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Banks-Vernonia State Trail, Vernonia

(5/5 based on 25 reviews on the web)
The Banks–Vernonia State Trail is a paved rail trail and state park in northwest Oregon in the United States. It runs for, primarily north - south, between the towns of Vernonia in Columbia County and Banks in Washington County on an abandoned railroad bed. Banks is about 25mi west of Portland.The 8ft wide trail is open to non-motorized uses such as hiking and biking. A 4ft wide horse trail parallels the hiking and biking trail. The rail trail crosses 12 bridges and the Buxton Trestle, a former railroad trestle bridge that is 600ft long and high. A second railroad trestle, the Tophill (or Horseshoe) Trestle, was damaged by fire in 1986 and is bypassed with a series of switchbacks at the Tophill trailhead.Amenities available at some locations in the park include picnicking, fishing, wildlife watching, forests, bird-watching, historic sites, public restrooms, parking, horse hitching posts, a loading platform, and a whistle stop shelter. The rail trail connects to a network of about 20mi of unpaved mountain-biking trails in L. L. "Stub" Stewart State Park. About 14,000 people used the rail trail in 2004.HistoryThe Banks–Vernonia State Trail was the first linear rail trail state park in Oregon. The Portland, Astoria, and Pacific Railroad built the original rail line in 1913 to transport timber, freight, and passengers. In the 1920s, trains on the line hauled logs and lumber from Keasey and the Oregon-American mill in Vernonia to Portland. The railroad stopped using the line in 1957 after the mills closed, and from 1960 through 1965 the Vernonia South Park and Sunset Railroad leased the line for a steam excursion train.
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Reviews
TripAdvisor
  • My wife and I biked from Banks and had lunch in Veronia and returned to Banks. The trip was 44 miles long. The trail is completely paved and is more rolling hills except at mile marker 12 you have qui...  more »
  • Fantastic ride on repurposed railroad bed. Path starts at old mill pond-turned recreation lake and goes more than twenty miles. You can enter trail at numerous spots for free but I like to support tra...  more »
  • If you're going one-way and shuttling, ride Vernonia to Banks (I.e., south) if you want a quicker trip with less uphill work. Ride Banks to Vernonia (I.e., north) if you want to spend more time n the ...  more »