One of our most fun day trips yet! The drive is about 1 hour from the inn to the Banks trailhead. Bike up to 21 miles on a beautiful trail. Let us arrange a picnic lunch for you and set off on your adventure. Just make sure to give us at least 48 hours notice! :-)
From the state park website:
"Where the railroad once was king, the woods now reign again. A century ago, this railway made life better and easier for early Oregonians and the burgeoning lumber industry that fueled their prosperity in the northwest corner of the state. But while the trains are long gone and their tracks dismantled, the path they carved through the wilderness remains, having since been put to splendid use. The Banks-Vernonia State Trail (BVT) stands today as Oregon’s first rail-to-trail, and the space once allotted for the Industrial Age’s biggest, most propulsive machines has been handed back over to nature – and to you.
The Banks-Vernonia Trail, a multi-use trail paved over a decades-old train bed, allows the walker, jogger, biker or mounted rider the chance to catch a whiff of Oregon history while delighting in the forest’s renewed splendor. 21 miles of tree-lined, easy-grade pathway conducts you through sun-dappled glades and across swift, clear streams, filling your nose with wildflower scents and your ears with the songs of birds. 13 old bridges, wooden trestles rise up to acquaint you with days of the past. And at a mere 26 miles west of Portland, all this peaceful, quiet, natural beauty awaits you right down the road.
The Banks-Vernonia Trail can be accessed at any of 6 points along its progression – including trailheads at Manning, Buxton, Tophill, and Beaver Creek, as well as at Banks and Vernonia themselves – and permits only non-motorized use at a safe, slow speed. Precisely the opposite, ironically, of the trains that once ran there. Nature has a way of making things come full circle, a theory proved in lovely, pastoral abundance by a rail-to-trail like the BVT. Visit today and see just how much good those old railroads are still doing – for Oregon, for the forest itself and (especially) for you."
|Rent your bikes right at the trailhead. Banks Bicycle owner |
Len is friendly and helpful and keeps his bikes in great condition.
Download the bike trail:
Bike Rental information:
For a treat at the end of the day, visit one of the north Willamette Wineries, like David Hill - for a little wine tasting reward. From David Hill's website: David Hill Winery is named for its geographical location. The name of the hill we sit on is David’s Hill, for Frederick David, an Oregon pioneer from the 1800’s.
The house that holds our tasting room was built in 1883 by the Reuter family. Adolph Reuter was born in
Germany in January of 1841. The Reuter’s produced award winning wines from grapes grown on the property. Photographs dated 1904 on display at the winery depict the residence surrounded by apparently thriving grape vines. Unfortunately, Prohibition had a devastating effect and eventually all or most of the vines were pulled out in favor of potato plantings.
In 1965 Charles Coury, along with a few other wine pioneers, came north from California to establish vineyards in the Willamette Valley where they believed they could successfully grow Pinot Noir. Many of the vines still exist. There are approximately 6 acres of old vine Pinot Noir and 2 acres of Riesling. There is also Gewürztraminer, Pinot Blanc, Semillon and Sylvaner that were planted at that time as well. David Hill Winery is home to the Willamette Valley’s oldest Pinot Noir Vines.