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The Banks to Vernonia Trail needs maintenance

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The Banks to Vernonia Trail needs maintenance

Old 11-09-22, 09:59 AM
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The Banks to Vernonia Trail needs maintenance

Woodway's post got to thinking about reasons to post in the PNW subforum.

I started running through some things in my mind and the surface on the eastern end Banks to Vernonia Rail Trail popped into my mind. I recently rode the trail with a group of older guys and we were all disappointed with the condition of the trail near the eastern end close to Banks. According to others I have talked with, this has been an issue for quite a few years. I've ridden the Row River trail out of Cottage Grove and have seen clear evidence of regular maintenance and repaving on the trail.

What's the deal with the Banks to Vernonia Trail? Anyone know who would be the best contact to encourage some work on the lower end? I know of some who are avoiding the trail now due to the rough trail surface. It seems to be it's time to repave the lower end of the path.

I found a spot here to add feedback - not sure if this is the best place to put it or not.

Last edited by mtnbud; 11-09-22 at 10:08 AM.
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Old 11-10-22, 10:01 PM
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Well, I cannot help you on the trail, had never heard of it before. But thanks for posting!
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Old 11-13-22, 01:25 AM
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I believe it’s a liner Oregon state park so contact the Oregon state parks department.
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Old 11-13-22, 01:53 PM
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I ride this trail from Banks to Vernonia (tacking on a lap around Vernonia Lake) and back about twice a week in good weather. I don't find the Banks end of the trail bad at all...the worst bit is from mile 4.5 to 5.5 in spots. The Vernonia end beyond the 19 mile point is downright nasty in spots, and the chunk of the Crown Z leading to the lake loop is pretty bad in the woods right before the lake. There are two spots between 4.5 and 5.5 where the asphalt is unraveling...is that what you're talking about? Those problem spots have been there for years, and it'd be great if they got fixed, but I guess I have become so used to dodging and dealing with them that they've faded into the background for me.

--Richard
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Old 11-16-22, 11:03 AM
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Originally Posted by rlmalisz
I ride this trail from Banks to Vernonia (tacking on a lap around Vernonia Lake) and back about twice a week in good weather. I don't find the Banks end of the trail bad at all...the worst bit is from mile 4.5 to 5.5 in spots. The Vernonia end beyond the 19 mile point is downright nasty in spots, and the chunk of the Crown Z leading to the lake loop is pretty bad in the woods right before the lake. There are two spots between 4.5 and 5.5 where the asphalt is unraveling...is that what you're talking about? Those problem spots have been there for years, and it'd be great if they got fixed, but I guess I have become so used to dodging and dealing with them that they've faded into the background for me.

--Richard
Yes - Mile 4.5 to 5.5 is what I am hearing all the complaints about. The big potholes and sinkholes near Vernonia are very disconcerting, but they can be avoided if you keep your eyes open. When you're riding on a high pressure, skinny tire aluminum framed road bike, mile 4.5 - 5.5 is a bear. I did find the state parks link for comments and put in my comment. I put in my comments a while ago and didn't receive a reply. I've had much better responses with the NFS. I expect the more people who complain, the more likely something will be done about it. What is the most baffling is it's been that way for years. The Row River Trail from Cottage Grove to Dorena is also a Oregon State Parks Linear park and I know they have kept it up so I'm not sure why the Banks to Vernonia trail is getting so little maintenance.
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Old 11-16-22, 11:48 AM
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Originally Posted by mtnbud
Yes - Mile 4.5 to 5.5 is what I am hearing all the complaints about. The big potholes and sinkholes near Vernonia are very disconcerting, but they can be avoided if you keep your eyes open. When you're riding on a high pressure, skinny tire aluminum framed road bike, mile 4.5 - 5.5 is a bear. I did find the state parks link for comments and put in my comment. I put in my comments a while ago and didn't receive a reply. I've had much better responses with the NFS. I expect the more people who complain, the more likely something will be done about it. What is the most baffling is it's been that way for years. The Row River Trail from Cottage Grove to Dorena is also a Oregon State Parks Linear park and I know they have kept it up so I'm not sure why the Banks to Vernonia trail is getting so little maintenance.
So before 2021, I was riding the BVT on an ancient Trek 1420...aluminum, skinny high-pressure tires, slightly relaxed geometry. The last two years have been on a Trek Domane, 700x32s at 85psi. That may account for some of my "adaptation". I still *hate* that stretch. Between mile 5 and 6, coming downhill, the right side of the path has a lot of micro-heaves from tree roots running under the path. I always try to stay left there, but that only works if no-one is coming uphill while I am descending.

There is maintenance done from time to time, and there are volunteers out cutting back trees and brush alongside the trail, blowing leaves and such off three seasons of the year. I see them every time I ride. I'm not sure why the patch in question never gets addressed.

The BVT is a chunk of the Tualatin Valley Oregon Scenic Bikeway: https://www.oregon.gov/oprd/BWT/Pages/BWT-bikeways.aspx

The BVT link there takes you off to Travel Oregon, which is mostly ra-ra stuff. But on the "about us" page, there are contacts where you could try to make your comments heard.

--Richard
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Old 05-12-23, 11:11 PM
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The B to V is built on a 100+ year old Rail bed... they pretty much just put pavement directly onto that old spur line.. that was in the early 2000's... the lower end ( Banks is actually the SOUTH End, and Vernonia is the North end) was also used to access the Tillamook Salmonberry tracks and received a lot more Heavy Rail traffic for a longer period. the Vernonia Oregon-America Log Mill closed in 1958... the Banks to Tillamook Rail line continued to see use into the 1990's, with occasional use after that, until the 1996 and 2007 floods took out large portions of THAT line... the Salmonberry Rails-to-Trails project is moving forward, but at a slow pace, IMO... it will be Spectacular once completed! The climb back up to the B2V trail will get your legs burning for sure.

the CZ trail is now open, running from Scappoose on the Columbia River, up over an 1100 foot pass into the Nehalem River Drainage... I reccommend CX or good Crossover to ride that section.. a road bike will hate you by the end. it's only partially paved, and much of that pavement that remains is part of a couple old Log truck Mainline Roads.... the Truck drivers HAD to wear Kidney Belts because the Trucks had no real suspension and Solid rubber "tires" stretched over a Steel wheel that were similar to a Rail Wheel ....

Once the Salmonberry opens, someone that doesn't dilly dally could ride from Scappoose to Tillamook in a day. Camp sites are available along the way... and don't miss the Graffiti Art inside the big concrete building at Vernonia lake... It once featured a very rare freehanded Banksy Silhouette of a Girl on a swing, with a solid blue background, and a couple clouds... someone painted over it a few years ago... i doubt they knew who had painted that simple image.... such is the Graffiti world... the art changes fairly frequently.

Last edited by maddog34; 05-13-23 at 12:00 AM.
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