June 7, 2021 | By Tualatin Valley | No Comments

Trails for Hikers of Every Level

Hike at Cooper Mountain Nature Park in Beaverton in Oregon's Tualatin ValleyCooper Mountain Nature Park in Beaverton in Oregon’s Tualatin Valley

Ask any Oregonian what’s great about the state and they’ll likely say something about hiking. Tualatin Valley is no exception, with miles and miles of trails and open spaces to explore. Whether you’re looking for a causal walk outdoors or a serious hiking challenge, Tualatin Valley has trails for hikers of every level to get out and about and moving around.

Hikes for All Levels and Abilities

Nature Walks

If your idea of a “hike” is more like a walk in the park, we’ve got you covered with plenty of nature parks with accessible trails for all abilities. (Please note: Dogs are not permitted in Tualatin Valley’s nature parks)

Tualatin Hills Nature Center is a 222-acre wildlife preserve in Beaverton. The park has 1.5 miles of paved trails and 3.5 miles of soft-surface trails. Head there for an easy taste of nature and wildlife spotting.

Also in Beaverton, Cooper Mountain Nature Park offers visitors grand views of the Chehalem Mountains and features more than three miles of trails of varying difficulty through  a mosaic of distinct habitats: oak and madrone woodlands, native prairies, and conifer forests.

Farther west is the Fernhill Wetlands, a 600-acre safe haven for many creatures we love in the Pacific Northwest. There are 1.5 miles of trails and shelters for views of the wetlands, including an ADA-accessible Water Garden with a great view.

Outside the city of Banks is Killin Wetlands Nature Park. This park features 370 acres of lush habitat for flora and fauna alike and is a vibrant location for bird watching.

Long Treks 

The Banks-Vernonia State Trail is a 21-mile paved trail open to walkers, cyclists and horseback riders. The trail, which has spectacular views along the route, begins in the city of Banks and goes through forests and fields and over trestles and bridges to the small city Vernonia.

Another popular spot for longer hikes is Henry Hagg Lake in Gaston. This recreational area boasts nearly 15 miles of hiking trails, as well as water recreation, picnic and disc-golf offerings.

Challenging Hikes 

Kings Mountain in the Tillamook State Forest is a 5-mile round trip with 2,500-foot elevation gain. Experienced hikers would call this a “moderate” hike, but it is rugged with many switchbacks. If you’re up for the challenge, you’ll be rewarded with wildflower blooms in the spring, creek views and if you’re lucky — a peak at Mt. Hood in the distance.

For even more of a challenge, continue on for the Elk Mountain-Kings Mountain Loop. This makes a 10.8-mile trip with 3,700-foot gain that experienced hikers consider “very difficult.” The Kings Mountain summit is the high point with nice views, followed by a steep decline through the forest. Download map (PDF) of the Kings Mountain and Elk Mountain trails >>>

The Gales Creek Trail is another longer trail in the Tillamook State Forest that is more of a challenge for experienced hikers. The forest here was affected by the Tillamook Burn fires in the 1930s-1950s and has views of waterfalls and millions of trees.

Explore all the ways to get out and enjoy time away from home for hikers of every level.

More Ways to Explore Tualatin Valley

Scenic Driving Routes

Tualatin Valley is an ideal location for a road trip, and this destination makes an excellent home base for adventures throughout the region.

Cycling Trails & Routes

Tualatin Valley boasts many miles of bike paths, allowing for an exciting and invigorating day, weekend or week of discovery.

Tualatin Valley in Oregon
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