Fields Bridge Park -- May 11, 2020

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datura
Posts: 17
Joined: March 13th, 2014, 10:09 am

Fields Bridge Park -- May 11, 2020

Post by datura » May 10th, 2020, 1:14 pm

Fields Bridge Park is a West Linn city park along the Tualatin River. In addition to the usual playground, sports fields, etc., that one often finds in city parks, there is a paved trail along the river and a short loop in the park that commemorates the Willamette Meteorite. There are also places where one can fish, where a canoe or kayak can get into the water (though these launch spots seem extremely unofficial), and a community garden.

fields bridge trail 3 may 2020.jpg

It's described in these links:

https://westlinnoregon.gov/parksrec/fields-bridge-park

https://www.oregonhikers.org/field_guid ... ridge_Hike

The trail is flat and paved all the way to Dollar Street. I rather enjoyed watching the river flow by, looking at the trees across the river, watching the birds (and a squirrel), and smiling at the people fishing and floating. I can imagine coming here in cloudy or rainy weather, early in the morning, to watch wildlife while the fog rose from the river.

fields bridge trail 4 may 2020.jpg

As it was, the weather was sunny and warm, and there were a fair number of people along the trail, walking or fishing or just hanging out. We were all careful about social distancing, and of course, the developed part of the park (i.e. the playground) was closed for now. Gardeners were wearing masks.

I followed the suggested extra walk through the neighborhood and along the Tualatin River that is suggested in the field guide. One walks on city sidewalks and then on a mowed grassy dirt/gravel path without good views of the river. I didn't really enjoy that very much. It doesn't seem to hook up with the "nicer" part of the Tualatin River Open Space (https://westlinnoregon.gov/parksrec/tua ... open-space). Maybe it's more enjoyable at other times of the year or would have been less dull if I had been in a different sort of mood. I didn't have time to get to the other part of the open space to see what was there.

Even though both segments are very urban, the paved trail between Epperly Way and Dollar Street is the more interesting area in which to walk, in my opinion.

fields bridge trail 5 may 2020.jpg

Another fun thing about this park is the description of the Willamette Meteorite and its known history. There are several interpretive signs about the Missoula Floods and how glaciation and then flooding probably brought the meteorite to the shores of the Tualatin River. Some of the signs talk about its spiritual significance for local Native Americans, and how it was taken away to a museum in the early 20th century. There's even a scale model of the meteorite.

fields bridge trail 2 may 2020.jpg
fields bridge trail 2 may 2020.jpg (40.34 KiB) Viewed 294 times

The park/trail is considered to be part of the Ice Age Floods Interpretive Trail, for those who might be interested:

http://thecentralcascades.com/fields-br ... ive-trail/

This was my first time to this particular park. I've canoed and walked on parts of the Tualatin River but haven't walked along this segment that is so close to where it joins the Willamette. If one likes the Tualatin (which I do), it's a nice little walk.

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bobcat
Posts: 2043
Joined: August 1st, 2011, 7:51 am
Location: SW Portland

Re: Fields Bridge Park -- May 11, 2020

Post by bobcat » May 13th, 2020, 6:44 pm

Kudos to you for finding lots of little places to enjoy the outdoors. This one is indeed an overlooked gem.

datura
Posts: 17
Joined: March 13th, 2014, 10:09 am

Re: Fields Bridge Park -- May 11, 2020

Post by datura » May 14th, 2020, 2:11 pm

I am grateful to the local governments and citizens who preserved these places, made them into parks with trails, and who maintain websites and maps so I can find them.

Thank you, bobcat and everyone else who contributes, for listing a lot of these hikes in the Field Guide here, and also for posting photos, information, and trip reports to inspire others.

Sure, these aren't fabulous wilderness treks. I LOVE reading about those, don't get me wrong! They bring back memories as well as inspiring dreams of future trips. But when one doesn't have a lot of time and/or can't justify a strenuous or long hike, these are fun little places to explore. I think it's great that our cities and counties try to preserve natural areas and create paths so we can get outside and stretch our legs even in urban zones. And that goes double for now, with the virus restrictions, since so many other places are still closed and we're all encouraged not to travel too far from home.

I'm looking forward to getting out more as the restrictions ease, as the weather improves, and as my limited free time becomes a little less limited, assuming it ever does. For now, though, I'm enjoying these small parks and trails here in the metro area.

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