Wednesday, August 22, 2007
SW ~ Tigard to Tualatin
Date visited: August 14, 2007
Agency: Cities of Tigard, Durham, Tualatin
Path Surface: Asphalt, Concrete, dirt
Elevation gain/loss: some rolling hills
Distance: 3.4 to 5.8 miles
Ratings: Setting +++ Calorie-burning +++
Directions: Turn west from exit 291 off of I-5. Left on 72nd, which becomes Upper Boones Ferry Rd. Right on SW Durham Rd, left on SW 92nd Ave.
River views, woods, meadows, a butterfly garden, wetlands and plenty of spots to stop for a picnic—you'll find it all here. Cook Park, the beginning of this venture, is very popular in the summer, but you can still find places of solitude on these trails, be it ever so brief. This route can be done either on foot or as a bike ride.
Start in Cook Park in Tigard, turning into the first parking lot on the right. The asphalt path begins at the far edge of the parking lot and you face a choice—straight or to the left. Walking straight west takes you out on a woodsy finger of .7 mile. With some hilly sections and an occasional glance at the Tualatin River, this is a nice detour for some additional mileage of 1.4 miles round trip. When you come to a hill that seems to go almost straight up, turn around and retrace your steps to a path that veers right just as you are about to enter the parking lot again (where you made your first choice). Follow that path as it winds around between the edge of the park and the river, past the boat dock. After .3 mile, continue on the bark chip trail down then up hill to a T-intersection, where you turn right. Shortly thereafter, you come to a 5-way intersection--turn on the second left. Follow this trail to its end and continue walking toward the blue-topped picnic pavillon.
When you reach the concrete sidewalk, turn right and go about 100 feet to a gravel trail just before you reach the parking lot. Turn right and follow this trail to another concrete sidewalk and turn right, pass Shelter 4 and walk through the Tupling Butterfly Garden. From the garden, go .4 mile on the concrete walk that winds through a meadow to a railroad underpass.
Turn right on the asphalt path just past the railroad underpass. Be sure to veer right to the river overlook. We heard an osprey here today. Continue over the broad bridge spanning the Tualatin River. Bikers may want to continue straight ahead to the edge of the Tualatin Community Park on the gravel road. Walkers may prefer to duck into the woods on the east edge of the park. Look for a path to the left just after the end of the bridge. Continue forward as you emerge from the woods, under the railroad trestle and across the parking lot to follow the asphalt trail as it winds through the park. Curve around the Van Raden Community Center and continue forward to a short bridge over a portion Hedges Creek Wetlands.
Return as you came to the bridge underpass, turn left and return through Cook Park. The return trip is 1.7 miles.
Note: To get an additional 1.4 miles, at the intersection just beyond the railroad tracks, turn left to take the Fanno Creek Loop and Durham City Park routes. To take the trail to Durham City Park, take the first right on the asphalt path that crosses over Fanno Creek. This brings you through the Durham City Park to a parking lot off Arkenstone Dr. Return as you came. To continue onto the Fanno Creek Loop, turn right after returning to the main path near the railroad tracks, then keep left to follow the signed loop just past the railroad crossing sign. If you are on a bike, be prepared to quickly downshift on a couple of short, steep grades. Return to the bridge underpass intersection and continue straight toward the bridge over the Tualatin River and follow to the end of the route described above.
Cook Park area map.