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Banks–Vernonia State Trail: Wikis


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Banks–Vernonia State Trail
Along the trail near Manning
Type Public, state
Location 21-mile (34 km) linear park between Banks and Vernonia in Oregon
Operated by Oregon State Parks and Recreation Department
Status Day use, year-round, fee-free

The Banks–Vernonia State Trail is a rail trail in northwest Oregon in the United States. It runs for 21 miles (34 km), primarily north-south, between the towns of Vernonia and Banks on an abandoned railroad bed.[1] Banks is about 25 miles (40 km) west of Portland. The 8-foot (2.4 m) wide trail is paved along some stretches and unpaved along others.[1] A total of about 13 miles (21 km) are paved, including the segments leading from Vernonia and Banks.[1]

The trail is open to all non-motorized uses such as hiking, biking, and horseback riding.[2] A 4-foot (1.2 m) horse trail parallels the hiking and biking trail.[3] They cross 12 bridges and two railroad trestles, Horseshoe Trestle and Buxton Trestle, each of which is 600 feet (180 m) long and 80 feet (24 m) high.[1] Amenities available at some locations in the park include picnicking, fishing, wildlife watching, forests, bird-watching, historic sites, and public restrooms.[2]


This trail was the first example of a "rails-to-trails" project in Oregon, where an abandoned railroad right-of-way was redeveloped into a recreational-use trail. The railway line was built in the 1920s to move logs and lumber from the Oregon-American Lumber Company mill in Vernonia as well as freight and passengers from Keasey to Portland. The railroad stopped using the line in 1957 after the lumber mill closed, and from 1960 through 1965 the Vernonia South Park and Sunset Railroad leased the line and ran a steam excursion train on it.[3]

The line was abandoned in 1973. The Oregon Department of Transportation bought the right-of-way in 1974, and it was officially transferred to Oregon Parks and Recreation Department in 1990.[1] In 2007 L.L. "Stub" Stewart Memorial State Park opened adjacent to the trail.[4]


  1. ^ a b c d e Bannan, Jan (2002). Oregon State Parks: A Complete Recreation Guide (2nd ed.). Seattle: The Mountaineers Books. pp. 120–22. ISBN 0-89886-794-0. 
  2. ^ a b "Banks–Vernonia State Trail". Oregon Parks and Recreation Department. Retrieved October 26, 2009. 
  3. ^ a b "Welcome to Banks–Vernonia State Trail" (PDF). Oregon Parks and Recreation Department. August 2008. Retrieved October 28, 2009. 
  4. ^ Gorman, Kathleen. "Park laying groundwork for outdoors enthusiasts," The Oregonian, August 10, 2006.

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