columbia county

A loop for the gravel-curious: Gunners Lakes from Stub Stewart State Park

Avatar by on July 17th, 2019 at 5:43 pm

Bacona Road swoops along a ridge as it alternates between clearcuts and dense forests.
(Photos: J. Maus/BikePortland)

We’ve sung the praises of Stub Stewart State Park on this site several times in the past. It’s not only a great bike-camping destination from Portland (a MAX ride will put you about 13 miles away from a carfree path that leads to the park entrance), it also makes a perfect base camp for miles of excellent roads and trails.
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Columbia County to develop 40 miles of unpaved roads and trails near St. Helens

Avatar by on May 9th, 2019 at 10:56 am

Approximate location of future roads/trails. St. Helens and Columbia River are in lower right.

Columbia County will get another bicycling boost thanks to Travel Oregon and the City of St. Helens. [Read more…]

Pedaling through timber reserves and history in Columbia County

Avatar by on March 25th, 2019 at 3:41 pm

A second-growth timber reserve on Camp 9 Road in Columbia County.
(Photos: Jonathan Maus/BikePortland)

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about where we ride. Whether I’m in on the streets of inner northeast Portland, or way out in the middle of the woods, I want to go below the surface and beyond the pretty views. I want to know about the people who lived on the land long before we pedaled through. I want to know what they did, what they cared about, and why they’re no longer there.

When it comes to unpaved roads in the hills above Scappoose — from camps and mills established in the 19th century, to the active harvesting we see today — much of that history revolves around logging. On Saturday I witnessed some of it first-hand when I joined a group of fellow unpaved road lovers at a gathering hosted by the Coastal Mountain Sport Haus in Vernonia. [Read more…]

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

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

Avatar 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

Avatar 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.
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A new off-road biking area takes shape in Scappoose

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

Avatar 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…]

Weyerhaeuser enforcing gravel road permits amid confusion over public right-of-way

Avatar by on October 15th, 2015 at 10:14 am

The logging roads northwest of Vernonia are spectacular, but not all of them are open to public access.
(Photo © J. Maus/BikePortland)

Several weeks ago a group of bicycle riders ran into a security guard while riding dirt roads outside of Vernonia. The incident shows that Weyerhaeuser Columbia Timberlands is actively enforcing the new permit program they launched back in July. It has also set off an effort by Columbia County Parks to create new signage that clarifies which roads the public is still free to use without a permit.
[Read more…]

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

Avatar 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…]