To preserve and enhance the recreational and educational opportunities of the Stub Stewart State Park & Banks-Vernonia Rails to Trails and to promote the use and appreciation of its cultural, historical, & natural resources.
Where the railroad once was king, the woods now reign again. A century ago, the railway improved the lives of thousands of early Oregonians and the burgeoning lumber industry that supported them. While these trains are long gone and their tracks dismantled, the path they carved through the wilderness remains and has been put to splendid use.
The Banks-Vernonia State Trail is a multi-use trail paved over a decades-old rail bed, allowing hikers, bikers, and horseback riders the chance to experience Oregon history while delighting in the forest’s renewed splendor. These 21 miles of tree-lined, easy-grade pathway was the first Rails-to Trails project in the state and at a mere 26 miles west of Portland, all its natural beauty is yours to enjoy.
Just 34 miles west of Portland, you’ve got the best backyard imaginable. With over 1500 acres of pristine wooded hills interlaced with over 20 miles worth of trail open to hikers, bikers, and equestrians of all ages - L.L. Stub Stewart State Park is a dream destination for trail lovers, disc golfers, campers, and star gazers looking for a home away from home.
Opened in 2007 and named after OPRD's #1 supporter, the late Loren LaSells "Stub" Stewart, our campgrounds were the first to open in the state after a long following the opening of Cape Blanco in 1972. The park's land was acquired through exchanges with the Oregon Department of Forestry, Washington County, the Oregon Military Department, the Division of State Lands, the Oregon Department of Transportation, Longview Fibre Company, and a private land owner.
The Friends of Stub Stewart State Park and Banks-Vernonia Rails to Trails began with a handful of trail enthusiasts who wanted to preserve an old abandoned railroad line and make it a scenic trail for use by hikers, bikers, and horseback riders. It became the first Rails-to-Trails project in the state of Oregon. When the Oregon State Parks & Recreation Department decided to build L.L. Stub Stewart State Park, the first new state park in 20 years, the friends embraced the project and became the "Friends" group for both parks.
Today, our group operates the Discovery Depot as well as several other projects designed to share and preserve the unique history and natural resources in the region. We work closely with local community groups and, of course, the personnel and volunteers at the park.