There is a trend around the nation that involves converting old, unused rail lines to multi-use pathways. Oregon boasts several of these projects and one in the Tualatin Valley that started the whole trend in our state.
Bikers and hikers have replaced locomotives and cabooses on this pathway. This is Oregon’s first “rails-to-trails” project — the Banks-Vernonia State Trail.
The railroad tracks have been removed and replaced with a smooth multi-use surface.
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It starts 26 miles west of Portland in the town of Banks on Highway 26. This 21-mile trail goes all the way to the town of Vernonia. And it hugely popular with bikers.
There are several trailheads located along the tree-lined pathway. The state of Oregon maintains the trail while the Washington County Visitor’s Association helps provide features like kiosks, maps and bike hubs.
Before the rail-to-trail conversion, Hollywood took advantage of an old trestle on this rail line. But Lee Marvin and Earnest Borgnine are long gone.
The Banks-Vernonia State Trail is open year-round. It even provides access to campgrounds. If you’re a biker or a hiker, this fairly flat trail might be just the ticket for you.
There’s a lot of info on tualatinvalley.org.