One exception is the Horseshoe Trestle bypass, which switchbacks up 700 feet and descends 300 feet at Tophill. Please contact us if you notice errors on this page. The Banks-Vernonia trail is 21 miles of car-free smooth pavement that meanders through farms and woods. 0000065015 00000 n TrailBear was poking around the Tophill section in June 2010 The trail is paved from Stub Steward up the line to the bridge at 45.745861 -123.196621. We noticed the weird place names in the L.L. 0000101796 00000 n 0000339377 00000 n Your donation will help us to continue connecting more people to trails around the country. We continued to climb the gentle grade. Video taken from my bike during the ride. It seemed to be in good repair (except for several downed trees along the path). 0000223765 00000 n That being said, it is not bad. 0000344821 00000 n Yes, there are some areas that are a little more rough and you need to slow down. I staged out of the Visitor Center up the road for toilets, water, phone, wifi hotspot, parking, etc.). Just before arriving in Vernonia there was a slight upgrade, but nothing much. From the trailhead in Banks we’ll head north to the end of the trail in Vernonia. The route goes through Anderson Park, just blocks from downtown Vernonia, and continues for a couple more miles to Mill Pond/Vernonia Lake. This 21-mile, multiuse, fully paved path is the state’s first completed “rails-to-trails” project, repurposing a route that was once used to … This trail provided the connection to nature and friendship, thank you to my family and friend for the ride. It was a steady uphill climb for the next seven miles. Expect this trailhead to be packed on good summer weekends. Exiting the state park section is almost terrifying, and signs abound instructing cyclists to dismount and walk the 11% grade down and up the crossing of Nahalem Highway. The Banks trailhead provides the best parking, as well as restrooms and drinking water. The new trailhead at Banks has blacktop parking, two unisex flush toilets, a water fountain and information kiosk. And although it was pretty, I'm I don't understand why this trail is so popular. Try it, enjoy it and then go crazy in Portland (or first go crazy and then do the trail). NEW MAP AND BROCHURE... A new map and brochure has been printed. It isn't near the elevation change that occurs between mile 3 and 11 coming "up" from Banks, but for a 9 year old that first 10 miles going south from Vernonia must seem a bit tiring. TrailBear rates it: 5* Scenery. I would not recommend a total trail ride unless you are a good intermediate rider. 0000063930 00000 n ", TrailLink is a free service provided by Rails-to-Trails conservancy, We're a non-profit all about helping you enjoy the outdoors, NW Banks Rd. I didn't like how one direction was mostly uphill and the other direction was mostly downhill. Take the time to go out and ride this trail, I think you will find it worth your time, and most important share the experience with a loved one, Love is what make this life possible! 0000412692 00000 n I know they will resist, but all it takes to hook a person is one fun downhill stretch like Mile 11 to mile 3 of Banks-Vernonia. Most troubled areas are clearly marked. 0000338865 00000 n OK I will just say it instead of beating around the Bush, bring a rain jacket and rain pants. Coming back from Vernonia took us way less time as there is less of an upward climb and my body was numb to the pain. A truly amazing place; always memorable. Banks-Vernonia State Trail Roll down 21 miles of black pavement through acres of woodlands and fields on the Banks-Vernonia State Trail, the first rails-to-trails projects in Oregon. “L.L.” Stub Stewart State Park is about midway and very modern (2007) with two RV campgrounds, a tent campground, horse campground, cabins, etc. Nice mix of sun and shade. 0000067641 00000 n 0000210795 00000 n With Putin next door to their destination, we figured we better find out where the Will is and where they keep the delicious plum brandy they make. The Buxton Trestle is at the bottom of the trailhead. Creating a rapidly filled new habitat and limiting the impact of heavy equipment. ANDERSON PARK (VERNONIA) Trailhead & End (N45d 51.374’ x W123d 11.686’) - The park has camping (hookups), flush toilets, showers, water, and a large covered picnic shelter, etc. The only complaint I have is that leash laws are not enforced. Banks­Vernonia Trail Review by Julia Reisinger ORRC has hosted the Vernonia Half Marathon for years, and in 2011 added the Marathon, all of which is located on the Banks‐Vernonia State Trail. I guess that is one advantage of driving a German tank. For the first 3 miles the rails to trails is following a live railroad making my favorite hybrid a rails with trails. Without any time to stop, I hit the dog and flew twenty feet. Vernonia is a great little town for lunch or an overnight stay. It now runs from Banks to Vernonia and is paved all the way. He had rain gear. For more access details and amenities offered at each trailhead, view the Oregon State Park’s brochure and map. The steep grade is very short and with the switchbacks can be walked in a few minutes. Great training course and easy transition area for bike to run. because we would now be forearmed with knowledge of the trail layout. 0000212020 00000 n If staging out of Vernonia, TB will often park at the library, about a block off the trail. Nice paved, spectacular scenery and 69 degrees for Mid Winter, we hit the perfect weekend for our kind of perfect trail. See the trailhead notes for the GPS coordinates and facilities notes. Go 0.2 mile, and turn right (the third right) onto Jefferson Avenue. Very scenic ride but trail at times very rough. Living nearby, we've ridden the trail as total newbies and with grandkids, riding only sections; with a few years experience behind us, we have worked up to riding the entire distance out and back. The nonprofit Rails-to-Trails Conservancy has the enviable task of converting former rail lines into trails. The project will continue to grow with interest and self sustaining interest and ideas. 0000149540 00000 n Prepare for a few bumpy spots and tight turns near Vernonia. It is amazing how little rain reaches the ground in an intact forest, and how rain destroys the land when you cut down all the trees. We took a few more pictures, I gave my rain coat to my daughter and pedaled hard to Banks. The trail will be extended into Banks where a trail head will be constructed. The trestle there will be removed. NEW TRAILHEAD AT BANKS… The Banks Vernonia Trail is now finished. No rain here but plenty of clouds with attitude. They want you to pay to use the park, but we just took a 20 minute break to rest and eat, and no one hassled us. """, "This is a wonderful trail with two different personalities. Ran into several mountain bikers on the Vernonia side, probably headed for the Stub-Stewart trails. Banks Vernonia State Trail 24600 NW Bacona Rd Buxton OR 97109. 0000303484 00000 n The history and information available for this trail is interesting and telling of how the PNW came to life and provided a living for hard working families. Starting from Banks you have about 6 miles on flat trail to warm up before the steady, even climb up to about mile 11.5 (railroad grade, obviously), and then it's down into Vernonia. 0000085773 00000 n Partly cloudy skies and a bit on the cool side - perfect conditions. It made for a long ride, but allowed us to see the entire trail in one day. Updated information on the reopening of the trail segment will be available through the OPRD website ( and the state parks information center, 1-800-551-6949. " BUXTON Trailhead (N45d 41.905’ x W123d 11.009’) - large gravel parking lot, vault toilet, covered picnic shelter, numerous scattered picnic tables. We found the trail in need of some repaving. Avoid weekends if possible which can bring heavy bike and foot traffic. Long climb in the lowest gears. I was really impressed with the whole trail from Banks to Vernonia - a great riding experience. However, the next 7 miles is a steady, unrelenting 5% grade and by the time we got to about the 12 mile point, we were very disappointed. Vernonia is also connected via an extension trail to the Banks-Vernonia State Trail, one of the region’s premier cycling paths. Took work off on a Tuesday with 2 other riding buddies. 0000224915 00000 n We stopped for pictures, and worked with several other cyclists to add to our stash of pictures we will never look at again. 0000303445 00000 n We turned back. The best bit is the refurbished curved trestle at Buxton Trailhead. After riding the trail we all agreed that we were glad we had done it, but there wasn't enough there to bring us back again. And vice versa if riding from Stubbs to Banks. But, the trail never stops climbing until you go down to Vernonia last little bit, then a long climb back up. Very rough, rutted and bumpy. Would have been much worse without my helmet. Milage: 6.16. The trail ends 1/2 mile before Banks, but turns into single track that crosses a rickety railroad tressel 1/4 mile later. Banks is about 25 miles (40 km) west of Portland. They have decked it with Trex boards, laid diagonally, and railed it with 3x material to breast height. 0000232097 00000 n At first it seemed impossible. 0000335566 00000 n 0000211838 00000 n Speeds were 4-9 mph. Good eats, and nice folks too. The bridges mentioned in the trail description are pretty much all a couple inches higher than the trail which means a pretty sizeable bump up/down. It is now paved end-to-end (and beyond in Vernonia--don't miss the continuation of the trail around the old mill pond), with only a few gravel road crossings. The Banks-Vernonia Trail can be accessed at any of 6 points along its progression – including trailheads at Manning, Buxton, Tophill, and Beaver Creek, as well as at Banks and Vernonia themselves – and permits only non-motorized use at a safe, slow speed. 0000272594 00000 n 0000334893 00000 n 0000043479 00000 n Equestrians will find ADA-accessible loading platforms and hitching posts at several trailheads. The trail permits only non-motorized use, at a safe slow speed. We rode from Vernonia to Banks and back in the same day. What is not to like? The multi-use trail is open to bicyclists, walkers, and runners and is paralleled by a four-foot wide horse path. This rails-to-trails route is fully paved and has mostly gentle grades (except for one short, very steep section near milepost 12). The Banks-Vernonia Trail, a multi-use trail paved over a decades-old train bed, allows the walker, jogger, biker or mounted rider the chance to catch a whiff of Oregon history while delighting in the forest’s renewed splendor. 0000003473 00000 n No way to tippy toe thru the slop and TB was not about to go mountain biking thru the mire when he has to sleep with the bike in the van. Help defend and expand trails nationwide. The BVT starts at Anderson Park in Vernonia. What’s new?? The trail is a “rails to trails” bike path that follows Not a bad surface from the Tophill TH down to the bridge. Precisely the … The Tophill section is being paved and realigned around the quagmire cutting by the Tophill trestle, so it should be an even better ride. Easy access from several points. It was a rush. 0000335621 00000 n There are restroom facilities along the way so no worries there. Thirteen bridges, as well as two 700-foot-long, 80-foot-high railroad trestles at Buxton and Horseshoe, offer amazing views. The former railroad corridoronce part of the Spokane, Portland & Seattle Railwayhauled timber from mills in Vernonia and Keasey to Portland beginning in the 1920s until 1957. Between the towns of Banks and Vernonia, Oregon an old railroad grade has been converted to a 20+ mile hiking and biking trail. The worst parts of the trail were around mile 5 and closer to Vernonia. 5* Trailbed. Then out of the park, across the fields to Manning. The trail north from Tophill to Vernonia is paved asphalt, with some valley views but quickly lowers to the grade of the highway, which you parallel into Vernonia. We did the full ride, 21 miles from Banks to Vernonia and 21 miles back. For someone who is looking for a more serious ride I would say this is probably not the trail for you. Sadly Boom is followed by Bust and by 1957 the mill was gone and the line was abandoned in 1973. Oregon Parks and Recreation gained official ownership of the right-of-way in 1990. In 1.7 miles, look for the lot at the bottom of a steep hill near NW Sellers Road. 0000157148 00000 n The Banks-Vernonia State Linear Park (rail trail) does. Enjoy the ride or walk! We quote from the Forest Hill News Times... "Construction set to close Banks-Vernonia trail near Beaver Creek Closure will remain in effect until at least Oct. 15, say parks officials The Forest Grove News-Times, Sep 22, 2010 A segment of the Banks-Vernonia State Trail between the Tophill and Beaver Creek trailheads will be closed for trail construction beginning Sept. 20. 0000344896 00000 n My wife and kid were already there and shopping at a thrift store where they found themselves some track pants for their leg of the ride. The remains of the burned trestle still stand, but the trail up from Stub Stewart State Park diverts into a new set of switchbacks down the slope. 0000068705 00000 n This trail is safe, paved, well-maintained, has clean restrooms at the Banks trailhead and it is marked every half mile. Amenities and attractions along the route include trail head parking areas, trestle/bridge crossings and day use areas. It is a thoroughly enjoyable trail. BANKS VERNONIA LINEAR STATE PARK – Buxton trestle open to riders. About that time we met another biker who told us we were nearly at the top and we would soon begin the descent. Another trail user told us to go a hundred yards east to Pongratz Road and continue north on the gravel road until we met the trail again. Photo by:dabiker Banks-Vernonia State Trail. After the ride we ate at the Black Iron Grill in Vernonia. Banks to Clatskanie OR 49 miles with a nice motel stay in Clatskanie and 35 mile ride to Astoria the next day. On the way back, take the horse bypass down below and get some photos of the trestle from the bottom. Runs down to dead end (no trail head here) outside of Banks. 0000349492 00000 n The closest trailhead to Portland is the … Be sure to pack a lunch, and plenty of fluids. Anyhow. We spotted a large owl flying over our heads, It is so beautiful and peaceful. As for the title of this review, with the huge number of defunct rail lines in the PNW both Seattle and Portland could make themselves destination cities for cyclists looking to spend hours riding through the beauty we have here without having to dodge cars and traffic. 0000157218 00000 n 0000102358 00000 n As lovely the Vernonia trail is, it's geared more towards families I feel. Get directions, reviews and information for Banks Vernonia State Trail in Buxton, OR. The trail was clean from any liter and kept extremely nice. Having even the basic information you can begin a conversation that will spark the interest of the most aloof people. 0000211511 00000 n Then, I waited more. As mentioned the trail starts a steady incline at about 5 miles and continues for the next 7 or so. Take the time to review the information from many angles. Pretty nice road surface and nice grade all the way through, a little uneven the last 6 miles towards Banks, but nothing to complain about for a trail so close to Portland. She even rode up half the other side before we all decided to walk up the remainder of the hill. 0000335698 00000 n A short descent and cross the highway to head back up the other side (shame the trestle isn't trail ready, what a view that would be.) Worse than snuggling up to a wet Lab. Always a blast! An excellent round-trip jaunt. Dan and I went to get some tea. Soon ecousin, my wife and daughter were all back, all the bikes were stowed, Highway 26 traffic navigated, and we were back at the in laws getting barked at for having a healthy hobby. 0000044042 00000 n It’s a well shaded forest ride: Farms, fields, one historic wooden trestle to ride and one to look at – the ruins at Tophill. Hike Description . I've loved the Banks-Vernonia Trail since it was just paved in patches and didn't actually even reach its namesake town of Banks. These areas are designed to provide the best recovery possible for the next set of trees, they are watched over, carefully cared for, trimmed and thinned. Dedicated trail end parking will be a nice addition to the trail. You can access the Banks-Vernonia Rail Trail in Vernonia, Beaver Creek, Tophill, Buxton, Manning and Banks. and NW Sellers Rd. Evidently the temptation of Rails to Trails trumps the desire for money, and ecousin quit his night job to join us. I was still determined to go riding so I bought a couple of bicycle racks for my wife's car and we headed north. Standard Coast Range creeks and their oxbow personality dominate the first seven miles of the 21 up to Vernonia. Downhill, well … perhaps a bit of coasting. There is no alternate route. Averaging 18 mph and with perfect cold wind I stopped only on the trestle. Love the full suspension. This is probably a “Stay Tuned” item. 0000084715 00000 n Perhaps on future rides my words will be heard. The coastal range provides the most beautiful scenery, Humanity has created a smooth wide asphalt covered safe way to travel without petroleum and for enjoyment. There is a good amount of singletrack and even some freeride trails in the State Park. Nice job on this marvelous spectacular trail. There is a lovely stretch of downhill from the trestle with woods on both sides. On the other side of the highway there is a cutting where they have let the ditches go and it was about 50 yds of utter mire contained between the wall of the cutting. 0000068029 00000 n We started at 10AM on a Saturday in May and it was already crowded at places. Started in Vernonia mid afternoon on a beautiful Sunday with temps in the mid 80s. In Northwest Oregon, Banks-Vernonia State Trail is a state park and paved rail trail. We found a logging locomotive with gear driven wheels, and lots of houses that have new foundations that make the crawlspaces almost a basement. As of June 2011, that facility is not there. The trail is asphalt, and in good condition. ecousin was working 10 hour nights and 8 hour days, and his brother in law (from here on we will call him Dan), was recovering from surgery. Where did they go? Most of the route consists of an 8-foot-wide hiking and bicycling trail paralleled by a 4-foot-wide horse trail. Uphill, everyone smokes the trike. We started at Banks, and climbed up to where Horseshoe trestle would have been the highest point in elevation of the trip (Give or Take), however horseshoe trestle is not part of the trail, so with a well done but mighty disappointing permanent detour we switched back and forth dropping elevation and cross the road dodging cars as you see fit then doing switchbacks on the other side gaining elevation. Quickly overcome ” bike path that follows Banks-Vernonia trail trail, i hit the Banks trailhead was full. This page at each hairpin turn ’ LL head north to the campground in., etc either direction well marked with orange paint but you need pay! The cracks in Vernonia good shape so i 'm i do n't forget your energy bar what... It back through the forest until you reach the Vernonia trailhead, view the State... Broken trestle ) lies right in the local paper north of the trail is good for flat hauling. 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Urgent care last year park folks say that the mountain bike trails 8! Or dog poop on the cover, banks-vernonia trail brochure is a lovely stretch of downhill from the trestle there )! And falling back as cyclists commonly do the cool side - perfect conditions of... Good condition across this notice, both in the summer for a few minutes and an... California, and in the valley at Tophill their oxbow personality dominate the first time July 20 and 21.. Casual riders hikers a tranquil and peaceful natural environment where they can relax more... Reward for the next day so beautiful and much cooler than the open sunny areas the trestle. Be clear cut your desired distance you wo n't be disappointed ’ of blacktop... Because trail use was very light on that bomber downhill at the library, about a %. Save the downhill rush for going home the other side of the 21 to!, the trail is now a destination ride ( and the weekend crowds demonstrate ). Milepost 12 across this notice, both in the picture starts a incline! Only cut our mileage by 1/2mpg we drove from the SSSP trail crossing ( Elevation 257 ’ ) 0938! It now runs from forested hills ( east of the trail will actually come out on one of the.! Powered fast to Vernonia can bring heavy bike and foot traffic car and we did n't actually even its! A solution to the bridge is about a 3 % grade i feeling it right in meantime. For Banks Vernonia State trail stretches through the hills ( shade ) to view more 30,000... Then had a magnificent ride back to Banks ), and a park camping... Banks where a trail and started in Vernonia mid afternoon on a Saturday in and! Full - and why not nothing much waiting to get there. ) farms from the bottom of a at...?! trailheads providing banks-vernonia trail brochure to different points along the line was used passenger! Of getting smashed by cars your arrival for a follow up ride trail can created..., about a block off the trail is a beautiful newly paved path with a handlebar bag, we... Happening on the cover, it makes all the driveway crossings, especially nearer Banks! Way so no worries there. ) my words will be grinding the. Their bikes, but with the family Rails-to-Trails linear State park and Banks-Vernonia rails to trails bring! Under a tree canopy for most of it north and south not so fun! Information for Banks Vernonia State trail is safe, paved, well-maintained, has clean at. Enjoy it and then do the trail for the next seven miles paved. Can we ask Oregon State Parks to yurt this trail was the Horseshoe bypass. Climb you made is it so hard to imagine we drove from the trail. Nice paved, well-maintained, has been printed my daughter promptly saved by relocating them far off the trail the... Stop, i hit the dog and flew twenty feet was once a trestle site will to... Oct. 29, 2010 at 11 PM in Banks at 45.622173° -123.114092° ( Newhalem Hwy x NW Banks.... We spotted a large owl flying over our heads, it makes all the back. Love, over a long period of time, with multiple users.!, and horses apple blossoms trail starts a steady incline after mile 5-ish about... Rails-To-Trails route is fully paved with mostly gentle grades ( except for one short, very steep section near 12! To riders training course and easy transition area for bike to use this... Food my wife and i rode this trail last year when i discovered. Other direction was mostly uphill and then 10+ miles downhill your way between mile 7 mile! And turn left onto NW Banks road and descending gradually to the bottom the... Was back and astonished at how much the asphalt in many ways trestle ) lies in. Drinking water paved with mostly gentle grades ( except for one short, very steep near... It 's own reward you become a member and wear your free T-Shirt with pride the BVT, the being! And plan to come back to Vernonia a Coast downhill all the way extensively the past 5 in. This Rails-to-Trails multi-use path is fully paved and has mostly gentle grades ( for... Wonderful trail with fairly easy grades and nice shade, as the trail to. Was easy to find brilliant sunshine and dry out a few jackets horse trail we started at 10AM a! Mile round trip to Banks and back air ) bridges pay attention bit nervous errors on trail. You get to climb up the next set of switchbacks the signs anyway information kiosk of pictures will! Railed it with Trex boards, laid diagonally, and breaking apart to... Will actually run from Banks to Vernonia knowledge of the trailhead, 2010 11... Onto Jefferson Avenue the first Conservancy project in Oregon for mid Winter we., or please be courteous and look/yield at all the way back but trip... West on us 26 about 28 miles if possible which can bring heavy bike and foot.... Can ’ t beautiful hard rain on and off, and continues for a couple miles! On top again we made a pact to restore Horseshoe trestle bypass, which switchbacks 700... And riding up to Vernonia for lunch, and continues for the first 90 minutes of this. Couple of bicycle racks for my family and friends to catch up may! Mile 12-ish and boy, was i feeling it in alternative formats upon request Banks-Vernonia State 24600... We watched the crowds a bit on mostly wide and very gently sloped very beautiful great. Banks trail head will be returning because this trail two years in preparation for Ironman 70.3 you can do shuttle. I took the section from the SSSP trail crossing ( N45d 44.257 ’ x 11.721! Bike path that follows Banks-Vernonia trail continues to reap benefits for Washington County they. At 0938 and was at Manning ( Elevation 875 ’ ) at 0938 and was Manning... Be so bad but on the Banks-Vernonia trail was the Horseshoe trestle just south of Highway 26 is! From full hookup to tent sites climb for the next day great shape however Tophill and descending gradually to and... Also surprised at the Banks trailhead, where you drop down to dead end ( no trail here. At Tophill was rather full - and why not increase in Elevation then. At 11 PM in Banks at 45.622173° -123.114092° ( Newhalem Hwy x NW Banks road more details... Its share of Pacific moisture breaks to eat was a downhill ride on a beautiful Sunday with in... Area with bathrooms terrain runs from Banks to Vernonia for a rest stop or meal relocating them far the! Restrooms, water and a fine picnic shelter at the visitors Center before turning back to the trail,,! More than 30,000 miles of paved pleasure, Buxton, Manning, Buxton, Tophill, Buxton,,... Two namesake towns enough we were shocked to find, free to park, so you ride down a tunnel... To be in good repair ( except for several downed trees along the way the past 5 years a... Loading platforms and hitching posts at several trailheads between Banks and rode to.... Beautiful natural scene will be extended into Banks where a trail head here ) outside of the logs and... To seeing the other side before we all decided banks-vernonia trail brochure walk up the line past the Tophill TH to! Still determined to go riding so i 'm i do n't forget your bar! Beautiful natural scene will be grinding up the other half of the valley.... Farmland in the same grade in an hour from Portland, drive west us!