Banks-Vernonia State Trail is a 24 mile moderately trafficked point-to-point trail located near Banks, OR that features beautiful wild flowers and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.
dogs on leash
Thanks to the rails to trails program this trail became the first linear state park in Oregon. This paved path with its minimal elevation change is a great choice for the whole family for a sunny day bike ride or walk. If you own a horse there is also a path that runs along the paved path for you. This route is great for bird watching as well.
The road noise was a bit much for my taste... but the black berries were good!
This is not a moderate trail for riding or hiking it's very easy!
Newb biker, here! This is my first actual "trail" since riding to parks and Belmont Station for lunch. There's a little parking lot at the trailhead, sports maybe 40 spots. Was a bit tight when I got there, and it was mid-day Wed. The first 4mi are scenic smoothly paved trail, with a rail and a road on one side and meadows on the right. Once you head up into the forest (just after the big meadow), the rest is a gradual but constant incline. I got my butt kicked and turned around about 7.5mi in, and the coast back down was way worth it! And here I'd figured I'd make the whole 21mi easy... Ha. There's also little nooks with picnic tables every mile or so if you want to stop and snack; a nice feature!
wide paved trail the entire length. good solid trail along an old rail road path.
Good easy ride on a paved trail. Will have to come back to do the dirt trails.
I did this hike last month and oh my Lord, it is GORGEOUS. Old trees line the path as you walk and it is probably one of the most quiet and peaceful hikes ever! Would totally do it again.
The indicated date was the day we completed walking our last leg of the trail. We've been doing trailhead-to-trailhead round trips starting in Banks last year. Each leg has its beauty and charm. The last and most recent leg - Beaver Creek to Vernonia - was on the whole the least scenic. However, the loop around Vernonia Lake was very nice and was tempting us to come back with fishing poles. As the trail is well paved, it was very easily walked with a stroller, and is very popular with bicyclists. While open to horses, we never came across any on our trips.
Great trail to bike ride on. The scenery is changeable and traverses through open fields to covered forest areas. I read somewhere that part of this used to be an older railway that was converted to a trail.
http://www.oregonstateparks.org/park_145.php for PDF map of trailhead parking lots. Great paved trail for an easy run.
We've started biking this trail but haven't finished it yet. Will probably do at least two legs.
Beautiful scenery! Most shaded but open ceiling in parts. Very easy ride 99% of the time.
Starting from Banks, it begins flat then starts a long but very gradual up hill climb. There is a pretty steep up then down with fairly severe switchbacks right about in the middle of the trek. You might have to walk your bike up this section if, like me, you aren't skilled in sharp turns. I wouldn't recommend taking children through this part. Then it's mostly flat and slight downhill the rest of the way to Vernonia. Reverse this for the ride back.
The trail is paved double track, with a few gravel crossings. You will cross a few driveways and a couple of roads but it is all very well marked to get back on the trail. There are several places to stop, rest, and/or turn around if you don't feel up to the entire trip. There is one bathroom along the trail. Bring water. We didn't see any water fountains, even at the trail head. Though, you can buy water in Vernonia.
We went on a Sunday and it was pretty busy. We passed someone every couple of minutes but only had to stop once because of some inconsiderate folks stopped 4 wide across the trail. We were amongst bikers, hikers, and a couple of equestrians. Go early if you want to park in the main parking lot.
It's 41 miles total - out and back. It took us about 4 hours total riding time going at a somewhat leisurely pace.