Wednesday, November 23, 2005
SW~ Fanno Creek Trail
Date of visit: November 2005
Agency: THPRD and City of Tigard
Path Surface: paved
Elevation gain/loss: minimal
Distance: 5.4 miles one way with detours to pick up sections of the path
Ratings: Setting +++ Calorie-burning +++
Directions: From Hwy 26, go south on Hwy 217, turn west from the Denney Rd. exit ramp. Look for the Fanno Creek Trail sign at the small parking lot on the south side of Denney, about 1/4 mile from the freeway.
A human-power highway of the southwest suburbs, comparable to the Springwater Corridor in the southeast, this trail will eventually connect the Willamette and Tualatin Rivers, roughly following the course of the much-maligned Fanno Creek. For now, bits and pieces of the trail that will eventually be are available for walking and biking.
From the parking area just off Denney Road, begin your trip traveling south along the paved path through a narrow tree-lined corridor. Shortly after crossing an arched wooden bridge, a major obstacle arises in the form of Hall Blvd, .65 miles from your start. To be legal, you should travel west to the intersection of Hall and Greenway to cross at the light, but if you brave the busy street, your target is immediately across Hall.
Greenway Park is an open, grassy sanctuary from suburban Beaverton. After another tenth of a mile, you may want to take a brief detour of .2 mile to visit the Fanno Farmhouse, built in 1859 and restored now to house weddings and other special events.
Returning back to the main path, travel the east edge of the park to visit the creek side marsh area called Koll Center Wetlands Park. Its pond--home to herons, egrets and other water-loving birds--is difficult to access from the trail, but the view for the office workers across the way should be part of their perks package.
Ramble around the other loops and detours in the 87 acres of Greenway Park if you desire, but traveling in a generally southern direction will bring you to the south end of the park at about the two-mile mark. At this point, follow the path under Scholls Ferry Rd, right beside the rippling creek, to emerge into the city of Tigard's Englewood Park.
At 2.75 miles the path appears to end when you reach another street, but look right to find the connection across the street to continue your trip. Another street crossing shortly thereafter is easier to see. (The Hawthorne trees in this area are fabulous in spring.) At 3.2 miles, you again need to make a jog, this time to the left along the road a short distance to the "Fanno Creek Trail" sign to turn right into Woodard Park. After traversing the park, emerge onto Johnson St. where you will turn left, traveling the street to cross busy Pacific Hwy. to Main St. in downtown Tigard. Immediately after crossing the creek, turn right onto the boardwalk. Keep on the paths in the general direction of the creek to the present end of this section of the path at 4.7 miles (at Hall Blvd). Bonus points for extra mileage in Greenway Park and this last section of the trail with its various digressions.
Die-hards can add another .7 mile by crossing Hall and before reaching the library building, look for a driveway cut marked by red and white stakes. Cross the wood chip covered connection to a concrete path that arcs around the library building. Travel back to Hall, then turn down the next driveway to the back of the condominium parking lot, where you turn left to pick up the trail again. This section of .4 mile divides wild and man-made, eventually ending on Fanno Creek Drive in the middle of a neighborhood.
For a map of the THPRD trails, click here.