There are many who thinks that god (Gaia/Jesus/someone) actually showed off their real talents when designing the Pacific Northwest. Many hikers and nature photographers have listed this region on the top of their bucket list. I myself was very keen to move to Portland for this exact reason. It still blows my mind that on clear days, I can spot the prettiest snow covered volcano from the parking lot of a Walmart. (Mt. Hood) I was eager to start exploring the magic once the wet winter season leaves, but 2020 surprised everyone by locking the whole world in their houses. All state and national parks were closed since March, but some city and county parks allowed visitors. Tualatin Hills Nature Park is once such park in the suburb of Portland.
There were some crowd, but we all tried our best to practice social distancing. We have been to much of the park, so we followed the Oak trail and continued onto the Waterhouse Trail. Considering that this is in a busy neighborhood, there are plenty of trails in the park. However, one could also extend their walk by going to Westside Regional Trail and Beaverton Creek Wetland trail, on the opposite direction to the Waterhouse Trail. Oak trail is very accessible with many elevated boardwalks and paved walkways. The woods in the park was quiet and serene, especially with the lack of a crowd. We were here back in the dead of winter, and it was equally pretty.
Waterhouse trail, on the other hand, would not distinguish itself among urban trails of major cities. The windy road crosses a MAX station, passes a Costco and continued on in the shadow of pylons, surrounded by rows of apartment buildings. The scene was much busier as we approached the houses, but everyone had plenty of space to spread out. Personally, I lost count of the number of days left in spring, and we were slightly surprised with magnificent blossoms along the otherwise barren path.
I’m very appreciative of Tualatin Hills Nature Park, being compact but still provide an excellent escape in the otherwise suburb neighborhood. This is no Mt. Hood, but the greenery is such a stark contrast to everything around it. The extended trails are more suitable for runners and bikers who want to put in more miles, and less interesting for hikers or birders. Nonetheless, I always welcoming more trail, and I would love it if the state could extend them. all the way from the coast to the city and towards Mt. Hood. That will be truly amazing!
Visited: April 19th, 2020.
Address: 15655 SW Millikan Way, Beaverton