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Posts Tagged ‘Tualatin Riverkeepers’

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 Angie Marsh 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.


Kayaking and Canoeing: No Reservations Required

Posted on: August 1st, 2012 by Angie Marsh 2 Comments

The Tualatin River provides cool and calming recreational opportunities–especially in the summertime. Best of all, no advance planning is necessary for a boat trip, as rentals are available on a drop-in, first-come, first-serve basis at two different locations within Washington County.

The Tualatin Riverkeepers have a colorful assortment of cool kayaks (funded, in part, by a WCVA tourism grant)

The Tualatin Riverkeepers are renting canoes and kayaks at Tigard’s Cook Park boat launch on Saturdays and Sundays through September, with no reservations required. Cost is $30 for up to four hours, with each additional hour $10, and includes life vests. Choose which block of time you’d like to paddle the scenic waterways; rental hours are 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. both days.

For expanded options, check out Alder Creek’s Tualatin rental location, also on the Tualatin River, but in Browns Ferry Park. Canoes and single and tandem recreational kayaks are available for rental Wednesdays through Friday from noon to 7 p.m.; and Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.–through Labor Day weekend (continuing on weekends only Sept. 8-9 and 15-16, 2012). Cost is $20 for two hours, $25 for four hours and $40 for all day.

If you’re looking for more guidance along the waterway, Tualatin Riverkeepers also has two upcoming paddle events. Family Paddle Day is Saturday, Aug. 11 at Cook Park, and offers two-hour guided canoe trips complete with a shuttle. On Sunday, Aug. 26 they’re offering a Westside Family Paddle Trip at Rood Bridge Park in Hillsboro. Both of these events require reservations. Happy paddling!



Tualatin Riverfront Music Festival

Posted on: August 29th, 2011 by Angie Marsh No Comments
The third annual Tualatin Riverfront Music Festival is Saturday, Sept. 10–and is sure to rock. Legendary soul diva Linda Hornbuckle is the headliner, and is a performer with a strong set of lungs and a fierce and friendly stage presence, as I’ve observed in person. Here’s a sample:

The Festival also features performances by jazz piano trio The Originals and singer-songwriter Tyler Stenson. To accompany the music, there will be food, beer from Max’s Fanno Creek Brew Pub, as well as a selection of wines available for purchase.
And it wouldn’t be a riverfront festival without the option to enjoy the river; kayaks will be available for rent for $5. Families can also enjoy an assortment of nature activities. All this fun takes place from 3 to 8 p.m. at Tualatin Community Park, and admission is $5 with ages 15 and younger free. Proceeds from the event benefit the Tualatin Riverkeepers in their effort to protect and restore the Tualatin River. More information or reply to the event invite on Facebook titled “Tualatin Riverfront Music Festival with Linda Hornbuckle.”

Newfound Paradise: Paddlin’ Down the Tualatin River

Posted on: August 10th, 2010 by Sylke Neal-Finnegan 2 Comments
The Tualatin Riverkeepers have a colorful assortment of cool kayaks (funded, in part, by a WCVA tourism grant)

We were riding in style in the colorful kayaks provided by the Tualatin Riverkeepers (which were funded, in part, by a WCVA tourism grant).

Over the weekend, the Washington County Visitors Association (WCVA) threw a summer social at Tualatin Community Park, located in the heart of downtown Tualatin (and one of the locations of this week’s Crawfish Festival). It was an ideal summer day in Oregon, and a perfect Saturday to take a leisurely trip down the serene Tualatin River.

With some quick instruction and guidance from the fine volunteers of the Tualatin Riverkeepers, and after being suited up with life jackets, my daughter and I –and the rest of the guests at the summer social– set out in the kayaks for an hour-long paddle trip down the Tualatin River.

The quiet calm of the river was amazing. Trees flanked both sides of the river, and the only clues that we were in a suburban area were the occasional overpasses we floated under, which also served as makeshift habitats for nesting birds who make the river their home.

Along our slow journey, we passed a young man and his brother fishing, presumably for the largemouth bass that thrive in the Tualatin. Other folks enjoying the river passed us slow-poke kayakers on their kayaks and canoes, each sharing a smile and saying a pleasant “hello” as they paddled past us.

It wasn’t just river dwellers of the human variety that were enjoying the Tualatin River that day. Plenty of birds were enjoying the sunny, cool afternoon. Wood ducks, green heron and other birds indigenous to the area were swimming and flying alongside the kayaks, with some stopping for a quick bite to eat.  Although we didn’t see any river otters or beavers during our excursion, we did see evidence that at least one beaver makes the river its home.  Sue, one of the fabulous guides from the Riverkeepers, found a recently gnawed piece of bark floating downstream, an artifact left behind by a busy beaver.

Why I waited three years to try kayaking down the Tualatin River, I don’t know. What I do know, however, is that I can’t wait to get back out on the river and spend another lazy Saturday with the birds and beavers.

Read more about the Tualatin Riverkeepers and their mission to protect Oregon’s Tualatin River system.