Where the railroad once was king, the woods now reign again. A century ago, the railway made life better and easier for early Oregonians and the burgeoning lumber industry that fueled their prosperity in the northwest corner of the state. But while the trains are long gone and their tracks dismantled, the path they carved through the wilderness remains, having since been put to splendid use. The Banks-Vernonia State Trail (BVT) stands today as Oregon’s first rail-to-trail, and the space once allotted for the Industrial Age’s biggest, most propulsive machines has been handed back over to nature – and to you.
The Banks-Vernonia Trail, a multi-use trail paved over a decades-old rail bed, allows the hiker, biker or horseback rider the chance to experience of Oregon history while delighting in the forest’s renewed splendor. 21 miles of tree-lined, easy-grade pathway conducts you through sun-dappled glades and across swift, clear streams, filling your nose with wildflower scents and your ears with the songs of birds. Thirteen old bridges, wooden trestles rise up to acquaint you with days of the past. And at a mere 26 miles west of Portland, all this peaceful, quiet, natural beauty awaits you right down the road.
The Banks-Vernonia Trail can be accessed at several points along its progression – including trailheads at Manning, Buxton, within Stub Stewart State Park, Tophill, and Beaver Creek, as well as at Banks and Vernonia themselves – and permits only non-motorized use at a safe, slow speed. Precisely the opposite, ironically, of the trains that once ran there. Nature has a way of making things come full circle, a theory proved in lovely, pastoral abundance by a rail-to-trail like the BVT. Visit today and see just how much good those old railroads are still doing – for Oregon, for the forest itself, and (especially) for you.
Trail Map - Click for Brochure with larger format
Click the image below to be linked to seasonalspring.com, where you can download the Banks-Vernonia Trail App for Apple devices from the Apple App store.
This application was proudly made in Oregon by: Scott D. Smith
This app provides a fully interactive offline map and trail guide for the entire Banks Vernonia State Trail, segment by segment. Also shows official parking areas, your GPS location, and the elevation profile.
App cost: $1.99