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Rock Creek Greenway Hike

From Oregon Hikers Field Guide

End of the trail, Rock Creek Greenway (bobcat)
A gaggle of geese, Bethany Lake (bobcat)
Springville Creek, Rock Creek Greenway (bobcat)
Where cattle once grazed, Rock Creek Greenway and Waterhouse Linear Park (bobcat)
Muddy trail in Kaiser Woods Natural Area (bobcat)
The Rock Creek Greenway from west to east (not a GPS track) (bobcat) Courtesy: Google Maps

Contents

Description

The paved trails along this powerline corridor provide excellent walking, biking, and jogging opportunities. A series of wetlands along the trail, beginning with Bethany Lake and going east, give shelter to numerous species of birds and mammals such as beaver, nutria, muskrat, and coyote. The loop on the east end of the hike goes through the natural forest of Kaiser Woods. While the entire hike is under powerlines, the first part described involves soccer fields and a golf course, so those seeking a more natural experience should begin at Bethany Lake and hike east, making the trip 2.6 miles shorter.

From the Rock Creek Powerlines Park (now Rock Creek Powerlines Soccer Fields), take the paved trail alongside a hedge of Armenian blackberry. To the right, you will pass four soccer fields under the wide powerline corridor. Pass through a fenceline and enter the private golf course of the Rock Creek Country Club. As a visitor, you must keep to the narrow tarmac trail here and make way for golf carts! Pass a pond of recycled waste water on the right and then drop downhill. Cross Neahkanie Avenue and then the entrance road to the Country Club Condominiums.

Enter Bethany Lake Park, walking past a thicket of lichen-draped ash trees to the left and getting views of the lake below. The trail swings right to pass a wetland of ash, rose, osier dogwood, and snowberry. Rock Creek runs next to the trail. Cross a footbridge over the creek and pass a spur trail leading right. The trail now runs along the south shore of the lake, in places festooned with clumps of wild rose and spiraea. Rather tame geese and ducks often graze on the lawns here and, especially in winter, they can be supplemented by wilder kin. See a community garden to the right and reach the Bethany Lake Trailhead.

Cross 185th Avenue and enter the recently paved trail section through Allenbach Acres Park. The trail drops gradually to a footbridge over a wetland. Cross West Union Road and go right on the sidewalk until you find the trail heading along the Rock Creek Greenway above a wetland.

A spur trail along a substantial boardwalk leads left to Reindeer Drive. Also notice the occasional remnants of farm fences all along these wetlands, the course of Springville Creek. To the right is a thicket of blackberry. Cross a short boardwalk over a small creek and head gradually up. At a four-way junction with the Waterhouse Linear Park and a north-south powerline corridor, get a good view of the Tualatin Hills to the east. New housing developments crowd the closest hilltops. Keep straight, passing above the Pirate Playground and then a wetland shaded by ash trees. Notice some large oaks in this valley bottom as well. Keep hiking along Springville Creek, now forested with ash, big-leaf maple, and Douglas-fir. The trail rises to Bethany Meadows Park and you cross Kaiser Road.

This newly paved section of the Rock Creek Greenway crosses NW Kyle Place through split-rail fences and drops to a junction with an unpaved track and another powerline corridor: this is the junction you will return to in order to access Kaiser Woods. Keep straight for now and head through a thicket of hawthorn, wild rose, ash, and snowberry. Cross Skycrest Parkway and walk one block to a fence and the end of the trail. The vista you get here of pastures and woodland gives a hint of what the landscapes you just walked across used to ressemble just a couple of decades ago.

Turn away from the pastoral scene and walk back to the junction with the unpaved track. Walk down to cross the creek and then head up alongside a pocket of natural forest. Take the first footpath leading into these woods of Douglas-fir, western red-cedar, red alder, Oregon ash, and big-leaf maple. Trillium, violet, and other spring wildflowers adorn the forest floor in the spring. Keep right at a junction and head around the perimeter, passing an entrance sign to Kaiser Woods Park at 145th Place. Along the north side of this tract, the trail crosses a footbridge and reaches a junction. Go right down into a gully and cross another footbridge to hike above a Douglas-fir/maple shaded Springville Creek in a powerline corridor. Now on a narrow chip path, pass a dead end street and reach Snowlily Drive. Across this street a gravel path leads a couple of blocks to private property. Walk left down Snowlily to Kaiser Road and go left to pick up the Greenway Trail and head back the way you came.


Fees, Regulations, etc.

  • Trails open dawn to dusk
  • Stay on trail in Rock Creek Country Club section
  • Port-a-potties at trailheads
  • Keep dogs on leash

Maps

Trip Reports

Related Discussions / Q&A

Guidebooks that cover this hike

Wild in the City: Exploring the Intertwine edited by Michael C. Houck and M.J. Cody


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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.