Banks-Vernonia State Trail

Difficulty Distance Elevation Gain
 Easy 20 Miles One-way


From Portland, head west on Highway 26 (Sunset Highway). Head north on Highway 47 toward Vernonia. The trailhead is at Anderson Park.


Banks-Vernonia State Trail is the first "rails-to-trails"state park built in Oregon. It is built on an abandoned railroad bed that stretches 21 miles from the town of Banks to the city of Vernonia. The trail includes an eight-foot wide hiking and bicycle trail paralleled by a four-foot wide horse trail. The gentle grade allows hikers, bicyclists, equestrians and people of all abilities to enjoy scenic mountains, fields and forests of Washington and Columbia counties.

History of the line:
The railway line dates back to the 1920s when it was used for moving logs and lumber from the Oregon-American lumber mill in Vernonia, and freight and passengers from Keasey to Portland. When the lumber mill closed in 1957, the railroad stopped using the line. In 1960, the line was leased to the Vernonia South Park and Sunset Railroad, which operated a steam excursion train for five years.

The line was abandoned and rails salvaged in 1973. The right-of-way was purchased by the State Highway Department in 1974, and was officially transferred to Oregon Parks and Recreation Department in 1990.