An old railroad transformed into a smoothly paved multi-use path, Banks-Vernonia Trail is an essential Oregon experience for anyone with a love for biking.
The trail winds its way through idyllic pastures, small farms, woodland groves, fern gullies, and wooden bridges over gentle creeks. You'll likely see cattle and horses (the path intersects several equestrian paths). Wild rabbits, frogs, non-venomous snakes, and a variety of birds are also common.
You can start your adventure at the towns of Vernonia, Banks, or any of several trailheads along the way. Vernonia Lake City Park is a great, easy-to-find starting point (parking is $5 a day).
Vernonia is a small community an hour west of Portland that has made cameos in films such as Twilight and caters to travelers with a handful of restaurants and cafes along the main street.
The trail isn't a loop, so note that the whole length of the trail, roundtrip, is 42 miles. Leave with five or more hours of sunlight to spare, and riders of all experience levels will enjoy this serene ride through the Willamette Valley.