Nature & Outdoor Recreation
Just minutes from our Historic Downtown you can be hiking, horseback riding or biking through old growth forests, boating on a peaceful lake or playing a few rounds of golf on some of the most picturesque courses in the region. Here are some of the places to enjoy the great outdoors close to Forest Grove.
Fishing, hiking, boating, wildlife
This 1,200-acre reservoir is nestled in the foothills of the Coast Range, just west of Forest Grove. It reaches depths of over 100 feet and is well-stocked with rainbow trout, some reaching 7 pounds. Small-mouth bass and brown bullhead are also present. Many a young angler has landed his or her first fish at Hagg Lake! There are two boat launches on the lake, and several picnic grounds. Enjoy great waterskiing and other boating pursuits. Hagg Lake is surrounded by 15 miles of biking and hiking trails, where you might encounter the elk, deer, or coyote that call these woods home. The mixture of habitats around Hagg Lake also attracts a variety of bird life, including nesting pairs of bald eagles and ospreys.
Distance from Forest Grove: 8 miles
Learn more information on Hagg Lake
Hiking, ATV, Horse Riding, mountain biking, 4WD, camping, wildlife, Interpretive Center
Whatever your outdoor recreation pursuit, chances are you’ll find a place in the Tillamook State Forest for fun and adventure. A wide spectrum of trails for both motorized and non-motorized activities, campgrounds, day-use areas, and staging areas are popular with a growing number of visitors.
You will find over 50 miles of trails for hiking, mountain biking, and horseback riding. Climb to the top of King’s Mountain for a remarkable view. Set out with your horse to explore part of the original Wilson River Wagon Road. Grab your gear and come camping at one of the eight developed fee-site campgrounds set in a variety of forest and river environments. Most are open from Memorial Day through October.
The wide variety of trails access some of the more remote and scenic parts of the forest and provide challenge and excitement for both beginners and experts. The Browns Camp and Jordan Creek OHV areas in particular provide more than 100 miles of easy to most difficult motorcycle, ATV, and 4WD trail opportunities. Hunting and fishing opportunities abound on the rivers and hillsides of the State Forest. Check with the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife for regulations.
The Tillamook Forest Center is free and its exhibits and programs showcase the legacy of the infamous Tillamook Burn of 1933 and the public spirit behind the monumental reforestation effort which led to the Tillamook State Forest of today. Discover the power of fire through our award-winning film Legacy of Fire, the miracle of the salmon lifecycle, and the resilient, dynamic and productive nature of forests. Explore a full-size replica of a fire lookout tower where you can learn about the life of a lookout. Then stroll out onto the suspension bridge and peer into the rushing waters of the Wilson River to spy spawning salmon. Open from 10:00am-4:00 pm Wednesday- Sunday from September- May. From the end of May – early September, open every day from 10:00 am- 5:00 pm.
Distance from Forest Grove: 15 miles
Learn more information on the Tillamook State Forest
Wildlife viewing, migratory birds, walking trails
Fernhill Wetlands is located near the confluence of Gales Creek and the Tualatin River. This peaceful site, located just minutes from downtown Forest Grove, attracts wildlife including herons, hawks, eagles, and beavers. This is an ideal place to spot migratory birds and waterfowl. Short trails and viewing stands make it easy to view the myriad wildlife. Waterfowl populations are daily in the thousands from November through March. Shorebirds occur (at least 17 species recorded thus far) in numbers frequently exceeding 100 birds in spring, fall, and sometimes in winter.
Distance from Forest Grove: 1/2 mile
Learn more information on Fernhill Wetlands
Hiking trails, running, cycling
The Intertwine is our connected network of parks, trails, and natural areas in the Portland, Oregon, and Vancouver, Washington, region. The Intertwine provides unparalleled opportunities to preserve natural areas, open spaces, water, and wildlife habitats. The Intertwine reflects our region’s passion for quality of life by encouraging recreation, connection to nature, and active transportation like walking, running, and biking. As our urban areas grow denser, The Intertwine promotes the health and happiness we, as citizens of the Pacific Northwest, so dearly value.
Learn more information on The Intertwine
Cycling, horse riding, hiking
This was the first “rails-to-trails” state park built in Oregon. It is built on an abandoned railroad bed that stretches 21 miles from the nearby town of Banks to the city of Vernonia. The trail includes an eight-foot wide hiking and bicycle trail paralleled by a four-foot wide horse trail. The gentle grade allows hikers, bicyclists, equestrians, and people of all abilities to enjoy the scenic mountains, fields, and forests of Washington and Columbia counties.
Distance from Forest Grove: 10 miles
Learn more information on the Banks-Vernonia State Trail
Don’t be surprised to see rows of bikes outside one of the Downtown coffee shops or local wineries. Our forest trails, country roads, and wineries surrounding the city are excellent byways for experts and beginners. Olson’s Bicycles can provide quick turnaround on bicycle repairs. Stop in and pick up your Forest Grove by bike map. It showcases seven tours starting in Forest Grove and showcasing the area’s beauty. They are free. Also, enjoy biking the Tualatin Valley with the first State designated scenic bikeway in Washington County.
Camping, hiking, cycling, horse riding
Just 31 miles west of Portland, the park offers camping, picnicking, and hiking. If you like trails, this is the park for you. Explore more than 20 miles of trails. Bring your horse or bicycle and spend hours exploring the far reaches of the park. After a day of play, finding a quiet spot to relax is easy in the 1,673 acres of lush rolling hills, forest, and deep canyons.
Distance from Forest Grove: 17 miles
Learn more information on L.L. Stub Stewart State Park
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