The Banks-Vernonia Trail stretches through the hills east of the Coast Mountains. It’s 35 miles west of Portland, and 52 miles east of the coastal town of Seaside. Both trail endpoints—at Banks and at Vernonia—are paved for several miles, mostly along the highway.
As you approach the middle third of the trail, it leaves the road and climbs into the forested hills on a gravel-and-ballast surface. Here you enter a different world. Miles of side trails create an outdoor museum of railroad relics, including an old section cabin. Look up at two 90-foot-high, 680-foot-long trestles. Enjoy views of the Coastal Range. Listen for an owl. You might see a fox, an elk, a deer, or a great blue heron.
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