, house finches, a pine siskin, a red-wing blackbird, gold crown sparrows, a fox sparrow, a Bewick's wren, a crow and, on Jenne Lake, American wigeons, Canada geese, mallards and bufflehead. Posted by Hello

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