Tualatin Hills Nature Park

Visit Date: November 24, 2018

We’ve had plenty of Portland area winter rain this past week so we had itchy feet to get out and walk a bit. For a change of pace we headed over to the Tualatin Hills Nature Park off Millikan Way west of Murray Blvd in Beaverton. 

Tualatin Hills Nature Park entrance
Tualatin Hills Nature Park entrance

Carl and I are big fans of the Tualatin Hills Park and Recreation District. The Portland area in general does a good job of setting aside ample space for parks and nature areas. THPRD does its part on the west side of town. We have a THPRD greenway behind our house where Summer Creek flows.

The nature park has three main trails: the Vine Maple Trail runs through the middle of the park, the Big Fir Trail is on the south and the Oak Trail runs more north.

We started out the Big Fir Trail and took most of the loops off the trail. When finished, we heade up the Oak Trail and the Old Wagon Trail loop. I grabbed some picture – of course – with my Sony 55mm f/1.8 prime lens. Normally I’d take something with a wider aperture – like my 24-105mm zoom but I wanted to play around with the prime. I definitely had to adjust my perspective a few times since I couldn’t pull back to 24mm. Anyway, here are some shots.

Big Fir Trail. Tualatin Hills Nature Park.

In addition to getting some landscape photos I wanted to emphasize some of the late Fall color contrasts.

Tualatin Hills Nature Park. Beaverton, OR

This tree was covered with different shades of green. It was interesting contrast with the orange around it.

Tualatin Hills Nature Park. Beaverton, OR

Even though the area had been soaked with rain the paths were not muddy at all – they are very well maintained.

Side loop off the Big Fir trail at Tualatin Hills Nature Park. Beaverton, OR

I wanted to see what the blurred background would look like with a low/wide open aperture.

Tualatin Hills Nature Park. Beaverton, OR

Toward the end of the Big Fir Trail we saw the namesake trees across a meadow. Did I mention it was a foggy morning?

Big firs on the Big Fir Trail. Tualatin Hills Nature Park

I love ferns. Growing up in the desert I didn’t see many. Now tumbleweeds and Joshua trees we had in abundance. I love the ferns here.

Ferns at the Tualatin Hills Nature Park. Beaverton, OR

Another opportunity to capture the contrast of yellow and green. Go Ducks! 🙂

Tualatin Hills Nature Park. Beaverton, OR

And another close up with a creamy Fall background.

Tualatin Hills Nature Park. Beaverton, OR

Over the years the trees that go down become a home for all sorts of plant life.

Tualatin Hills Nature Park. Beaverton, OR

We logged around 9,000 steps and had a fun time sight-seeing in this park we hadn’t visited for a few years. It seems like it would be a nice place to go even in a light rain as the tree canopy would help serve as an umbrella.

If you live on the Portland West Side I think you’ll like the park. A couple of the trails – Vine Maple for sure – are made of asphalt, don’t have big inclines and are wheel chair accessible.

If you are visiting Portland this is a nice easy hike that won’t take up too much of a day. But if you want to spend a day hiking and don’t mind elevation gains, try Portland’s Forest Park. 

And for a real fun day, take the 4T loop; it is a trip around the west side of Portland on the Train, Trail, Tram,  and Trolley (Portland Streetcar). I wrote about it a few years ago here.

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