columbia county

New multi-county committee will focus on development of Crown-Zellerbach Trail

by on February 9th, 2018 at 1:00 pm

The press release from Columbia County below is related to a recent influx of funding and interest in making improvements to the Crown-Zellerbach Trail.

Columbia County creates new advisory committee; seeks members from neighboring cities and counties

Committee to focus on development of Crown-Zellerbach Trail

Columbia County is gearing up to focus on development of the CZ Trail, and is forming a committee to advise county leaders and work on specific projects along the 23-mile route.

“This is the county’s newest committee,” said County Chair Margaret Magruder, “and unlike our other advisory committees, we’re including people from nearby counties and cities to help us. The CZ Trail is a regionally significant part of a larger trail system in northwest Oregon, so we need voices from surrounding communities to make certain we consider a variety of users.”

The new committee was formalized by county ordinance in January 2018.

The CZ Trail is an historic route that runs from Vernonia to Scappoose. It was created in the early 1800s as a logging trail to move timber from the upper hills of the county to docks on the Multnomah Channel. In the 1950s, the trail was purchased by the Crown Zellerbach Corp. and converted to a road. Later, Hancock Timber Resources maintained the road for access and fire suppression. Columbia County purchased the land in 2004.

The new advisory committee will assist the Columbia County Commission in further developing the trail. Magruder said a wide range of representatives are needed, including people who live along or own property near the trail; leaders of cycling, hiking and equestrian groups; members of local watershed councils; representatives from local logging companies; and representatives of federal, state and local organizations involved in park, trail or recreation facilities, roads or forest management. Terms run from two to four years.

The county wants to improve the trail for hikers, cyclists and horseback riders. The new committee will work on a variety of projects, including reviewing a Concept Plan developed in the 2000s, possible acquisition or right-of-way of part of the trail in Vernonia connecting to the Banks-Vernonia Trail, and the use of a former logging camp as an equestrian camp.

The county was also recently approved for a matching grant from the Oregon Department of Parks and Recreation. Funds will go towards adding signage, safety and several visitor amenities.

Those interested in serving on the new CZ Trail Advisory Committee should complete a Volunteer Application Form. The form can be found online or at the County Courthouse, 230 Strand St. in St. Helens. For more information, email Jan Greenhalgh at or call her at 503-397-4322.

Advocate’s memorial fund leads to $150,000 grant for the Crown Zellerbach Trail

by on January 11th, 2018 at 4:55 pm

Vernonia Overnighter

A portion of the grant funds will pay for safety improvements where the trail crosses Scappoose-Vernonia Highway.
(Photos: J. Maus/BikePortland)

Great news for those who like to take the road less traveled: The Crown Zellerbach Trail, a former logging road that gives riders an off-highway option between Scappoose and Vernonia, has just won a $150,000 matching grant from Oregon Parks and Recreation.
[Read more…]

The Ride: One century to rule them all

by on August 22nd, 2017 at 11:56 am

There’s more than one way to get to Vernonia – if you don’t mind getting dirty.
(Photos: J. Maus/BikePortland)

This post is sponsored by River City Bicycles.

You know I have a soft-spot for Columbia County. A ride I did this weekend made it even softer: A 100-mile loop that pulls together adventurous riding that’s relatively close to Portland and offers everything from expertly crafted singletrack and primitive logging roads to carfree paths and smooth country roads.

I call it the Scappoose Vernonia Singletrack Century.
[Read more…]

A new off-road biking area takes shape in Scappoose

by on February 9th, 2017 at 2:16 pm

An existing road in the Vista Park parcel that could be part of a new trail system by next year.
(Photos: Bryan Hammond)

As we bide our time for the City’s Off-Road Cycling Master Plan to be completed and wait eagerly for Gateway Green in east Portland to open up this year (you are going to the Big Dig on Saturday, right?), there’s something worth watching in the small city of Scappoose.
[Read more…]

With a new ride and race venue, Columbia County looks to embrace cycling

by on April 27th, 2016 at 2:01 pm

Burn Road Loop in Vernonia-32

A new century ride will bring more people to roads like these in Columbia County.
(Photos: J. Maus/BikePortland)

With a new event ride and an outdoor events park that will host mountain bike races this summer, Columbia County is quickly starting to fulfill its vast potential as a bicycle recreation destination.
[Read more…]

The Ride: Scappoose to the Banks-Vernonia Trail via logging roads

by on March 30th, 2015 at 3:43 pm

Scappoose to Buxton on dirt-17

Pisgah Road near Gunners Lakes Mainline was a wrong turn that turned out right.
(Photos J. Maus/BikePortland)

Note: Welcome to the first in a series of posts sponsored by 21st Avenue Bicycles. They’ve stepped up to bring you more coverage of bikepacking and adventure rides. Stay tuned all year as we explore the best backroads and bike-camping spots in Portland and beyond.

There’s a certain satisfaction that comes with finally doing a route that has been in the back of your mind for a few years.

That’s what I did on Sunday by finally connecting dirt roads from Scappoose to the Banks-Vernonia Trail (at Buxton trailhead). In all it was just under 80 miles, with 21 of them on beautiful, often rugged, and remote backroads that I’m still day-dreaming about. Here’s how it went down…[Read more…]

The Ride: Columbia County’s Burn Road Loop traces pioneer history

by on May 28th, 2014 at 12:48 pm

Burn Road Loop in Vernonia-5

Steeped in Oregon pioneer history and beloved by locals,
I cherished the chance to ride Burn Road.
(Photos J. Maus/BikePortland)

This is part of my coverage from a recent stay at the Coastal Mountain Sport Haus, an inn and lodge located in Vernonia that caters to bicycle riding guests.

After riding the Beaver Falls Loop for the first time on Saturday, I was already smitten with the riding possibilities in Columbia County. Then the next day, my hosts at the Coastal Mountain Sport Haus — Glen and Sandy Crinklaw — led me on another one of their favorite rides: The Burn Road Loop.[Read more…]

The Ride: The Beaver Falls Loop in Columbia County

by on May 27th, 2014 at 12:24 pm

Beaver Falls Loop-8

Glen Crinklaw glances at the view from the crest of Clatskanie Mountain Road between Mist and Clatskanie.
(Photos J. Maus/BikePortland)

There’s much more to riding in Columbia County than the marquee Banks-Vernonia Trail and Highway 30.

During my weekend stay at the Coastal Mountain Sporth Haus, I was lucky to have a knowledgeable local guide along for my journeys. Glen Crinklaw is co-proprietor at the Sport Haus and he also works as head of the parks department for Columbia County. On Saturday he shared his favorite ride: The Beaver Falls Loop.[Read more…]

The Ride: Exploring Columbia County backroads outside of Scappoose

by on January 27th, 2014 at 3:09 pm

Columbia County backroads-6

There are many miles of logging roads waiting
to be ridden just north of the Scappoose-Vernonia Hwy.
(Photos by J. Maus/BikePortland)

When the sun comes out around here in January, folks that enjoy bicycling take full advantage. This past weekend was a real gem weather-wise, and I’m sure I wasn’t the only one who grabbed the opportunity for some two-wheeled adventure. What I found were some off-the-beaten-path backroads that I enjoyed so much I’ve decided to share them here on the Front Page.

Wanting to do my first century of 2014, I ventured over to (a site — based right here in Portland! — that I could not live without these days) to map out one of my oldies but goodies — the Portland-Vernonia-Scappoose loop. This is a fantastic loop that I highly recommend. [Read more…]

Trails, backroads and the charms of Vernonia

by on May 20th, 2013 at 5:01 pm

(Photos © J. Maus/BikePortland)

One of the best things about bicycling in Portland isn’t even in Portland. It’s a small town called Vernonia. Situated a perfect day’s ride from Portland (about 50 miles, or less if you take MAX to HIllsboro), Vernonia is nestled in the woods at the end of about 20 miles of the smoothly paved Banks-Vernonia Trail.

This past weekend I packed up a few panniers and joined some friends for an overnight bike ride out to Vernonia. On the way out we rode through some great new trails and rural backroads through Washington County; and on the way back, we opted for logging roads and dirt trails that led us to Scappoose. Even under grey and wet skies all day Saturday, it was fantastic riding.

But what made this weekend so great wasn’t just the pedaling and the good company, it was the town of Vernonia itself. From the easy and comfortable camping at Anderson Park, to the hospitality of locals we experienced at Black Bear Coffee and the Cedar Side Inn.
[Read more…]