The City of Hillsboro Parks & Recreation Department began work on the Rock Creek Trail in 1998. The trail now comprises 1.5 miles of paved nature trail connecting residential, commercial and industrial neighborhoods. The trail follows Rock Creek, which flows into the Tualatin River at Rood Bridge Park in south Hillsboro and eventually into the Willamette River. The Rock Creek Watershed drains about 65 square miles of land in total and is home to various waterfowl, fish and other wildlife. The City's long-range plan calls for the Rock Creek Trail to extend for more than six miles all the way to Rood Bridge Park, connecting a multitude of neighborhoods and natural areas.
The trail begins across Amberwood Drive from Orchard Park and extends North, crossing Cornelius Pass Road and NW Evergreen Parkway. It then passes under the Sunset Highway, through towering evergreens to Rock Creek Boulevard and Rock Creek Park. The return journey is on the same path. See map for recommended route. Use the nearest crosswalks to cross Amberwood Drive, Cornell Road and Evergreen Parkway.
Some points of interest along the trail include hundreds of native trees and shrubs that have been planted by Hillsboro Parks & Recreation staff and volunteers to maintain a healthy watershed. Invasive species are removed on a regular basis to ensure that these native species thrive to maintain a healthy, natural environment. Habitat enhancement features, such as swallow and duck houses, have also been installed to benefit the habitat along the pathway. Ducks are frequently seen along the trail, and a great blue heron rookery is located just north of Evergreen Parkway. This is a paved ADA accessible trail, with some sections of boardwalk. Sections may be closed during periods of high water. The trail head, Orchard Park, offers an additional mile of walking trail, parking, restrooms, and picnicking.