Categories: Recreation

Washington County: Recreate

From the forest floor to high in its lush canopy, two new ways to embrace spring await in Washington County.

Oregon and biking go together like foot and pedal, and now is the perfect time to explore atop two wheels. To welcome the return of warmer temperatures, check out the state’s new scenic bikeway, which is the first one in Washington County.

Photo by Melissa Hay

The Tualatin Valley Scenic Bikeway extends through friendly downtowns, fertile farmlands and peaceful natural areas. The bikeway stretches more than 50 miles, including a paved, 21-mile portion of the woodsy Banks-Vernonia State Trail. This section, on a former railroad bed, is suitable for every level and is blissfully car-free.

Photo by Melissa Hay

Not having to watch out for traffic means you can cast off your cares and slip into a meditative rhythm, listening to your breath, jubilant birds, and the Tualatin River’s song. With a 600-foot climb in middle of the route, your legs will feel pleasantly pumped, as you take in views of the Coast Range, farms and vineyards. Cruise along through forests near quaint downtowns as clean, fragrant air fills your lungs.

For a longer, more challenging tour, continue another 30 miles on the route’s mostly rural roads.

Experiences like this are bound to boost your outlook on life. Yet an even more dramatically different perspective awaits overhead, in the forest canopy. Continue on to Gaston for Tree to Tree, a new playground in the trees featuring aerial ropes courses, zip lines and more tree top fun. Embrace your inner Robinson Crusoe and traverse wobbly bridges and tightropes. The setting, on beautiful Hagg Lake, with picnic areas and nature trails is a natural for family fun or team building.

For details, visit www.oregonswashingtoncounty.com

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