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Commonwealth Lake Loop Hike

From Oregon Hikers Field Guide

A gull lords it over Commonwealth Lake (bobcat)
American wigeons grazing at Commonwealth Lake (bobcat)
American coot at Commonwealth Lake (bobcat)
Douglas-fir woodland bordering Foothills Park (bobcat)
The hike shown in red; road route shown in orange (bobcat)
  • Start point: Butner Road TrailheadRoad.JPG
  • End Point: Foothills Park
  • Trail Log:
  • Hike Type: Loop
  • Distance: 1.7 miles round-trip
  • Elevation gain: 75 feet
  • High Point: 260 feet
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Seasons: All year
  • Family Friendly: Yes
  • Backpackable: No
  • Crowded: Sometimes



This park is an oasis of tranquillity just off busy Highway 26. Many waterfowl congregate here in the winter (See the link under the "Maps" subheading below for a map of the park).

From the trailhead, head down to the lake on a paved trail across a lawn. Go right and follow the trail around the willow (yellow twigs in winter) and red-osier dogwood (red twigs) lined shore. There’a a viewing platform here and Johnson Creek flows along a ditch to the right through a wetland. A great blue heron might be poised patiently at the shoreline. In winter, there are waterfowl galore on the lake itself: domestic ducks and geese, many hybrids, mallards, wigeons, coots, and buffleheads. Pass some oak trees and cross the outlet from the lake to the creek on a footbridge. There's a playground and soccer field at the western end of the lake. Now head back along the south shore. Homes line the park lawns to the right. Come to a large viewing platform with a bird identification chart. Go over a creek and head up a paved path to Huntington Avenue.

To extend the walk, cross the street and find a path leading into Foothills Park on the north side of Foothills Creek. There’s a port-a-potty by the street here. Walk under a large oak. Alders, willows, blackberry, and Douglas-firs form a thicket. Head across a basketball court and enter Douglas-fir woods. Non-native ivy, laurel and holly also find a home here. Come out in an open area on a barkchip path and take a paved right-of-way between homes to Alcott Avenue. To make a loop on residential streets, go right to Foothill Drive, turn right here and walk along a very suburban street. At the next junction, go right and swing above Foothills Park until you reach Huntington. Go right and then left down into Commonwealth Lake Park. Pass a spring on the right, cross a footbridge over a slimy creek, and head back to parking.

Fees, Regulations, etc.

  • Keep dogs on leash


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.