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Posts Tagged ‘Tualatin Riverkeepers’

10 Can’t-Miss October Events in the Tualatin Valley

Posted on: September 30th, 2015 by Jackie Luskey No Comments

Roloff Farms in the Tualatin Valley.
October is a great month, toting along a bevy of autumnal activities: Halloween fun, fall foliage and pumpkin patches (and the accompanying pumpkin spice lattes). Whether you’re extending a business trip, tacking a few days onto a pre-existing trip to Portland or just want to plan getaway with friends, find Tualatin Valley events to make October the best.

1. Hillsboro Arts Month

October is Hillsboro Arts Month, meaning that the area is chock-full of artsy-fartsy events. The month starts out with a bang as the Plein Air Festival (October 1-4) opens alongside Affordable Art for Everyone (October 3). Later in the month, view local art at Beaverton Arts Mix! (October 8-11) and the Washington County Open Studios Tour (October 17-18).

2. Fall Colors on the Tualatin River

See double the fall foliage as changing leaves are reflected in the waters of the Tualatin Valley at the annual Fall Colors Paddle (October 3). All levels welcome on this lazy river ride!

3. Spooky Events Near Portland

We don’t just have natural beauty, but supernatural fun, as well with the Zombies v.s. Survivors Run (October 3).

4. Oregon Pumpkin Patches

Whether you go for a classic orange one or a blue-green “Cinderella” gourd, head to our pumpkin patches for farm-time fun. The biggest pumpkins in all the land are carved into actual racing vessels at the West Coast Giant Pumpkin Regatta (October 17).

5. Oregon Crush

Embrace the busy “crush” season for Oregon winemakers with the North Willamette Crush Weekend (October 17-18). Try special wines from over a dozen wineries.

6. Knitting, Quilting and Crocheting Events

The crisp weather will get you in the knitting mood. For supplies and ideas, hit up the Alpaca Harvest Festival (October 3-4) and the Color POWer! Quilt Show (October 3-4).

7. Oktoberfest Shenanigans

Cheers! Germany’s beer festival makes its way to the Tualatin Valley with the Oktoberfest at the McMenamins Grand Lodge (October 3) and OrenKoFest (October 10).

8. More Than an Apple a Day

Ready for a big, red, juicy apple? Bite into Applefest at Oregon Heritage Farms (October 10) and the Heirloom Apple Festival at Smith Berry Farm (October 10-11).

9. Moonlit Nature Walks

Jackson Bottom Wetlands hosts two evening naturalist-led walks around its beautiful refuge, the Fall Moonrise Watch (October 27) and Night-time Walkabout (October 29).

10. Trick-or-Treat

All ages are welcome to an all-day affair of food, music, costumes and more at Halloween at the McMenamins Grand Lodge (October 31).

How will you make the most of October? Your first step is booking a room in the Tualatin Valley!

Artsty Hillsboro Itinerary

Posted on: September 10th, 2015 by Jackie Luskey No Comments

Break out the paint brushes, roll out the red carpet, put on your dancing shoes and do whatever else you’ve got to do to get into an artsy mood. October is Hillsboro Arts Month and we want you to get in touch with your infinite creativity. Arts events will be happening in the Tualatin Valley all throughout October, starting with a great opening weekend that we’ve detailed below.


Plein Air in Washington County

Plein Air invites artists to the Tualatin Valley to create art in our fresh air.

Friday, October 2
Art is in the air, figuratively and literally speaking. Artist create masterpiece outdoors at the annual Plein Air event (October 1-6; all day event). Come watch the first day of this festival where amazing painters choose the Tualatin Valley’s scenic views as their muses. Prime Plein Air locations include the McMenamins Cornelius Pass Roadhouse, Helvetia Tavern, Jackson School Lavender Farm and Orenco Station (near The Orenco Hotel for easy overnight accommodations).

Saturday, October 3
Let nature reflecting off the soothing Tualatin River be your artist’s palette at the Fall Colors Paddle (October 3 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.). This easy kayaking trip is suitable for all ages. The only requirements are an open mind, willing to paddle and registrations.

What better way is there to remember a trip than to bring home a special piece of art from that place? Discover local art at Affordable Art for Everyone (October 3 from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.). Here, all artwork is original and under $100. Yes, you read that right.

After carefully packing away your art finds, dance, eat and drink the evening away at Oktoberfest at the Grand Lodge (October 3; all day). Live music will play the soundtrack to your evening of merriment (and beer!) at the artsy McMenamins Grand Lodge, which is a great place to rest your head at the days end.

Sunday, October 4
Before heading home, make a few new fluffy friends at the Alpaca Harvest Festival (October 3-4 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.). In addition to alpacas to pet, EasyGo Farm and Alpacas of Oregon will have beautiful fleece and yarn in both natural and dyed varieties for knitters who want to stock up on materials.

Find places to stay. | Create a personalized itinerary. | Find places to eat. | View the digital visitor guide.

Tualatin River Water Trail

Posted on: September 4th, 2015 by Jackie Luskey 2 Comments

Tualatin River Water TrailThere are trails for days in the Tualatin Valley, making outdoor lovers some very happy campers when they visit. No matter your outdoor activity of choice, we’ve got the attraction—and accompanying guide!—for you. Whether you’d call yourself a Pisces, water baby or just somebody who loves being near good ol’ H2O, our latest guide should get your fins going.

The new Tualatin River Water Trail guide describes the points on the Tualatin River that are currently accessible to the public, starting at the mouth of the river and working upstream from there. Order a guide for detailed descriptions of river access points along the lower stretch of the Tualatin River. The guide also includes an extensive, easy-to-read map. In addition to river access points, the map also calls attention to parking access, caution areas, restrooms and restaurants near the water trail. In short, it’s super helpful!

Labor Day weekend marks the last open hours of the season for the Tualatin Riverkeepers’ kayak rentals; however, avid paddlers can still bring their own kayaks and canoes to river access points year-round. As we transition into fall, expect higher flow levels, fallen trees and submerged debris. With these conditions at hand, the water trail best for intermediate and experienced paddlers in the cooler months.

If you want to paddle post Labor Day, but can’t schlep your own gear, then register for a beginner stand-up paddle boarding class with Dog Star Adventure Tours. These classes, which run into November, meet at Cook Park for a 90 minute foray into fun watersports.  

While ordering your free Tualatin River Water Trail guide, why not check the little boxes for some other guide goodies, too?  We’ve got fantastic guides for cycling, the Vineyard & Valley Scenic Tour Route and our Nature Passport that we’d love to deliver right to your mailbox!

Find places to stay. | Create a personalized itinerary. | Find places to eat. | View the digital visitor guide.

Getaway to the Tualatin Valley Before School Starts

Posted on: August 26th, 2015 by Jackie Luskey No Comments
Kids learn about farming and animals at one of the Tualatin Valley's idyllic farms.

Kids learn about farming and animals at one of the Tualatin Valley’s idyllic farms.

It’s never too late to make a quick weekend (or mid-week) getaway to the Tualatin Valley before the school year begins. With plenty of things to do for all ages, here’s your guide to a last-minute trip.

Zip-Line Adventures
The Tualatin Valley’s newest zip-line park, Pumpkin Ridge Zip Tour features eight zip lines that will take adventurers through a beautiful forest, across majestic suspension bridges and near breathtaking Brunswick Canyon. Tree to Tree Adventure Park—an aerial ropes course and guided zip-line park— features an aerial adventure ropes, zip line tours, dueling zip line racing, tree-top plunge and more.
Scenic Adventures
The Tualatin Valley Scenic Bikeway is a 50-mile excursion along rural roads and incorporates the 21-mile the Banks-Vernonia trail. Pedal along the countryside, stopping at farm stands, restaurants and quaint shops along the way. (This route is best explored by intermediate and advanced riders.)

If a driving tour is more your speed, take a late-summer journey along the Vineyard and Valley Scenic Tour Route, a 60-mile driving tour through the Tualatin Valley’s agricultural areas. Stop at a u-pick farm or farm stand to taste the fruits of the valley, dine in a quaint country diner, stop to see the livestock farms and learn a little pioneer history.

Family Fun
Traveling with little ones? The Tualatin Valley offers a wide assortment of indoor play spots that are sure to thrill all of the members of the family, from entertainment centers that feature rides and arcades to outdoor nature centers and museums. See some ideas here.
Fun on the River
Finally, take advantage of the warm weather with a relaxing paddle along the Tualatin River. No advance planning is necessary for a boat trip, as rentals are available on a drop-in, first-come, first-serve basis. The Tualatin Riverkeepers rents canoes and kayaks at Tigard’s Cook Park on weekends, and Alder Creek offers rentals at Brown’s Ferry Park, which rents canoes and single and tandem recreational kayaks.
For more inspiration, visit our website, tualatinvalley.org.
Find places to stay. | Create a personalized itinerary. | Find places to eat. | View the digital visitor guide.

Nature Passport: Tualatin River

Posted on: February 25th, 2015 by Jackie Luskey No Comments

tualatin river

Splish-splash, I was takin’ a…paddle! The Tualatin Valley’s landscape wouldn’t be complete without the water habitats of wetlands and rivers. Order a free copy of our Nature Passport—a complete guide of wildlife and outdoor attractions in the area—for information on the best river access points and the creatures you’ll encounter there.

The Tualatin River is a calming, yet driving force running throughout the length of the Tualatin Valley. The water trail is home to all sorts of local animals, including Great Blue Heron and Green Heron and Ospreys. It’s no wonder that these fish-eating birds hangout by the riverbed as so many cutthroat trout and steelhead swim under the river’s soft current.

Before modern roads were paved throughout the region, the Tualatin River use to carry steamboats full of local crops. While you won’t find a steamboat chugging along the river today, kayaks and canoes are a welcomed sight. In the summer months, the Tualatin Riverkeepers provide boat rentals out of Cook Park.  Through winter and spring, you can stop along the river’s picnic points for a peaceful lunch date. Share your picnic outing via the Winter Wonder Instagram Photo Contest!

For those planning ahead, pencil in these fantastic annual Tualatin River Events:

Tualatin River Bird Fest Paddle
May 16 | Bridge Boat Launch | 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. | free to $50

Tualatin River Discovery Day Paddle
June 27 | Tualatin Community Park | 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. | free to $30

A MidSummer Night Paddle
July 18 | Tualatin Community Park | 6 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. | $10 to $50

Fall Colors Paddle
October 3 | Browns Ferry Park | 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. | $10 to $50

Tualatin River’s Cook Park Entry Point
Location: 17005 SW 92nd Ave, Tigard, OR 97224
Phone: (503) 218-2580
Trail Hours: open year-round
Riverkeeper hours: July-September, Friday-Sunday from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Past Nature Passport Blog Posts:
Banks-Vernonia State Trail
Cook Park
Cooper Mountain Nature Park
Fernhill Wetlands
Jackson Bottom Wetlands Loop
L.L. “Stub” Stewart State Park
Magness Memorial Tree Farm
Rood Bridge Park
Tillamook State Forest
Tualatin Hills Nature Park and Interpretive Center

Order your Nature Passport and share your pictures with us on Twitter and Instagram. Tag your photos with the #tualatinvalley.

Kitschy Old World Themed Summer Events

Posted on: July 11th, 2014 by Jackie Luskey No Comments
Meet Maid Marian and her Court at the Sherwood Robinhood Festival.  photo: Robinhood Festival

Meet Maid Marian and her Court at the Sherwood Robinhood Festival.
photo: Robinhood Festival

From the “Game of Thrones” series to the Settlers of Catan board game, there seems to be a new wave for the old world. Here in the Tualatin Valley, experience multiple kitschy summer events that fully embrace the throwback to olden and mythical times.

Sherwood Robin Hood Festival
July 18-July 19 | all-day |Old Town Sherwood |free
Dress up like the heroic outlaw—or his fair maiden—during this 60-year old Sherwood tradition. This family friendly event includes a regal knighting ceremony, quick-fire castle building competitions, and the ever-popular International Archery Tournament.

Midsummer Night Paddle
July 19 | 5 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. |Tualatin Community Park |$10-$50
After a rousing day jousting and jesting at the Sherwood Robin Hood Festival, cap the evening with a romantic paddle down the meandering Tualatin River. With a nod to Shakespearean romance, keep an eye out for a mischievous Puck hiding in the lush flora—or you can just enjoy the serene wildlife watching.  

Oregon Renaissance Festival
August 16-September 21 | Saturdays & Sundays from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. |Washington County Fair Complex |$7.95-$15.95
Get ready to party like it’s the year 1499! Just a few minutes from the trendy restaurants and boutiques of Portland, you can transport yourself to a 16th century European village, complete with cackling witches, exhilarating duels and hearty food fit for a Medieval king.

Pietro’s Pizza
Year-round | Sunday-Thursday from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. and Friday-Saturday from 11 a.m. to midnight
If your historical daydreams have sea legs, then unleash your inner buccaneer at this pirate-themed mini-golf course and laser tag arena. The mix of blacklight and laser guns with swashbuckling pirates creates a near-steampunk atmosphere that’s easy to love.

After you’ve successfully binge-watched “Game of Thrones” and you need to quit Settlers of Catan before you and your loved ones get in an epic fight over lumber resources again, get out of the house and make a quick getaway to Oregon’s Washington County. We’ve got mystical and daring adventures in the flesh!

Find places to stay. | Create a personalized itinerary. | Find places to eat. | View the digital visitor guide.

Nature Passport: Cook Park

Posted on: May 21st, 2014 by Jackie Luskey No Comments
Relax in the gazebo at Cook Park, keeping an eye out for colorful birds, insects, and butterflies.

Relax in the gazebo at Cook Park, keeping an eye out for colorful birds, insects, and butterflies.

There are 727 square miles of outdoorsy wonders in Oregon’s Washington County and Cook Park occupies 79 glorious acres of them.  With so much land to cover in just one park, it’s hard to know where to start. Enter, the Nature Passport. Don’t let its handy, little size mislead you—this guide is jam-packed with useful information on Cook Park and other outdoor attractions.

How do you connect with nature? Whether it’s by a kayak ride, bird watching or frolicking in a butterfly garden, Cook Park has it. Adjacent to the Tualatin River Wetlands—a prime place to spot woodpeckers and owls—the Tupling Butterfly Garden is brimming with dozens of flowers to attract curious folks, hungry insects and fluttering butterflies. A quaint gazebo stands at one end as a restful spot to watch butterflies dance between lavender and black-eyed Susans.

If you can tear yourself away from the butterfly garden, then explore the other 2.5 miles of trails, which include the Ki-a-Kuts pedestrian and bicycle bridge. The bridge is named after the last chief of Atfalati Native American tribe, who held a deep connection to the Tualatin River. Today, the river is still much loved with canoe and kayak rentals available during the summer months from the Tualatin Riverkeepers.

While Cook Park makes for a lovely Sunday picnic, it’s just as wonderful for a merry jubilee. The Festival of Balloons is exactly that (June 20-22). Each day of the festival includes a 5:45 a.m. hot air balloon launch, creating a whimsical spectacle of hot air balloons gently swaying over the Tualatin Valley. Cook Park then transforms into a thriving carnival with crafts, games, car shows and even a beer garden!   

So, how will you connect with nature at Cook Park?

Cook Park
Location: 17005 SW 92nd Avenue, Tigard, OR 97224
Phone: (503) 718-2591
Hours: Dawn to dusk daily

Past Nature Passport Blog Post: Banks-Vernonia State Trail

Order your Nature Passport and share your pictures with us on Twitter and Instagram. Tag your photos with #WaCoNature.

Trail of the Week: Tualatin River Water Trail

Posted on: August 19th, 2013 by Jackie Luskey No Comments
Paddling the Tualatin River, you'll see Oregon's Washington County in a whole new way.

Paddling the Tualatin River, you’ll see Oregon’s Washington County in a whole new way.

Every trail has its peak season. Whether it’s catching the autumn change of oak trees or it’s simply the perfect temperature for hitting the trail, we all feel the seasons through the changing nature of the trails we use. Water trails are, of course, no exception. In the last days of summer, feeling the soft splash of the Tualatin River come off of a kayak or canoe oar is nothing short of delightful.

Instead of the usual tromp through the forest, paddle down the Tualatin River Water Trail. To make it easy, the Tualatin Riverkeepers’ affordable kayak and canoe rentals are stationed at Cook Park—but only through Labor Day!

Along the 40 mile stretch of the Tualatin River Water Trail, paddlers can find swimming deer, turtles, eagles, and even otters. Nature lovers can truly unwind and experience wildlife from a new angle.

As the river is a friendly one (and a life jacket is included with your boat rental), The Tualatin River Water Trail is the ideal first experience for new kayakers and canoeists. Simply paddle at your own place and enjoy the easy-breezy style of water trail travel. Kayaks, canoes, and lifejackets are available to rent from the Tualatin Riverkeepers through September 2, 2013. The Tualatin Riverkeepers are located at Cook Park (17005 SW 92nd Avenue, Tualatin, Oregon). Rental hours are Friday through Sundays (and Labor Day), 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Rental rates are $30 per canoe or tandem kayak, $20 per solo kayak. After four hours, there is an additional $10 charge per additional hour of use.

Fast Facts
Length: 40 miles, with various access points    
Type: kayaking, canoeing
Level: beginner
Map: Tualatin Riverkeepers Paddler Map

Tune into the next installment of Trail of the Week! We will be shifting gears, going from paddles to pedals. With the Inaugural Ride for the Tualatin Valley Scenic Bikeway less than a month away, we are thrilled to take some time to talk about how beautiful and fun this ride is. Can’t wait? Register for the Inaugural Ride now.

Did you catch our first Trail of the Week installment? Don’t miss out on the Fanno Creek Trail—it allows you to walk alongside the Tualatin River instead of paddling in it!

Migrate to the Tualatin River Bird Festival

Posted on: April 17th, 2013 by Guest Blogger No Comments

Meet an owl up close, discover blooming plants, enjoy live songs about toads and much more at the 2013 Tualatin River Bird Festival event Saturday, May 18.

A Refuge resident, photo by Kevin Welsh

The Tualatin River National Wildlife Refuge in Sherwood is hosting this annual medley of free activities celebrating wildlife and wild places. The action-packed day begins with walks from 5:30 to 11 a.m., guided by three staff from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Another option is a “Songbird Hike” from 7 to 9 a.m. by a naturalist from the Backyard Bird Shop. If you’d like to paddle through the Refuge, the Tualatin Riverkeepers are leading a canoe (or kayak) trip from 9 a.m. to noon (advance registration required). Or choose the “Birding 101″ guided walk from 9 to 10:30 a.m.

At 10 a.m. is the “Guided Nature Walk for Kids,” starring bugs, slugs, logs and more. From noon to 1 p.m., the Audubon presents its live bird show, featuring owls, falcons, vultures and more. Following their show on the main stage, the birds and their handlers will be “meeting and greeting” attendees.

The guided walks continue with “Native Plants” at 1 p.m., a family friendly “Discovery Stroll” at 2 p.m., and a “Twilight Talk & Walk” at 6:30 p.m.

Other unique offerings include a live guitar performance by Dave Orleans, who will sing about trees, toads and more, from 2 to 4 p.m. Then at 4 p.m. is the two-hour workshop, “Basic Point-and-Shoot Digital Photography.” This is the only festival event with a fee, which is $10, and requires advance registration.

The day’s ongoing offerings include:
– Kids crafts
– A miniature golf course depicting the lifecycle of salmon
– A scavenger hunt
– A wood carver in action
– Build a bird or bat house, or bee board
– Rod casting

In addition, the Refuge Wildlife Center and Nature’s Overlook store will both be open. Visit the Tualatin River Bird Festival site for all the day’s details.

A Closer Look At Our Cities: Tigard

Posted on: August 31st, 2012 by Sylke Neal-Finnegan No Comments

The Broadway Rose Theatre Company stages a slate of professional live musical theater productions season after season.

With a population of more than 48,000, the bedroom community of Tigard is located just south of Portland in southeastern Washington County.  It is home to the region’s premier tax-free shopping destinations, has a thriving community is devoted to the arts, and offers outdoor recreation opportunities.

Arts & Culture

Tigard is the proud home of the Broadway Rose Theatre Company, Washington County’s only award-winning professional musical theatre company. Each season, Broadway Rose produces a slate of musicals that range from well-known classics to world premieres.

Want a more hands-on experience? Main Street in downtown Tigard is home to two do-it-yourself shops. Blow your own glass masterpiece at Live Laugh Love Glass,  or blend your own wine at Tigard Wine Crafters.

Outdoor Recreation

Recreation is tops here, as Tigard’s Cook Park provides access to the Tualatin River, a calm waterway that is popular with kayakers and canoeists. During weekends through September, rent a canoe or kayak from the Tualatin Riverkeepers for a peaceful and leisurely paddle along the river.

Tax-Free Shopping

Tigard is home to some of the best known shopping brands, and boasts the state’s most beloved shopping centers.

Washington Square is Oregon and Southwest Washington’s premier shopping center with five anchor stores–including Macy’s, JC Penney, Sears, Dick’s Sporting Goods and Oregon’s largest Nordstrom–and more than 170 distinctive shops and restaurants.

Located in the border of Tigard and neighboring city of Tualatin is Bridgeport Village, a European-style outdoor shopping experience with a unique blend of upscale national and local retailers, restaurants, bookstore, spa, and a first-run, multiplex movie theater.  Just a couple blocks down the street is Stash Tea, a retail shop offering more than 200 premium loose-leaf teas, a variety of tea pots, customized gift baskets and other unique gifts.

From the arts to the art of shopping, Tigard provides visitors with many things to see and do. Add Tigard, as well as other cities, towns and attractions to your Oregon’s Washington County itinerary.