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Commonwealth Lake Park
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Beautiful dock at Commonwealth Lake  ParkWhat’s to Love:  What’s to love? How about my first “highlight video!” Wooohooo! I can’t believe I actually got this up and running finally. You’ll see most of my new posts with a short video clip. Anyway…Commonwealth Lake Park…hmmmm…weird place, I must admit. However, I don’t mean that in a negative way. As far as parks go, let’s just say it’s somewhat unique. Basically, it’s a man-made lake surrounded by an upper-middle-class neighborhood.

Warning sign for fishing at Commonwealth Lake  Park The lake itself is stocked with trout, and this may be one of the nicest places to drop a line, especially for young anglers. If you’re into fishing, definitely bring your rod and some tackle. Drop your line in along the shore, or get cozy on one of their beautiful fishing docks.

Bridge at Commonwealth Lake  ParkThe park is spotless – well, at least as far as parks go. I didn’t see a hint of trash, and the grass was immaculate. There is a large playing field for soccer or other sports. There was a team practicing, and this may be a regular thing. However, there is plenty of space on the opposite side of the lake.

Nice swingset at Commonwealth Lake  ParkWe thoroughly enjoyed the .8-mile, paved-path around the lake! It’s a short ride with a few twists and turns, but overall, it’s very mellow for beginning riders. 7 and older would probably be bored with the ride, but younger kids will enjoy the ride. This is also a good spot for inline skating, scooters, big wheels, etc.

If you’re planning on a picnic, you’re in luck! The north side of the lake is peppered with some very nice benches and picnic tables – again, everything is practically in mint condition here. For a quick look around, check out the YouTube clip.

Bike Path at Commonwealth Lake  ParkCaveats: The playstructure isn’t too hot. It’s not awful, but it definitely needs an upgrade.

This park desperately needs a restroom. There is an porta-potty, but it was packed full with waste, and there was no toilet paper!  A drinking fountain would also be a good idea. There are some decent shady areas, but be prepared to bake in the sun. This is a neighborhood park – you’ll have to park on residential streets, so be respectful of this quiet area.

Website: Couldn’t find a decent website for this park. The Oregonian did a nice article on the park here.

Distance from Portland: It’s about 10 miles from downtown Portland. Here is a Google Map link!

Recommended Ages: Older kids who like to fish might like the park. For the most part, it’s wonderful for toddlers up to age 7 or 8.

Parental Stress Factor: Low! We visited the park on a sunny, Sunday afternoon, and it was very relaxed. Even with the soccer practice, this place has a quiet,  neighborhood-park feel.

Physical Difficulty: This is an accessible park with a paved-path around the outside of the lake. It’s flat the entire .8 miles.

Family Fun Factor: High – this park has some excellent options:  biking, hiking, rollerblading, baseball, soccer, fishing, etc. Plus, your kids can feed the birds here. However, the park personnel ask that you bring a whole-grain such as “cracked-corn” (not bread), and keep whatever you bring on the shore. Throwing it in the water is not good for the overall health of the lake.

Pet Friendly: Sure…bring your dog here! On the east end of the lake, there is an open green space – a nice place to let your dog run a bit.

Weather Considerations: Year round, but I’m not a fan of fishing in the rain.

Fishing dock at Commonwealth Lake  ParkInsider Info: The entire area features some impressive waterfowl. Oregon Live website says, “Bring binoculars to help identify the waterfowl. Ducks that live at Commonwealth Lake or pass through during winter include American and European wigeon, hooded merganser, ruddy, wood, ring-necked, goldeneye and bufflehead. That’s not bad for a neighborhood pond that was built in 1965 as an amenity to sell nearby residential lots in the Cedar Hills area of Beaverton.”  For the record, we spotted a red-tailed hawk.

Biking around Commonwealth LakeFamily Tips: If your main goal is a picnic, I recommend bringing a wagon, or a large pack to transport your food items/cooler. It’s a walk from Foothills Drive to the picnic benches on the north end of the lake.  Again, these are very nice tables, but they may be taken on a nice day. Therefore, be prepared to picnic on the lawn, which isn’t a bad idea here.

Technorati Tags: Commonwealth Lake Park, Beaverton, fishing with kids, trout fishing, stocked man-made lake

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22 Comments


  1. Cool park! I’ve never heard of it, but it definitely looks like it’s worth a visit. Thanks for the tip 🙂

  2. Thanks for the comment Josh. Yes…I know your little guy would enjoy this park. Perhaps, we’ll see you soon, and we can all take a stroll around the lake.

  3. I have been there it’s really pretty and there is lots to do. It’s always good to visit a new park and with 2 active boys the open space is great and there was alot to explore.

  4. I have been there and it is a great space. There is lot’s to do and with 2 active boys it is always cool to visit new places for them to explore.

  5. Melissah,

    Yes…two active boys can do a lot at Commonwealth Lake Park. Because of the fishing, it’s appropriate for a wide range of ages. Older kids might fish while younger kids ride bikes or scooters around the lake.

  6. Georgia Fly Fishing Guide

    I have spent countless days at Commonwealth while I was in Grad School. I miss it so much. I used to drive there almost every weekend from Gilbert because it was a nice little tranquil place to set up angling, read a book, have a picnic, or just throw around the frisbee. I remember back in May ’98 when they had that rally because of the whole debacle of feeding the ducks: How they were “destroying” the park because people would throw the food in the lake rather than on the shore. I couldn’t believe that they were all gung-ho about not only having workers police people who bring in a loaf of bread, but locals who policed this as well. Needless to say, there’s a reason why the park is immaculate: People actually care about keeping that prestine. When I go to my 10-year reunion next year, I’m definitely making it a point to spend a day there and see if they made any changes: Primarily with the lure of fishing.

  7. Georgia Fly Fishing Guide,

    Thanks for your detailed comments! I enjoyed reading about your days hanging out at Commonwealth Lake.

  8. The Park used to be immaculate, not anymore, I was there this am and noticed a woman dumping I guess patties of oatmeal or bread along the banks. The wildlife didnt even want anything to do with it. She was confronted by a couple of fisherman and was told that the signs stated no feeding the wildlife, she ranted and raved that someone had to feed them and that shes been doing it for years. the place is full of a goose and duck droppings. Not a good Eco balance when they let the public pollute the water system like that ……. Paul

    • I agree that the park used to be immaculate. I'm somewhat shocked to hear anything to the contrary; however, I have seen people feeding animals at this park. This is a neighborhood park, so people usually do a good job of keeping it clean.

      Hope things turn around at Commonwealth. It's a cool little park, and a great place for first-time anglers.

      Vince Schreck, Ed.D.
      Instructional Designer, Portland State University
      Editor: Portland Family Adventures
      http://www.pdxfamilyadventures.com

  9. The park is fairly clean and Im not trying to be critical, the Park and Recreation Dep pick up all the trash that is lying around and clean and empty trash receptacles. There were a few Ice cream and Candy covers floating around in the lake. What I strenuously object to is the feeding of wild life. I have been associated with some beautiful parks & lakes back on the east coast that were unusable because of waterfowl population, county laws & rules posted all over restricting feeding (as there are in Commonweath lake), but it did no good. The public will do what it wants until it destroys something of great value. It needs I am sorry to say law enforcement to be present ….Paul

  10. We caught a 21" three pound rainbow trout here on May 22 2011 my sons were so excited.

  11. There's nothing like an old lady who needs to be needed so badly that she has herself convinced that wild animals will starve without her intervention. But try convincing "Mamaw" of that. Perhaps she could just try filling her house with cats instead.

    If I see anybody feeding wildlife there I am definitely going to say something. It was like sneaking through a mine field trying to avoid all the duck poo yesterday. And I didn't even catch a single trout. heh

    • You can 'say' whatever you want – but feeding the birds there IS allowed.

      • I see we\’re getting a bit of conflicting information regarding the legality of feeding the birds (in the water or along the bank). I noticed a couple people posted that there are actual signs there saying NOT to feed the animals. I don\’t remember the signs when I was there last, which wasn\’t too long ago. I\’m going to have to stop by soon just to check it out. Or, if someone goes, please take a picture of the sign and send it to me at: vinceschreck@yahoo.com. I\’ll post it in the article.

  12. sounds relaxing. definitely need to check it out. thanks 🙂

  13. My daughters and I have enjoyed this park several times, and we also like to cross the road from one end of the park (across Huntington) to Foothills Park, which has another playground, more picnic tables, and a field. Both parks have porta-potties, which we have found to be clean, though without hand sanitizer.

    The ducks can be rather forceful about wanting food, as I'm sure plenty of people disregard the signs, so you may want to avoid eating right near the water.

  14. is it good for a 12 month old baby to play n have there 1st birthday there what is there for a baby to do

    • I would say that it's not a great place for a 1st birthday party. There isn't much of a playground for smaller children.

  15. Regarding the info on the park being pet friendly…the open green space is not an off leash area. All pets must be leashed at all times, and I've heard that people walking their dogs without leashes have been ticketed and threatened with ticketing by the volunteer park monitors.

    The lake is stocked with fish, and information on when the stocking happens can be found on the Oregon Dept of Fish and Wildlife website.

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