Blog, Outdoor Adventures

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

Mar 22, 2013

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

Oregon Beverage Tasting for Under $10 per person

Feb 28, 2013

It is a little known secret that you don’t have to spend a large sum of money to enjoy the many attractions when you travel to Oregon’s Washington County. In fact, many of our favorite attractions are either free or under $10 per person. In a series of posts, we will share some smart recommendations provided by Washington County Visitors Association for the budget conscious travelers.

This month, we will share tips to explore Oregon’s Washington County wine country for less than $10 per person! Wine, saké and beer enthusiasts on a budget may venture to specialty beverage makers in Washington County for a day of sampling.

Wine Tasting

Here are a few suggestions to get you started (Prices subject to change):

Helvetia Vineyards  (23269 NW Yungen Road, Hillsboro, Ore.)
Helvetia Vineyards was started by former U.S. Congresswoman Elizabeth Furse (1993-1999) and husband John Platt, located in the rural, unincorporated area of Helvetia. The winery, which has been producing wine since 1996, follows sustainable practices—it is a “salmon safe” farm—and produces Pinot Noir and Pinot Gris.
Tasting fee: $3 per person 
Open Saturday and Sunday, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.

SakéOne (820 Elm St., Forest Grove, Ore.)
The American owned-and-operated saké brewery, SakéOne, produces traditional, premium-grade Japanese saké, plus organic and flavor-infused blends. At the brewery, visitors can tour the kura where each step of the saké-making process is explained, and sip a selection of saké in the tasting room.
$3 per person (Kura flight of four saké tastes); Kura tours are complimentary
Open daily, 11 a.m. – 5 p.m.; Kura tours 1, 2 and 3 p.m.

Two Kilts Brewing Company (14841 SW Tualatin-Sherwood Road, Sherwood, Ore.)
The latest introduction to Oregon’s “beervana” culture is Two Kilts Brewing Company. The company was founded in 2009 and the tasting room opened its doors in 2011. In its short time, Two Kilts has amassed a following and praise from local beer enthusiasts with their India Pale Ale, Scotch Ale and other brews made with local ingredients.
$4 per pint, tastes from $1
Open Monday-Saturday, 3-10 p.m.

For more ideas with a broader price range, download this Wine Tour Itinerary 

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. For more information, visit the Washington County Visitors Association’s official destination website or visit the online pressroom.

photo credit: Vincent Ma via photopin cc

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