Oregon's first "rail-to-trail" park









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Banks-Vernonia State Trail is the first “rails-to-trails” park in Oregon.

The trail follows an abandoned railroad bed that stretches 21 miles between the cities of Banks and Vernonia. The trail consists of a paved 8-foot wide hiking and bicycle trail alongside a gravel trail for horses that's about 4-foot wide in most sections.

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. Access the trail from one of the five trailheads, which have parking and restrooms.

The trail also connects to L.L.

Stub Stewart State Park.