Fanno Creek Trail is a regional trail that extends from Tualatin to Portland, passing through Tigard, Beaverton, and unincorporated Washington County. The vision dates back to 1975; a 15-mile walking and biking trail from the Willamette River in Southwest Portland to Fanno Creek’s confluence with the Tualatin River in Tualatin. It is a paved, multi-use pathway for walkers, runners, bicyclists and nature enthusiasts of all ages.
Given its geographic location, Fanno Creek Trail must cross numerous roadways, including Scholls Ferry Road (between Nimbus Avenue and Springwood Drive, approximately 0.5 miles west of OR-217 and the Washington Square Mall), which is a 4-lane arterial roadway at the Fanno Creek Trail crossing location. Fanno Creek Trail runs parallel to, and on the west side of, Fanno Creek in the vicinity of Scholls Ferry Road. The trail currently crosses Scholls Ferry Road by going beneath the roadway bridge that spans Fanno Creek.
The Fanno Creek floodplain is relatively wide in this area. It allows for storage of stormwater runoff that helps reduce downstream flooding. The regional community at-large has consistently expressed that access to nature is a top desirable trail amenity, which this proximity to Fanno Creek provides. However, the trail’s close proximity to Fanno Creek in this location has resulted in the trail being flooded at times, which has become more frequent over the years. Much of this trail flooding is attributable to beavers building dams downstream of Scholls Ferry Road.
Five different agencies have varying jurisdictional oversight responsibilities where Fanno Creek Trail crosses Scholls Ferry Road, which is a Washington County jurisdictional roadway. North of Scholls Ferry Road is within Beaverton city limits and the trail is maintained by Tualatin Hills Park & Recreation District. South of Scholls Ferry Road is within Tigard city limits and the trail is maintained by Tigard. Clean Water Services has regulatory authority over Fanno Creek and its surrounding natural areas.