07 July 2007
Today I pieced together the perfect Saturday itinerary. It started with a stop at the Beaverton Farmer's Market, where I found buckets of vibrant sunflowers.
There were early Walla Walla sweet onions, too.
My next destination was the trailhead for the Banks-Vernonia Rail Trail.
I had picked up a brochure about the trail last April, and so it had been percolating as a ride destination for some time. The trail was created from a section of abandoned rail that once moved lumber to Portland. It runs for a length of 21 miles, connecting the towns of Banks and Vernonia.
I started at the Manning trailhead, which takes you along a gravel country road for a couple of miles past fields and homes until you connect with the paved segment of the trail.
The pavement is misleading -- it is a subtle uphill climb the entire way! In fact, it took me twice as long to climb up the trail as it did to coast back down to my car.
Along the way you'll pass the Buxton Trestle, which runs 600 feet in length and stretches upward for 80 more. On this particular Saturday, they were preparing for a wedding ceremony in the meadow. I saw both road bikes and mountain bikes on the trail, although further along the pavement gives way to gravel and soft earth. It was an enjoyable way to spend a few hours on a mild, July afternoon!