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The Weekender: Banks

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The Weekender: Banks

(and Forest Grove, Too)

The small city of Banks (population nearing 1,900) is the gateway to the Oregon Coast, and is known for its superb outdoor recreation. This weekend, grab your cycling shoes for a ride of a lifetime.

 

Saturday

Banks marks the start of the Banks-Vernonia State Trail, a 21-mile linear trail open to cyclists, hikers and horseback riders. This popular path was the state’s first rail-to-trail project and remains one of the most popular multi-use paths in the region.

Before spending the day on the trail, enjoy a hearty breakfast at The Trailhead Cafe. Then, rent a bicycle–single or tandem–at Banks Bicycle Repair and Rental.

Once you’re on the trail, you will encounter gorgeous views, travel over trestles and through forested areas. (Don’t forget to bring your camera!)

The trail from Banks to Vernonia includes some climbs, so you’re most likely going to pedal up and appetite. When you reach the end of the trail, cycle into downtown Vernonia and grab a bite before heading on the mostly-downhill ride back to Banks.

After your ride, return to Forest Grove and grab a pint (or two) of craft beer at Waltz Brewing or Ridgewalker Brewing – you’ve earned it!

Have dinner at Ironwork Grill, at McMenamins Grand Lodge, then stay for live music, held each Saturday evening starting at 7 p.m.

Overnight in Forest Grove >>>

Sunday

Before heading home, drive to the Oregon Coast, about an hour’s drive from Banks, and take in the calming views of the Pacific Ocean and experience the cool breezes of autumn.