Cycle Portland, Sightseeing Ride, Hillsboro to Vernonia
The Banks-Vernonia Trail was awarded the 2011 Tourism and Hospitality Industry Award for its natural beauty and accessibility to Portland. The trail is a 21-mile linear state park along a former railroad line between Banks and Vernonia and has quickly become a favorite of local cyclists. Access the trail by beginning the trip with a 13-mile ride through beautiful farm and wine country beginning at the Hatfiled Government Center MAX station in downtown Hillsboro.
Paved streets and multi-use pathway.
Low-traffic roadways to the trailhead then smooth multi-use path to Vernonia. Expect to see pedestrians, horses, bicycles, skateboarders, and roller-bladers.
By car, take U.S. 26 west to Exit 62A NW Cornelius Pass Road S, right onto NE Cornell Road, right onto E Main Street; paid parking in garage or on-street parking.
By public transportation, take TriMet MAX Blue line train to the Hatfield Government Center MAX station.
Food and Drink
There is plenty of opportunity to fuel up in Hillsboro at the TriMet MAX station and at other retail establishments. Just before the trailhead the town of Banks offers another opportunity to replenish water and drinks, and again in Vernonia. At the trailhead, there are restrooms and drinking fountains, plus a bike shop that sells and rents bikes in addition to snacks and drinks.
The Banks-to-Vernonia Trail runs through Stub Stewart State Park which offers camping, cabins, and 20 miles of trails for hiking.
The beginning of this trek brings cyclists through rolling farmland and vineyards. The road is rough but paved and crosses several railroad tracks between Hillsboro and Banks. Off in the distance are the foothills of the Coast Mountain Range. There is only one section of road that is along a busy street, CorneliusShefflin Road, but there is a wide bike lane along this section. The first part of the ride ends in the small town of Banks where the trailhead begins. The Banks-to-Vernonia Trail has been in existence for some time.
Cyclists will enjoy crossing the renovated 700-foot long, 80-foot high railroad trestle as well as the 13 wooden bridges that add to the splendor of the ride. The trail bisects Stub Stewart State Park that offers year-round camping in cabins or tents. The park offers miles of hiking trails and it is not uncommon to encounter horses along the trail. The town of Vernonia is directly across from Anderson Park and offers an opportunity to refuel. Anderson Park has a playground, restrooms and drinking fountains.
The one mile loop around Lake Vernonia is just a short distance beyond the park on the right. This man-made lake is a favorite fishing spot. On the return ride after leaving the Tophill Trailhead, cyclists may be surprised to find that they have a long descent where they need hardly pedal. The elevation rises slowly on the way out and offers a welcome glide into the Banks Trailhead before retracing the roads back through farm country to Hillsboro.
106.174 km / 65.973 mi
740 m / 2,429 ft
740 m / 2,428 ft
313 m / 1,027 ft