Waterhouse Powerline Park
Just to the west of downtown Beaverton a powerline corridor stretches across Washington County. In a number of places, this powerline corridor has been converted into park land, and Waterhouse Powerline Park is one of those locations. The park runs north of Walker Road, across Blueridge Drive and all the way past Mission Oaks Drive and to Willow Creek.
The north end of the park has a small wilderness area (which is basically part of the Willow Creek Nature Park complex), and there is a soccer field on the north side of Mission Oaks Drive between the road and the wilderness area.
Further south, but before the park hits Walker Road, there is a branch trail that leads through an appartment complex and eventually ties the park to Waterhouse Park.
The rest of the park is almost completely void of anything except grass and a very few very small trees.
There is a paved pathway that connects this park with Walker Road, with a branch to Waterhouse Park proper and continues north into the Willow Creek Nature Park complex.
It could be an interesting place for group games, but other than that this park doesn't have too much of interest in it.
Thanksgiving Day 2007, Tualatin Hills Nature Park
This collection of photos was put here in order to provide yet more interesting views of the Tualatin Hills Nature Park as the tourist tip for the park only allows five photos. All of these photos were taken on Thanksgiving Day 2007 (November 22), which was clear and wonderful weather for taking photos in this park.
Late in the day, we came across a Great Blue Heron that was perched on this tree that had blown down in the last big wind storm. I had seen Great Blue Herons before, but never one perched on a tree like this one decided to do.
"Leaving Nature the Way it Wants to Be"
As much as practical, trees and bushes were left in their natural given place when the trails were built. This means that in some places the bridges over swampy areas take whatever space was left for them, rather than going in a straight line. Note that in the photo the bridge goes around the tree that was already there, rather than cut it down and make bridge construction much easier.
"The Art of Nature: The Root Ball"
I'm not sure if the trail goes past this root ball in the northwestern corner of the park intentionally, or if by accident. It allows visitors a great up close look at the structure of a tree, and appreciate the "natural art" of how these roots look.
Many such opportunities exist in this park. Most of them are out here in the outdoors section of the park, but there are a few interesting things (particularly for kids or others just learning about local ecology) inside the nature center also, so if you fall into those categories it might be interesting to make sure to stop by when they are open.
"Signs Even the Smallest of Children can Read"
No matter how tall or short you are, you should be able to read many of the signs in the nature park. They were built at a level to allow even the smallest child to be able to read them.
There are a few that are placed higher up, but many are like the ones shown here, where even a rabbit could read them (should a rabbit choose to stop and read it!).
"Placed Rocks with Carvings"
Some of the rocks placed in the park have carvings in them, but many of them require a very observant eye to notice. Some of them you will only notice if the light is coming through the trees at just the right angle.
"Welcome to the Park!"
This very intricately carved sign that welcomes visitors to the park is a piece of art in and of itself.
"Merlo Road MAX Station"
MAX light rail trains run along the northern edge of the Tualatin Hills Nature Park, and the paved east-west trail in the park allows visitors to easily get to MAX. The other side of the park is also located reasonably close to the Beaverton Creek MAX station.
"Where are the Toilets?"
The building in the center of this photograph is where the "Bathrooms" "rest rooms" "lavatories" "toilets" or whatever it is you want to call them are located. The nature center itself (located to the left in this photo and only partially visible) was closed on this national holliday, but the bathrooms seem to be open any time the park is open: unlike certain other parks, I have never come here to find the toilet rooms locked for the season.
Water coming out of the drinking fountain on this particular day was quite warm, suggesting to me that there is an anti-freeze protection system on the water lines that keeps the water well above temperatures that would cause it to freeze.
For instructions on how to get to the park, see the Tualatin Hills Nature Park tip.