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.
- Hiking and Walking
This little neighborhood park consists of a forested area, some picnic tables, and a paved walkway that crosses the park and connects several streets in the neighborhood. There is a really nice bridge over a creek that attracts ducks and geese.
One small area of the park is set aside as a Camas preserve, in an effort to provide habitat for this native plant.
On one end of the park is the Waterhouse Rose Garden (across Foxborough Circle from Waterhouse Park) and at the other end is the Waterhouse Powerline Park. The only true public entrance from the street to this park is from the Foxborough Circle end of the park, but it is possible to follow some paved trails through some appartment complexes. Really, it is best if you come from the Waterhouse Powerline Park or from Foxborough Circle.
Through Waterhouse Powerline Park and the Willow Creek Nature Park complex the paved trails go all the way to 173rd Avenue.
- Hiking and Walking
From the intersection of Waterhouse Avenue and 158th Avenue westward all the way to 173rd Avenue there is a series of parks united by a single trail. Much of the trail is on elevated walkway due to high water in the wet season.
Many of the elevated walkways are a somewhat creative design that puts one of the railings quite low so that it functions as a long bench along one side of the walkway. There are a few scattered traditional benches as well.
From east to west, these parks are: Willow Creek Nature Park, the very north end of Waterhouse Powerline Park, Willow Creek Park, Winthrop Park, and Appolo Ridge Park. At least, according to one map I have that is what they are called. Looking at the signs in the parks, there are some that are completely unmarked, while the far west end of the trail at 173rd is called "Winthrop Bike Path at Willow Creek Nature Park" on the sign at its entrance.
No matter what they are called, the parks are a nice addition to an otherwise bland suburban area, and it is wonderful to have this small wilderness preserve in the area.
However, the parks have little to interest those who are looking for good tourist attractions. It is a good diversion for a time, and maybe you will see some of the rather shy birds that live here - though even those tend to be fairly common backyard types. It is a nice diversion for those looking for a walk, but if you are really interested in taking a walk through a suburban wildlife preserve you are better off visiting the Tualatin Hills Nature Center.
Through Waterhouse Powerline Park the paved path also connects to Waterhouse Park and eventually the Waterhouse Rose Garden, but those are more cultivated type parks.
- Hiking and Walking
From 158th Avenue, go west on Blueridge Drive to NW Foxborough Circle, and turn south. If you watch carefully you will come to this tiny park, which is owned by the Tualatin Hills Parks & Recreation District. It is most likely the smallest dedicated rose garden owned by a parks district in the Portland area. The park is crammed between two houses on the north side of the street.
There is a simple loop bark dust trail, with a paved walkway that runs between Foxborough Circle and Blueridge, and enters Blueridge more or less at the intersection with Altishin Place.
On the other side of Foxborough the paved pathway continues into Waterhouse Park. Photo 5 is a view of this little Rose Garden from the pathway in Waterhouse Park.
Facilities in this small park are not particularly complicated. Other than the rose bushes and well maintained grass, there isn't much here.
- Hiking and Walking
Center street park and the wetlands area that is maintained as part of the park were separated during a housing construction project in 2003. As part of this project, the wetlands area was given two trails and slightly better access for the general public, through primarily the trails serve to connect the new housing development and Center Street Park to Center Street.
The trail on the west side of the wetlands area is paved, but it is low enough to the ground that during the wet season the water overflows onto the trail and it is covered in about 1 inch of water.
The trail on the east side of the wetlands has a small bridge, and as it is somewhat higher in elevation doesn't flood. Also, the trail on the east side has lighting so that it can be walked at any time of the day or night. The trail on the west side of the wetlands does not have lighting other than provided by the night sky (due to the surrounding city, it isn't extremely dark, but it is dark).
The wetlands are home to a few ducks and sometimes other animals, and the trees that were planted are slowly growing to provide a habitat for various other creatures.
A brick plaza of sorts at the intersection of Center street and SW 117th Avenue provides and entryway of sorts to the wetlands.
For a time, I knew the people that lived in the house that is the second from the left in photo #4, and photo #5 is taken from the back of their house. (They have since moved to Texas.) The wetlands will eventually provide a wonderful backyard environment, and keep out some of the traffic and other noise that enters the new neighborhood.
There are no benches or other features here that would attract people to stay or visit often. There is a small area of mowed grass around the plaza, but it really isn't a good place to stay for any length of time due to the traffic noise from Center Street (which can be fairly busy).
The area is administered by the Tualatin Hills Parks and Recreation District
North of Highway 26, the environment is decidedly more rural, though more and more residential housing is being built every year. Most likely, within a few years this area will soon resemble the crowded residential and commercial areas south of highway 26.
This little park consists of a pathway that runs along NW Cedar Hills Blvd., and has two bridges that cross this busy road at opportune times.
There are wide spots in the park that are used for a location for benches and one piece of playground equipment.
Other than serving as a stopover point for those headed elsewhere (and not even really that good at that as there are no rest rooms here), and maybe providing a small area for young children to run around, the park has little of interest for most travelers.
These photos were taken in very early 2005.
- Family Travel
If you like to read, you have to go to the Book Corner. This shop takes in donations of books to sell. Prices are set at USD1 for a hardback, 50 cents for a paperback. The shop is in an old home which has several rooms to peruse. If you are like me, you will walk out with a stack of books!
The shop is located next to a lovely city park and across from the location of the Beaverton Farmer's Market. (I will get the exact address and add here later). Be sure to say hello to Nancy!