View Full Version : Banks-Vernonia Trail, one more time
08-12-2011, 05:48 PM
is the entire section of the trail paved/accessible via Bike? I can't find this information anywhere and am wondering if anyone has ridden it. I'd like to ride it the weekend after this coming weekend.
08-12-2011, 05:54 PM
I've made it up to Stub Stewart and it was all paved. 6 miles of relative flat followed by 6 miles of a mild climb... from Banks. Beautiful ride. I ride from home so a 60 mile day is easy to realize. Still planning on making Vernonia sometime this year.
08-13-2011, 08:03 PM
Paved the entire way.
A couple months ago we spoke about this: http://bikeportland.org/forum/showthread.php?t=3845&highlight=vernonia
I read somewhere on this site or another that there is a Vernonia shuttle bus that will pick up groups of riders or something? You know, so you can go downhill. :) Anyone know anything about any shuttles or transit going to Vernonia that can carry a few bikes?
08-14-2011, 09:19 AM
You may want to go downhill, but on weekends the trail is also used by families with children, runners, people on horseback... You will be going downhill, but probably not as quickly as you'd like. I think the summit is just south of Tophill. The climb on either side is negligible.
I haven't heard of such a transit. But really, while the ride back down is miles of lovely coasting, it's pretty easy to earn your turns on the climb up. The trail follows old railroad grade, 2% slope, and even lightly loaded with camping gear, not acclimated to touring, and tired from the ride from Hillsboro, I had no problem going up that grade in my middle ring. (the Stub Stewart entrance driveway...different story)
There is one very short unpaved place, like maybe 30 feet, where the B-V trail crosses gravel NW Pongratz Road. No biggie, even for skinny tires. Also, on the ride from Hillsboro, the north end of NW Padgett Road is being resurfaced and there is about a half-mile of crushed rock laid down across both lanes. They'll be applying the asphalt chip seal layer later this week, it should be done in time for the Beaverton, Banks and Beyond (http://www.nwbicyclesafetycouncil.org/events/ride-details/) tour on Sat, August 27. The dan henrys are already laid out for that ride.
For car-toppers, the trailhead at Banks has plenty of parking. There's also a small parking area a few miles up at Pihl Road. It was full by noon when I passed it yesterday.
children, runners, people on horseback...
Yes, saw all of those on my way down yesterday, late-morning. Definitely had to be alert, use the brakes, and a bell was helpful.
08-14-2011, 10:08 PM
Made it out there for my first time today. I tried it last winter, but snow and downfall debris made it impassable, then. I was a little discouraged at the time, figuring perhaps the trail was one of little maintenance.
Today, I launched at the crack of noon, encountered few others, the path was clean and tidy. I'll return, for sure. It's so nice having something where one can pedal for that many miles without concern of some angry motorist seeking points by taking out another biker. I'm always open for tips on places folks consider sacred for relative safety.
I digress: my other favorite is the Hood River to The Dalles old highway route. As a pal said, most the motorists you come across there would likely be on the road with you if they aren't in their cars. They afford what seems a comfortable margin and consideration. Active, full lifestyles as opposed to some knuckle dragger with an attitude of anger towards anything in their path.
Most areas around PDX are like Russian Roulette anymore.
08-16-2011, 08:17 AM
This posts gives me hope. I wanted to try hitting this trail this coming Saturday morning. Good to hear its paved all the way. Thanks guys
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