Our thirtieth self-led-hike is a nice loop from Albert Kelly Park that follows much of the original route for the Red Electric Trail through the Hillsdale and Hayhurst neighborhoods. Read on to learn more:
Name: Old Bertha Highway
Neighborhood: Hillsdale, Hayhurst, Bridlemile
Distance: 3.49 miles
Elevation Change: 359 ft
Start/End Location: Albert Kelly Park
Map Links: Interactive Map
An easy 3.5 mile hike through the Hillsdale and Hayhurst neighborhoods that follows much of the original Red Electric Trail along Old Bertha Road. Along the way you will walk through Albert Kelly Park and enjoy walking by the Fanno Creek Natural Area. You may be entertained by the antics of dogs enjoying off-leash pleasures in Hillsdale Park, but certainly uplifted by the gorgeous scenery while crossing the footbridge behind Robert Gray MS.
Interactive Map Directions:
- Touch the “Interactive Map” link at the top of this page to launch a web-based version of the route map from your mobile browser (i.e. chrome, or safari).
- Touch the locate me button in the top-left corner of your display to activate a ‘blue dot’ showing your current location
- Your blue dot will now follow the highlighted route from your mobile device!
- Note, you may have to grant permission to allow the application to access location services.
This hike is a loop and can be started anywhere along the route. This description begins at Albert Kelly Park. Beginning at the east end of Albert Kelly Park are a handful of secluded parking spots with easy access into the park. Walk west across the park along trails that have been constructed and maintained by SWTrails volunteers. At the west end of Albert Kelly Park, make a slight right onto SW Mitchell St, followed by a left onto SW 38th Pl.
Now you are following the established route for SWTrails #7. Turn right at SW 39th Dr to pass the Fanno Creek Natural area on your left.
Turn left at SW Lee St. At the end you find a trail that continues straight onto an undeveloped right-of-way (ROW). The trail pops out on a gravel driveway – turn right and walk to SW Admiral St where you’ll take a left. Stay on the route for Trails 1 & 7. You will come to a ROW trail behind an apartment complex that leads to SW 45th Ave. Turn left on SW 45th Ave and follow it for about a half mile enjoying a series of steps and bridges.
Cross Beaverton Hillsdale Highway at the stop light. Climb the stairs just on the other side of the highway, following signs for SWTrails 7.
Ideally, the route would follow a long-established rail right-of-way for the Red Electric Trail all the way back to our start point. However, since portions of the original route are not publicly accessible, we will meander through the Hayhurst neighborhood. Read more about SWTrail’s efforts to establish this route as “SWTrail #2” HERE.
Stay on SW 45th Ave until you turn left turn at SW Cullen Blvd. From there, continue on SW Cullen Blvd and cross SW 42nd Ave. Beyond SW 42nd Ave there is a segment of SW Cullen Blvd that is closed to vehicles due to a recent landslide. However, the road is open to pedestrians so continue on SW Cullen Blvd, staying right at the fork, to SW 39th Ave. Continue on SW 39th Ave to SW Kanan Dr.
Turn left on SW Kanan Dr and right on SW Tower Way. Turn left on SW Pendleton St and then left on SW Iowa St. Take a right on SW 36th Ave for one block and then a left on SW Illinois St. Turn left on SW 33rd place and walk a few blocks to SW Bertha Blvd. Turn right on SW Bertha Blvd and continue to the intersection with SW 25th Ave.
On the left you will find a trail and staircase that was built by SWTrails volunteers which crosses Fanno Creek and leads you up to Beaverton-Hillsdale Highway. It’s quite the secret passageway! Cross the highway at the crosswalk and continue up SW 25th Ave to Robert Gray Middle School. Take the path at the southwest corner of the school and head west to stay on the trail that follows the embankment at the west end of the Robert Gray fields.
This trail is part of the school’s campus and is maintained by local residents. Follow the path around the perimeter fence to the north, then into the woods and across the magnificent and much photographed footbridge and emerge onto SW Boundary St. Turn left and walk to SW Dosch Rd where you will turn right. Be aware as you walk along Dosch as it is a busy street. Dosch takes two 90 degree turns. Just after the second turn, take a left onto SW Mitchell St and follow it back to where you started.
Don’t forget to use the hashtag #swtrails to share your very best pictures.