Fernhill Wetlands Park, Forest Grove

4.6
#4 of 7 in Things to do in Forest Grove
Fernhill Wetlands, co-owned by Clean Water Services (CWS) and the City of Forest Grove, was once a 160-acre effluent holding pond site that incidentally hosted wildlife. Under CWS (formerly Unified Sewerage Agency) management, the site has enjoyed both considerable expansion and restoration over the last decade and a half. It is now transformed into 600 acres of critical wildlife habitat near the confluence of Gales Creek and the Tualatin River. Just outside of Forest Grove, the site is today characterized by a mosaic of open ponds and wetlands that host thousands of migrant and resident bird species throughout the year.

Fernhill provides habitat connectivity for local wildlife, as well as critical marsh, lake and riparian habitat for resting and foraging migratory birds travelling the Pacific Flyway in Spring and Fall. What’s more, this site’s importance is underscored because of its location along the Tualatin River bottomlands, adjacent to the newly designated 4,300 acre Wapato Lake Unit of the Tualatin River National Wildlife Refuge. In this area alone, there is potential to connect over 5,000 acres of wetland habitat, and to this end, efforts are being made by Metro, United States Fish & Wildlife Service, Tualatin Riverkeepers, City of Forest Grove and others to leverage funds for future Fernhill Wetlands and Gales Creek restoration opportunities. Wetlands are some of the most productive natural ecosystems in the world, acting not only as habitat, but also providing for natural hydrological function of rivers, flood protection, erosion control and water quality improvement.

The proximity of the Fernhill site to the metropolitan region also allows for accessible recreation opportunities, wildlife viewing, bird watching, education, and research. Visitors can take advantage of extensive trail access year round, and the site offers both a sense of expansive lake and wetland openness, as well as views of St. Helens, Mt. Hood, Mt. Adams, and Mt. Jefferson.
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Fernhill Wetlands Park Reviews
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TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4.5
25 reviews
TripAdvisor
  • We took a long walk with binoculars on a frosty morning. This is a really fine place and it is being improved.  more »
  • Fernhill Wetlands Park is a relaxing nature park with large pond, walking paths, benchs and wildlife through out the park. It is a great place to take the kids, walk the dog or just take time for your...  more »
  • I frequently stop by the wetlands to take a walk on my lunch time. Although construction is still underway you can slip in the place where the old entrance to the parking lot is at. By December 2017 t...  more »
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