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Banks-Vernonia Trail

Banks Trailhead to L.L. "Stub" Stewart State Park

Portland Metro Area, Oregon

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Banks-Vernonia Trail

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  • The Banks Trailhead reflects the railroad origins of the trail.- Banks-Vernonia Trail
  • Parking at the Banks Trailhead.- Banks-Vernonia Trail
  • A typical stretch of trail between Banks and Manning trailheads.- Banks-Vernonia Trail
  • Bird-watching between Manning and Buxton trailheads.- Banks-Vernonia Trail
  • Prairie grasses.- Banks-Vernonia Trail
  • Buxton Trailhead.- Banks-Vernonia Trail
  • Buxton Trailhead.- Banks-Vernonia Trail
  • Entering the L.L. "Stub" Stewart State Park.- Banks-Vernonia Trail
  • Corpse Plant (Monotropa uniflora).- Banks-Vernonia Trail
  • This hornworm caterpillar will become a hummingbird moth.- Banks-Vernonia Trail
  • Trail through L.L. "Stub" Stewart State Park.- Banks-Vernonia Trail
  • One of a few unpaved trails that depart from the main paved trail.- Banks-Vernonia Trail
  • Picnic tables dot the side of the main trail.- Banks-Vernonia Trail
  • A peaceful stretch of the trail that leads through a stand of evergreen trees.- Banks-Vernonia Trail
  • Buxton Trestle.- Banks-Vernonia Trail
  • Looking down from Buxton Trestle to Buxton Creek.- Banks-Vernonia Trail
Overview + Weather
Pros: 
Mild grading. Family-friendly.
Cons: 
Mixed use trail.
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Region:
Portland Metro Area, OR
Congestion: 
Moderate
Pets allowed: 
Yes
Net Elevation Gain: 
645.00 ft (196.60 m)
Parking Pass: 
Not Required
Preferable Season(s):
Winter, Spring, Summer, Fall
Suitable for:
Hiking, Biking, Horseback
Total Distance: 
20.40 mi (32.83 km)
Trail type: 
There-and-back
Trailhead Elevation: 
205.00 ft (62.48 m)
Current Local Weather:
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Hike Description

Hike Description

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The Banks-Vernonia State Trail follows 21 miles of railroad tracks that have been paved over and now allow access to hikers, bikers, and horseback riders. Several trailheads between Banks and Vernonia dot the path, so a variety of there-and-back or shuttle trips can be created. It is a great choice for families, as the trail is wide and very gently sloped.

Starting at the Banks Trailhead, one can create a there-and-back trip that turns around at L.L. “Stub” Stewart State Park. The first 3 miles along the Nehalem and Sunset Highways are quite flat and provide a good warm-up for the gentle but long slope that starts at Manning Trailhead. Upon reaching Manning, the trail veers away from the highway and becomes more serene. You’ll cross the Buxton Trestle as the trail passes through evergreens and leads to L.L. “Stub” Stewart State Park.

The trail passes through private land, but the trail itself is one of Oregon’s State Parks. In fact, it is the first “rails-to-trails” state park in Oregon. The railroad was built 1913 to transport lumber, freight, and passengers. In 1973 the line was abandoned, and it was subsequently transferred to the Oregon Parks and Recreation Department. Finally, improvements were completed in 2010, when the Banks Trailhead opened.

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Location + Directions

Nearby Camping + Lodging

(8 within a 30 mile radius)

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(94 within a 30 mile radius)

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