Banks-Vernonia Railroad

Buxton Trestle on the Banks-Vernonia Railroad

Buxton Trestle on the Banks-Vernonia Railroad

  • Easy (to Buxton trestle)
  • 0.5-mile loop
  • 100 feet elevation gain

  • Difficult (to L. L. Stewart Park)
  • 9.9-mile loop
  • 1000 feet elevation gain

The wide, well-graded Banks-Vernonia State Trail traces an abandoned railroad grade 20 miles through the forested Coast Range foothills. Good goals along the way include a colossal timbered trestle and a network of loop trails in the new L.L. “Stub” Stewart State Park. All routes are open to hikers, bicyclists, and equestrians. Dogs must be on leash.

The railroad line was built 1919-1922 to haul logs to the Columbia River and to transport lumber to Portland from the Oregon-American mill in Vernonia. After the mill closed in 1957, a steam excursion train ran here for five years. The rails were removed in 1973 and the state parks department bought the line in 1974.

The trail between Banks and Vernonia is paved except for a few miles near the Horseshoe trestle. The path detours around that closed, partly dismantled bridge. For the entire 20-mile route, horses use a parallel bark dust path.

A picnic area beside the huge, intact Buxton trestle is a good place to start your visit. Find it by driving …

If you’d like a longer hike, continue …

Other Options

If you’re bicycling, …

This chapter taken from the book 100 Hikes/Travel Guide: Oregon Coast & Coast Range.