Hillsboro has always been an agricultural community of flat, patchworked fields that go on and on until they run into the rolling hills at the edges of the valley- then the fields go up the hills until they reach the trees. It is a beautiful area, nestled half way between Portland and the beach. It has changed so much in the past few years because now the Max light rail goes all the way out to the center of Hillsboro- so new housing developments, businesses, restaurants and cafes have popped up everywhere along the Max Line. My favorite area is Orenco Station.
Orenco Station was the very first of the little, "City in the country", neighborhoods to pop up. It was an awesome idea that has spread all over the Portland area. People in the suburbs didn't have the community feel of a small close knit neighborhood like they would have in the city-and people were not wanting to have to drive every time they wanted to go somewhere- they wanted to be able to walk...so a lot of people moving back into the cities. They wanted to be within walking distance to restaurants, cafes, shops etc and the neighbors would be closer. Thus the Orenco Station Community idea was born. And it has revolutionized how new developments are being created all over the greater Portland Metro area. This whole "Little city" corridor has spread all down the long corridor surrounding the Max light rail train, that runs from Hillsboro into the city and all the way out to Gresham .
The Max brought people together- people who wanted to walk or ride their bikes and commute into the city. That naturally bore little restaurants and cafes for people to grab a bite to eat- then little shops for them to browse through and on and on. And since people wanted to walk to the Max, instead of driving, thus developed the townhouses, condos and condo-houses that have sprung up all along the Max line. And Oregon , being Oregon , wanted to have greenspace and park areas- so those are included too. The houses and condos sold like hot cakes! There were long waiting lists of people waiting to get into them. So, of course, more areas like this have sprung up all along the Max line. But Orenco was the first!
Orenco Station is just 15 miles out of Portland along highway 26. To go by car during rush hour can be a nightmare! But to hop on the Max and go into downtown or into Beaverton- is easy and quick! No traffic! It's also close to the high tech area of Intel etc
If you are interested in learning about the history of the area- click here In 1896 1200 acres were bought up by Oregon Nursery, and the Orenco area was platted out and named.
One thing that is special about Hillsboro is that most of the commercial industry is confined to industrial park areas right in the middle of the country- with green spaces and trees included. They are actually beautifully landscaped campuses. And the people that work at these high tech companies like Intel, Toshiba, Tektronix and others, actually get to live out in one of the most beautiful agricultural areas in the world. and when they leave their high stress jobs, they don't have to drive through tons of rush hour traffic, but can live just a few minutes away.and enjoy all the benefits of living out in the country- but have perks of a city right there!
There was a really interesting study done on the Orenco Station project that examines whether this high density living area actually works. You can read the whole report by going to
Oak Knoll Winery- There are lots of wineries out towards Hillsboro , Newberg and Dundee . Here is one of them
Rivers of Hillsboro Other than the Tualatin River , other water features include Dairy Creek, McKay Creek, Rock Creek, Dawson Creek , and Turner Creek.
Many high tech industries are located in Hillsboro - here are some of them Intel 's largest site is in Hillsboro . Sun Microsystems Yahoo!, FEI, Credence Systems , and TriQuint Semiconductor . Hillsboro is the corporate headquarters for Corillian Corporation , Lattice Semiconductor , RadiSys , and Planar Systems . Genentech
Jackson Bottom is a huge 710 acre wildlife nature area of wetlands that is just outside of the middle of Hillsboro . The Preserve is a tranquil sanctuary for both people and animals. The quiet open waters, rolling meadows and upland ash and fir woods are homes to thousands of ducks and geese, deer, otters, beavers, herons and eagles.
Hagg Lake is a hidden lake up in the hills above Hillsboro . It's huge- you can go fishing, water skiing, swimming, hiking or just relax. The facilities include special trails, picnic sites, boat launches and docks, ramps, pathways, restrooms and parking for the disabled
Bald Peak State Park Drive up into the hills to the south of Hillsboro- and you will be up in some of the most spectacular view points in the world- at least in my opinion. When you drive up the hill, turn around and look back at the rolling hills and patchwork quilted fields. They change color with each season. In the spring they are rich dark red with the clover, in the summer they are all shades of green, late summer shades of green yellow and brown and winter yellows and browns. Blues, violets, greys, rose and all other colors are mixed in with the patchwork- it is breath-taking.
Here is a collage I made of Hillsboro things- Jackson Bottom Nature reserve-the totem pole-farmland-wineries, Orenco Station and houses
Here is an aerial map showing Hillsboro surrounded by all the pretty farmland