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Cook and Durham City Parks Hike

From Oregon Hikers Field Guide

Wetland, Thomas Dairy property (bobcat)
Fanno Creek, Durham City Park (bobcat)
Geese and ducks on the Tualatin River, Cook Park (bobcat)
Alley of grand firs, Tigard Greenway (bobcat)
Rising mists, Thomas Dairy property (bobcat)
Trails in Cook and Durham City Parks (bobcat)
  • Start point: Cook Park TrailheadRoad.JPG
  • End Point: Durham City Park Trailhead
  • Trail Log:
  • Hike Type: In and outs and loop
  • Distance: 5.7 miles
  • Elevation gain: 180 feet
  • High Point: 190 feet
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Seasons: All year
  • Family Friendly: Yes
  • Backpackable: No
  • Crowded: Sometimes

Contents

Description

There are various trails to explore in this southern part of Tigard along the Tualatin River. Cook Park itself is a full-amenity park with trails past wetlands and through the forested riparian corridor; Tigard's Clean Water Services offers paths across the meadows and wetlands of its Thomas Dairy property; the Tigard Greenway runs west from Cook Park along the Tualatin; and Durham City Park has short loops near Fanno Creek's confluence with the river. You can also connect to Tualatin Community Park across a large footbridge. At high water times, some of the trails might be soggy or underwater. Ponds, river and wetlands support a large number of waterfowl in the winter and, early in the morning, it is not unusual to come across coyotes patrolling the trails. Cook Park itself is host to many events, including the Festival of Balloons in June, so time your visit to either avoid or coincide with these.

Head past the restrooms, which display a colorful map on one wall, and then the Nicolai Playing Fields. Go left near the play structures to hike along a paved trail on the edge odf a restored prairie that was once part of the Thomas Dairy. Look for herons and other wetland birds in this area. The trail heads uphill past a large and beautiful oak to a parking circle at the Thomas Dairy Trailhead, a quieter and alternative entry point to the trails of the area.

Return to the play area and go left to pick up a gravel trail through a short stretch of oak, ponderosa pine and big-leaf maple woods. Reach a covered picnic shelter with a view of a pond floating with ducks and go right past the Butterfly Garden. Keeping to the paved trail, bend left along the Tualatin River, passing Douglas-fir, cedar and oak plantings on the right and a large prairie area being restored by Clean Water Services on the left. There are more ponderosa plantings on the right. Reach a railroad trestle and go left. There’s another pond to the left and then the path passes under the trestle and gets to a junction. Durham City Park is left and Tualatin Community Park is right across a large, relatively new (2006), Ki-a-Kuts cycling/pedestrian bridge over the Tualatin.

Go left from the junction for Durham City Park. At the first junction, take a paved trail through a grassy area shaded by oaks and big-leaf maples; this area can get flooded in the winter and spring. Cross Fanno Creek on a footbridge and then head uphill to the Durham City Park Trailhead. Return over the footbridge and bear right to join the main trail paralleling the railroad. There are plantings of sedge and lupine on the left and a hawthorn thicket on the right. At a junction, keep straight to begin a short loop (There’s a gated road left to Clean Water Services). The trail narrows and twists up through a relic woodland of red-cedar, Douglas-fir, grand fir, and big-leaf maple. Then the track makes a sharp descent to a bend in Fanno Creek; this area dominated by white alders. The trail returns on the level through the hawthorn thicket to the beginning of the loop.

Return to Cook Park, and go left on a chip trail into the woods. When the riverside area is not flooded, you can drop down from here to river level and then up to the grassy picnic area, which always seems to host a flock of mallards and tame geese as well as American wigeons. In the wet season, you have to go around by the access road. Watch the birds at the picnic area (The road to here is gated in the winter), and then head into the woods at a bend in the river to follow a chip trail until it reaches a paved trail at the access road.

A paved trail peels off to left to pass playing fields and then heads up the river as the Tigard Greenway. Pass through a grassy off-leash area. Foot trails lead off to the left into the woods of cedar, alder, maple, grand fir and Douglas-fir paralleling the river. The trail continues until it makes a sharp bend to rise steeply to the junction with 108th Avenue and Tualatin Drive. From the Tigard Greenway Trailhead here, you can choose the more natural experience and return the way you came, or go right to imbibe a slice of suburbia and wend your way back to Cook Park on city streets (There are three more access points down to the Greenway: off Bonanza Way, Riverwood Lane and at Riverwood and Greenland Drive. Turn left at Copper Creek Drive. After one block, go right on Millen Drive and keep straight to S.W. 92nd Avenue, where you go right for a speedy downhill past the historic Quillen House to Cook Park.).

Fees, Regulations, etc.

  • Dogs on leash
  • Parks open dawn to dusk
  • Be prepared for seasonal flooding

Maps


Trip Reports

Related Discussions / Q&A

Guidebooks that cover this hike

  • Exploring the Tualatin River Basin by Tualatin Riverkeepers
  • Wild in the City: Exploring the Intertwine edited by Michael C. Houck and M.J. Cody
  • Walk There! 50 Treks In and Around Portland and Vancouver edited by Laura O. Foster (partial coverage)
  • Off-Street Paved Bike Paths in Oregon by Rick Bronson

More Links

Page Contributors

Oregon Hikers Field Guide is built as a collaborative effort by its user community. While we make every effort to fact-check, information found here should be considered anecdotal. You should cross-check against other references before planning a hike. Trail routing and conditions are subject to change. Please contact us if you notice errors on this page.

Hiking is a potentially risky activity, and the entire risk for users of this field guide is assumed by the user, and in no event shall Trailkeepers of Oregon be liable for any injury or damages suffered as a result of relying on content in this field guide. All content posted on the field guide becomes the property of Trailkeepers of Oregon, and may not be used without permission.