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.
Rent a bicycle–single or tandem–at Banks Bicycle Repair and Rental and head out on 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.
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!
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.