Explore the Great Outdoors on a Budget in Washington County, Oregon

Now that spring is officially here and the weather will soon be warm, we thought this would be a good time to share tips on exploring the many attractions found in nature here in Oregon’s Washington County.

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Hiking the great outdoors is just one of the many outdoor adventures you can find here in Oregon (and Camping, too!). Biking through the hundreds of miles of impressive trails and paths is also a great way to enjoy what our beautiful region has to offer.

Traveling on a budget?  No problem!  Some of our favorite attractions are under $10 per person and in many cases, free of charge. Article source: Washington County Visitors Association

Washington County boasts some of Oregon’s most scenic and lush natural spaces, making it a desirable year-round destination for nature walks, hikes and cycling adventures. Most of the area’s natural outdoor attractions are free of charge (donations may be suggested), making it one of the most affordable adventures available.

1. Tualatin River National Wildlife Refuge
The Tualatin River National Wildlife Refuge is one of only a handful of national urban refuges in the National Wildlife Refuge System, and is home to more than 200 species of indigenous and migrating birds, waterfowl and mammals.
(19255 SW Pacific Hwy, Sherwood, Ore.)
Admission is free (unless otherwise posted); complimentary parking. Bicycles and pets are not permitted. Open year-round: Trails open dawn until dusk; interpretive center open Tuesday-Sunday, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Closed Monday and major holidays.

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2. Jackson Bottom Wetlands (2600 Hillsboro Hwy., Hillsboro, Ore.)
Jackson Bottom Wetlands is a 725-acre wetlands preserve that is home to various species of birds, including bald eagles, egrets and red tail hawks, as well as a host of mammals. Trails meander through the preserve, allowing for exploration of the wetlands.
Admission is free (donation requested); complimentary parking. Bicycles and pets are not permitted. Open year-round: Trails open daily, dawn to dusk; interpretive center, daily, 10 a.m.-4 p.m.

3. Banks-Vernonia State Trail (Banks trailhead: Main St./Banks Road/Sellers Road, Banks, Ore.)
The scenic, 21-mile Banks-Vernonia State Trail connects the towns of Banks and Vernonia, and a portion runs through L.L. “Stub” Stewart State Park. The trail, part of the Rails-to-Trails conservancy program, is open to all non-motorized users, including horseback riders, bicyclists, walkers and hikers. Pets allowed and must be on a maximum 6-foot leash at all times.
Free to the public (unless otherwise posted); complimentary parking available at some trailheads
Open year-round, dawn until dusk

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4. Cooper Mountain Nature Park (18895 SW Kemmer Road, Beaverton, Ore.)
Cooper Mountain Nature Park is a 231-acre park with 3.5 miles of gravel hiking trails –plus a 3/4-mile loop designed for accessibility– that traverse through the park’s rare habitats and natural features. The park is open for hiking, walking and wildlife watching. A Nature House and demonstration garden also are located at the park.
Free to the public (unless otherwise posted); complimentary parking. Bicycles and pets are not permitted.
Open year-round, dawn until dusk

Oregon’s Washington County is scenically situated between Portland and the Oregon Coast. The destination covers 727 square miles and includes the growing communities of Banks, Beaverton, Cornelius, Forest Grove, Gaston, Hillsboro, King City, North Plains, Sherwood, Tigard, Tualatin and Wilsonville. Washington County is home to world-class golf courses, award-winning wineries, an array of outdoor recreation opportunities, lush, natural and scenic wetlands and wildlife preserves, superb dining, and myriad shopping.

photo credit: retsoced via photopin cc
photo credit: KTesh via photopin cc
photo credit: Matt.Picio via photopin cc

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