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Lowami Hart Woods Loop Hike

From Oregon Hikers Field Guide

Footbridge, South Johnson Creek, Lowami Hart Woods Natural Area (bobcat)
On the Madrone Loop, Lowami Hart Woods Natural Area (bobcat)
Yellowing vine maple, Lowami Hart Woods Natural Area (bobcat)
Phantom orchid (Cephalanthera austiniae), Lowami Hart Woods Natural Area (bobcat)
Trails around Lowami Hart Woods Natural Area (not a GPS track) (bobcat) Courtesy: Google Maps
  • Start point: Hart Road TrailheadRoad.JPG
  • End Point: Barcelona Way Trailhead
  • Trail Log:
  • Hike Type: Three short loops
  • Distance: 1.1 miles
  • Elevation gain: 140 feet
  • High Point: 255 feet
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Seasons: All year
  • Family Friendly: Yes
  • Backpackable: No
  • Crowded: No



From 1956 to 1994, young participants Camp Fire Columbia used this block of forested land as a day camp during their outdoor school. The 28-acre site then became a park under the aegis of the Tualatin Hills Park and Recreation District. The park remained mostly undeveloped and a network of user trails laced the interior, often disturbing sensitive wetlands. Beginning in 2012, THPRD worked on building an official system of trails that avoid the wetlands west of South Johnson Creek, which runs through the middle of the park. Tall Douglas-firs shade an understory of vine maple, which puts on a brilliant display in the fall. The park also shelters several specimens of Western wahoo (spindle tree or burning bush) (Eounymus occidentalis).

Look at the map on the information board before beginning this loop walk. Take the universal access Fir Tree Loop, which leads off behind the restroom, and enter an understory of hazel, elderberry and sword fern under tall Douglas-firs. Pass an overlook platform, which offers a very limited view towards South Johnson Creek and the trailless area of the park. Then, at a junction, go right on the Snowberry Trail to descend the slope to the junction with the South Johnson Creek Trail at a bench and a large, woodpecker-perforated Douglas-fir.

Go left here for a few yards, and then turn left onto a pea gravel trail that loops up to cross a footbridge and reach the paved South Johnson Creek Trail. Go right to descend the latter trail, crossing a footbridge and passing two junctions to reach the “gathering area,” where Camp Fire Columbia girls made a fires and sang songs for almost 40 years. A flagpole and sign are memories to that time. Cross the wide footbridge over South Johnson Creek, and take a left on the gravel Madrone Loop Trail.

This trail parallels the west bank of South Johnson Creek and then loops up the slope under a relic stand of Oregon white oak. The woodland on this upper slope has been thinned and there are many downed trees, but among them are a number of Pacific madrones reaching up into the canopy. The Madrone Loop then drops to the South Johnson Creek Trail where it reaches a split-rail fence. From here, a gravel trail leads out of the park between homes to the Barcelona Way Trailhead.

Return to the junction with Madrone Loop and keep straight on the paved trail as it traverses under 100-year-old Douglas-firs in a vine maple understory and then drops to the footbridge over South Johnson Creek. Resist the temptation to take some of the remnant user paths down to the creek as there are long-term attempts to restore this natural area. From the creek, continue up the South Johnson Creek Trail and then go left on the Snowberry Trail back to the parking area.

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 & M.J. Cody
  • Exploring the Tualatin River Basin by Tualatin Riverkeepers

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.