Friends of Stub Stewart State Park and Banks-Vernonia Rails to Trails

Our History, Our Heritage

The Banks–Vernonia State Trail is a paved rail trail and state park in northwest Oregon. Ours was the first Rails to Trails project in the state, something that we are immensely proud of having brought to fruition. It runs for 21 miles, primarily north–south, between the towns of Vernonia in Columbia County and Banks in Washington County (about 25 miles west of Portland) on an abandoned railroad bed. The 8-foot wide trail is open to non-motorized uses such as hiking, biking, and horseback riding.

The rail trail crosses 12 bridges and the Buxton Trestle, a former railroad trestle bridge that is 600 feet long and 80 feet high. A second railroad trestle, the Tophill (or Horseshoe) Trestle, was damaged by fire in 1986 and is bypassed with a series of switchbacks at the Tophill Trailhead. Amenities available at some locations in the park include picnic areas, wildlife watching, picturesque forests, bird-watching, historic sites, public restrooms, parking, horse hitching posts, a loading platform, and a whistle stop shelter. The rail trail connects to a network of over 25 miles of unpaved multi-use (non-motorized) trails in L.L. "Stub" Stewart State Park