Wednesday, May 24, 2006

NW ~ Bethany Lake Park

Date visited: May 5, 2006
Agency: Tualatin Hills Parks & Rec District
Path Surface: Paved
Elevation gain/loss: 70 ft
Distance: 2.5 miles
Ratings: Setting ++ Calorie-burning ++
Directions: From Hwy 26 (the Sunset) take the 185th Ave exit, go 1 mile north on 185th to a parking lot on the left.

A small lake, cultivated lawns, fields and a tiny wetlands area provide wide open spaces to stretch your legs. This path is but one section of what is planned to be a 3.5 mile continuous east/west route running under the powerlines.

From the parking lot, the paved path skirts the lake, passing by hopeful fishermen. Mallards and some hybrid geese paddle around on the lily-pad surface. The occasional blue heron stalks its prey. Scrubby brush nearby yields the song of common yellowthroats, while robins, red wing blackbirds, scrub jays and song sparrows also make their presence known. Find a picnic table and a footbridge over Rock Creek after .3 mile. Next to the path here you might see bushtits and
a Bewick’s Wren or two, while tree swallows dart overhead.

The path curves through a diminutive area that is being rehabilitated as wetlands, then gently slopes upward, traveling through a golf course. After 1 mile, you will pass soccer fields on the left where you might see killdeer tottering through the grass. On your right the vegetation harbors towhees, starlings and perhaps a mourning dove. We saw gold crowned sparrows hopping along the path.

The paved path ends at Rock Creek Powerline Park, 1.25 miles from the start. It is possible to cross the street ahead of you and follow a poorly maintained path through the grassy field for .4 mile farther. This path is hard to follow, is often wet in places and simply ends at the freeway. Some wildflowers scattered throughout the field might make this trek worthwhile.

When you turn back toward your car, be sure to notice the view of the West Hills and look for red tail hawks perched on the power line structures. If you are ready for more, an additional section of the Powerlines Park grid is close by, from Deerfield Park to Bethany Meadows Park. (See that post.)


  1. Bethany Lake Park is a Great place to walk my dog Sally.My concern is ,for the last three weekends I have witnessed people feeding the ducks and geese.This morning I saw white bread that was mouldy strewn across the reeds and water. One lady had a very large amount of bread that was obviously so old and mouldy to be unfit for human consumption.

    The sign telling people not to feed the ducks is near the parking lot in a glass case. I don't think people read it or take it seriously.I hate signs at parks but people need to be informed to stop feeding the wildlife.

  2. I thought feeding the ducks is unlawful. But every time I go to this park, there are at least 2 groups of people feeding the fowl very large bags of old bread and sometimes even molded bread. One time there was even a small pickup full of bread in the parking lot. The bread was hauled down to the water and dumped on the shore.

    Every time I see this activity I do say something to these misguided feeders. I explain how this is not helping the wildlife and in fact is hurting the natural habitat as well as damaging the intestinal tract of the fowl.

    I really think we need signs posted near the water warning the public about feeding wildlife. Other parks post signs with long explanations on this matter which is very effective at educating the public.

  3. I don't know about unlawful, but feeding any ducks or geese is a bad idea. If you'd like the Portland Audubon Society view: