New signage and trailheads connect Crown Z and Banks-Vernonia trails

New trailheads at Holce and near Anderson Park in Vernonia. All photos by Dale Latham.

At long last, two of Oregon’s best cycling trails have been connected. Earlier this month, crews and volunteers from the City of Vernonia and Columbia County quietly filled the final gap that remained between the end of the Crown Z Trail (a.k.a. Crown Zellerbach Trail or just “the CZ”) and the start of the Banks-Vernonia Trail.

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Loggers, electeds, and riders come together to mark solid progress on Crown Z Trail

Ready to cut the ribbon.
Left to Right: Columbia County Facilities & Parks Director Casey Garrett, Mike Pihl Logging Inc. owner Mike Pihl, former Columbia County Commissioner and CZ Trail Advisory Committee Chair Tony Hyde, Columbia County Commissioner Margaret Magruder, CZ Advisory Committee member Dale Latham, County Commissioner Henry Heimuller.
(Photo: J. Maus/BikePortland)

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

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

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.

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Trails, backroads and the charms of Vernonia

(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.

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