Monday, August 17, 2009

SW ~ West Side Regional Trail-THNP to Davis

Date visited: July 28, 2009
Agency: Tualatin Hills Parks & Rec
Path Surface: Asphalt
Elevation gain/loss: 100 feet
Distance: Six miles (out and back)
Ratings: Setting +++ Calorie-burning ++++
Directions: From Hwy 26, take the Murray Blvd exit, south on Murray 1.3 miles, west on Millikan Blvd .5 mile, parking lot on right as Millikan curves to the south. Address: 15655 SW Millikan Blvd. Information: (503) 629-6350.

Begin from the Tualatin Hills Nature Park. From the parking lot, enter the park passing the interpretive center on the paved path and veer right onto the Oak Trail. While on this forested path, listen for the happy song of the winter wren, while towhees, song sparrows and purple finches join in.

Go .4 mile to the gravel Tadpole Pond Trail. (If you are riding a bike, walk it on this short section.) As you pass the pond, turn right onto a paved bike path. After almost .9 mile, cross Millikan Blvd and continue on the path, scanning for red tailed hawks perched on the powerline towers. The path curves back to Millikan, where you must turn left onto the sidewalk to rejoin the path after crossing over the bottomlands of Beaverton Creek. Notice the nest boxes here. Tree swallows were swarming this area today.

Continue .2 miles farther on the path to the corner of TV Highway and Millikan Blvd. After crossing TV Highway, Millikan becomes 160th . Follow 160th just over a tenth of a mile to Blanton and turn left. Another tenth of a mile connects you back to the path on your right. The .4 mile stretch to Farmington Rd. is shrubby and nearly level, and on this morning, filled with blackberry pickers.

Cross Farmington to reconnect with the path, which is nearly level until you reach Division. From here, the path switchbacks up into Schuepbach Park, drops down, then zigzags up to Davis Rd., the current end of the path.

For a shorter route, bypass the section through the Nature Park. Walk from the parking lot back to Millikan, turn left to find the path. Map.

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