Wow, had a great day riding on the Banks-Vernonia State Trail on Friday. It’s a project of the Rails to Trails Conservancy, a truly awesome non-profit organization dedicated to turning our nation’s unused railroad tracks to non-motorized multi-use paths. The Banks-Vernonia trail is only 30 miles outside of Portland and over its 21 miles goes from the farmland of the valley to the thick undergrowth of the coastal mountains. The highlight is definitely the 600′ long Buxton trestle, 80 feet above the valley floor. It’s sheer joy to roll across this bridge, marveling at the wide open views of the thick forest all around and the grassy valley beneath.
We stayed the night in a cute little one room cabin in Stub Stewart State Park which the trail runs right through. This placed us perfectly for hitting the trail first thing the next morning (after driving to the nearest town for a serious logger’s breakfast of course!)
One thing I didn’t realize was that the trail runs almost exclusively downhill in one direction. We hardly pedaled all one direction. Thankfully, it was a gentle grade, which is exactly why railroads make great bike trails.