If you have a few morning hours in the Tualatin Valley, make them far from sleepy. With cooler autumn weather ahead, we’re looking forward to fall cycling close to Portland. The Banks-Vernonia State Trail, as well as the sweet spots surrounding it, offer an inviting morning jaunt.
Fall Cycling Close to Portland
Start with breakfast at Trailhead Café. As the name suggests, you’re just steps away you’re the trail. Fuel up with a zingy espresso, fresh pastry or protein-packed omelet.
As a bicycle isn’t the easiest carry-on item at the airport, you can rent from a wide range of options at Banks Bicycle Repair and Rental. The friendly, locally-owned bike shop is conveniently located right at the Banks trailhead. They have everything you need for a fun, safe ride.
All geared up, the Banks-Vernonia State Trail is waiting with its 21-miles of paved, carless and tree-lined paths. This trail will take you through open glades of the green, pine-scented forests and across babbling streams. Some of the area’s best fall foliage and wildlife viewing is waiting for even the most casual of adventurer. Ride the whole trail or simply turn around when you’re ready for lunch.
Just a 15-minute drive from the trail, find yourself in the small farming community of Helvetia. Nestled between the farms, Helvetia Tavern is the “home of the jumbo burger.” We’d call it a hidden gem, but the secret is out as people from all over the state come to the small watering hole for legendary burgers. While you are chowing down, be sure to look up at the ceiling. It’s lined with thousands of baseball caps.
Fall foliage, cycling and two good meals. We call that a morning well done.
Fall Cycling Events
If you can’t resist an organized ride, then sign up for the first fall rides of the season (which also happen to be among the last organized rides of 2017).
A bicycle safety rodeo encourages cycling safety and repairs for pedal-happy friends of all ages. Free ice scream at the end of the ride is a sweet incentive.
The Harvest Century celebrates the coming of the Tualatin Valley’s majestic fall. Sign up for the 3-mile, 45-mile, 75-mile or 100-mile bike rides along the scenic roads of the Tualatin Valley. Hydrate with water, as well as a few sips of hot cider at each rest stop.