Biking The Banks-Vernonia State Trail

12 05 2010

Sometimes I bike for adventure, sometimes for a challenge, but a lot of times I just want to relax and get the blood flowing.  I had been searching for the latter for a few weeks.  I was looking for something that gave a great workout without the possibility of getting hit by a car or having to hop roots/rocks, and I found it!  The Banks-Vernonia State Trail about 25 minutes outside of Portland.  This is a 20 mile rails-to-trails ride that I really enjoyed.  There are multiple trailheads, but I chose the one at Mannig.

Most of the former railroad track trails that I’ve ridden were in the Midwest or Florida, so they were fairly flat and straight.  This was interesting in the fact that it starts (or ends depending on your starting point) right before the coastal range, meaning that you are always going uphill if you start on the east end of the trail like I did.  Normally I like more up and down throughout, but this was cool in the fact that you could go as far as you possibly could, knowing that the trip back was all coasting.  And that’s no joke because that’s exactly what I did.  I went in 7 miles, and with the exception of the last 1/2 mile of the 7 miles back I coasted.  Sure, you could peddle and get a better workout, but I decided to coast and see the sights that I might have missed going up.

Sights like these…

The flat area towards the east, farms and such.

Really cool original train bridge converted for my use 🙂

As you go in further the trees get bigger and the scenery gets better.

Someday soon, I will do the entire trail… and back.