Though it's a relatively new addition to Oregon's extensive collection of state parks, L.L. Stub Steward State Park, officially opened in July 2007, is quickly becoming one of Portland's most beloved weekend getaway destinations. This 1,654-acre swath of land is situated just 34 miles west of Portland and sandwiched between two small towns, and it serves up just about every type of adventure imaginable.
Mountain biking and horseback riding trails wind through a verdant second-growth forest, and a 21-mile hiking trail connects the dots between Banks and Vernonia. Though it's quite easy to visit for a day, the park offers a number of different overnight stay options, and most are available year round. If you're with older folks or young kids, or you just want a roof over your head, the Mountain Dale Cabins are hard to beat. And, that's no secret—be sure to book your stay well in advance.
Each cabin is outfitted with cots, mattresses, minimal furniture, a picnic table, a fire ring, and a deck. For the best views, book cabins 1 through 4. Though the cabins don't have kitchens or running water, a large meeting area several hundred yards away has a large kitchen. Most opt to cook over camp stoves.
Clean showers and restrooms are nearby, and, if you find yourself in a pinch, the nearest small towns can supplement any forgotten necessities. Be sure to bring your own linens for the beds or you'll be in for a cold night!