Wyden, Merkley Announce National Trail Designation for Banks-Vernonia State Trail 

WASHINGTON D.C.—Senators Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley today announced the designation of the Banks-Vernonia State Trail to the National Trails System. The newly designated trail joins a network of more than 1,300 existing national recreation trails, which can be found in every U.S. state, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico.  

“We know that getting outdoors is good for our physical and mental health,” dijo Wyden. “We’re fortunate to live in Oregon where we have access to outdoor activities in every corner of the state. The Banks-Vernonia State Trail is an excellent example of ‘upcycling’ existing rail trails into opportunities for Oregonians and visitors to experience the healing aspects of nature in a family-friendly atmosphere, while also creating positive local economic impact.”

“Oregon is one of the most spectacular places with so many incredible natural treasures to explore, and everyone should be able to access all that Oregon has to offer. The Banks-Vernonia State Trail is one of those natural treasures—and I’m thrilled to see it recognized as a national recreation trail by the U.S. Department of the Interior,” dijo Merkley. “This designation will help preserve one of our coast’s treasures and help spur rural growth while ensuring that future generations can appreciate Oregon’s wild 

The Banks-Vernonia State Trail is a 21-mile paved rail-to-trail route connecting the towns of Banks and Vernonia through the foothills of Oregon’s lush coastal mountain range. The gentle grade allows hikers, bicyclists, equestrians and people of all ages and abilities to enjoy the scenic mountains, fields and forests of Washington and Columbia Counties.  

National recreation trails are jointly coordinated and administered by the National Park Service and the U.S. Forest Service, in conjunction with a number of federal and nonprofit partners. This trail designation is consistent with the principles of the Biden-Harris administration’s America the Beautifulinitiative, a locally led and voluntary nationwide effort to conserve, connect and restore the lands, waters and wildlife upon which we all depend.