Route: Banks-Vernonia State Trail (OR)

Oregon, US
20.8 mi

Banks-Vernonia State Trail is the first "rails-to-trails" linear state park built in Oregon. The trail follows an abandoned railroad bed that stretches 21 miles between the cities of Banks and Vernonia.

Most of the route consists of an eight-foot wide hiking and bicycle trail paralleled by a four-foot wide horse trail. The gentle grade in all but one area allows hikers, bicyclists, equestrians and people of all abilities to enjoy the scenic mountains, fields and forests of Washington and Columbia counties.

Trail highlights include 13 bridges and views from the 733-foot long, 80-foot high Buxton Trestle, open to hikers and bicyclists. A ground-level equestrian bypass crosses Mendenhall Creek. The south end of the trail begins in Banks, a town of 1,900 surrounded by agricultural operations. Heading north, the trail passes agricultural lands and riparian areas before reaching the thickly-forested foothills of the Coast Range and ending in Vernonia, a town of 2,200 surrounded by private timberland and small farms.

The Banks - Vernonia State Rails-to-Trails is the home of the Vernonia Marathon, , and likely the fastest (supported) times down the 21 mile length of trail are from the race.


Tomorrow morning I intend to make an attempt on the one-way crossing of the Banks - Vernonia trail.