Cook Park (Tigard)
Cook Park in Tigard, Oregon is hands down one of my kids’ favorite places. We were fortunate enough to be gifted two kayaks and my boys can’t get enough of the Tualatin River. The park has so many amenities that there truly is something for everyone.
When you enter the park you are surrounded by athletic fields. In the summer and early fall every weekend we went there were multiple baseball or soccer games to watch. In addition, there is a large gazebo (the Bishop-Scheckla Pavillion) that hosts many concerts and other arts events.
Trails lead you throughout the park and to a pedestrian bridge overlooking the Tualatin River. There are specific trails for cyclists as well as pedestrians. One of my favorite areas to visit is the Tupling Butterfly Garden.
With its shelter and seating area, as well as educational signs, you can spend an afternoon just watching everyone go by; two-legged, four-legged, and six-legged!
The City of Tigard was not stingy with picnic tables and barbeque pits — I venture to say it has the most I’ve ever seen out in the western suburbs. If you have a big event planned (graduation, family get-together), you can rent out one of the large picnic shelters. Last summer our family got to see two wedding parties!
Horseshoe pits? Check. Playground? Check. Potties? Yes, as well as port-a-potties. Volleyball pits, basketball courts, and drinking fountains? Check, check, and check again!
I wasn’t kidding when I said there really was something for everyone!
Last, but not least, the river.
The dock and boat ramp are well kept and easy to use. If you don’t have a kayak or canoe, Tualatin River Keepers does rent them onsite during the season. They also post mile markers and a map of the river. Don’t forget your rod, reel, and fishing license!
Kayaking up and down the river from Cook Park does not limit you to the water. Multiple docks allow you to tie up and visit other parks in the system, all with their own charm. Tualatin Community Park is surrounded by restaurants. Browns Ferry Park hosts the Willowbrook Summer Arts Program. Or you could just quietly paddle along, enjoying the view.
Active participant or lounging spectator, this park makes itself amenable to both as well as everyone in between. During the summer weekends be sure to go early to grab a picnic table and barbeque pit as they go fast! Parking, while not impossible, can be a bit of a walk (depending on where you want to visit) on a busy day. Well used and well loved by the community, I hope this park is as fun for your family as it is for mine!
Sally Davidson Parker is a wife, mother, teacher and freelance writer who lives in Beaverton.
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