What’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.
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.
The 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.
We 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.
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.
Insider 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.
Family 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.
Other Posts of Interest...
Sellwood Riverfront Park on July 12th, 2010
Ridgefield National Wildlife Refuge on August 29th, 2013
Horning's Hideout on July 31st, 2009