Fanno Creek Greenway Trail (Beaverton/Tigard)
The Fanno Creek Greenway Trail was one of the buying points my home; I kid you not. I am fortunate enough to live by this great trail system, and the kids (after almost eight years) aren’t tired of it yet!
This trail system is a collaboration between multiple cities, counties, and Oregon Metro (just to name a few of the partners). Its goal is to connect the Willamette River to the Tualatin River through parks. So far, so good; it’s not completely connected river-to-river but still provides numerous opportunities for outdoor activities. Signs between parks tell newbies where to cross and connect.
Wide, paved trails allow for bikers, skateboarders, pooches and pedestrians (with or without strollers) to “share the road” even on the busiest of days. There is also an 18-hole disc golf course starting at the Hall Boulevard entrance.
Every few hundred yards there is a playground.
The playgrounds vary in size and type (one is a shaped in a tractor, another designed for toddlers, and so on) to cater to a wide range of ages as well as encouraging kids to “move along” to the next stop.
The Fanno Creek Park and Greenway Park parts of the trail run through Beaverton and Tigard, within blocks of coffee shops and restaurants. Fanno Creek Farmhouse, home of 19th century onion farmer Augustus Fanno, is adjacent to Greenway Park right off Hall Boulevard for a bit of Washington County history.
And yes, that is Flat Stella; she was visiting from Minnesota.
Because of the ongoing wetlands restoration, there is a TON of wildlife to view. Birds abound, there are small fish and crawdads in some parts of the creek, and the usual host of creepy crawlies are there to view but not overwhelm (I’ve never had to spray insect repellant on my kids). One year we even had a family of owls in a tall snag! Small bridges along the trail are great for playing Pooh Sticks.
Being a wetlands, some parts of the park consistently flood in heavy winter rains. The underpass on Scholls Ferry Road (south of Nimbus) is one of these areas. It cuts off access between the Tigard and Beaverton side of the trail, but the return of spring with its amazing blooms and huge dragonflies make it worth the inconvenience.
One drawback of this park is the bathroom situation; port-a-potties, few and far between. Another is lack of water fountains: be sure to pack your water bottles. For drawbacks, not too bad!
Seasonal flora and fauna changes make the park a nice place to go even on drizzly days. Binoculars and a magnifying glass can make the trip even more interesting for little minds (alright, we all had to get magnifying glasses so mommy and daddy wouldn’t hog them). A little planning, a little packing, and you can have one heck of an afternoon with the kiddos with very little or no money involved.
Sally Davidson Parker is a wife, mother, teacher and freelance writer who lives in Beaverton, Oregon.
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