The Best Bike Ride in America

2007 Weekend Ride

June 23-24, 2007 - Vernonia

Day 1:  Vernonia Loops (Mileage options: 33/44/72) If you enjoy riding secluded roads that wind through thick forests and follow pristine streams – and, really, who doesn’t? – these routes will open your eyes to the possibilities of Oregon’s northwest corner. Short-Distance Route – up to 33 miles This out-and back route is perfect for anyone not sure how many miles they’ll feel like taking on. When you’re halfway tired, just turn around – you’re halfway done! The route follows the Nehalem River, so you’ll be pedaling through the forest to the gentle sound of water virtually the entire way. The “out” portion is slightly downhill overall, so the “back” is slightly uphill, and there are two very small climbs in each direction. If you make it to Mist, you’ll enjoy lunch at the inspirational setting of the Old Mist School. You’ve got all day, so take your time and enjoy both the scenery and the ride. Mid-Distance Route – 44 miles Perfect for the rider who wants a little challenge but not too much, this option follows the Short-Distance Route to Mist, and then adds on a nice out-and-back to the tiny rural community of Birkenfeld. No major differences in terrain from the Short option – just a few more miles. Long-Distance Route – 72 miles Start off following the bubbling Nehalem River for a flat 10-mile warm-up. Then start a series of relatively gentle climbs and descents, ending up on a bluff high above the Columbia River, where you’ll feel like you can see forever. Then it’s one serious climb, with more stunning views, followed by a gliding descent and a leisurely cruise back along the river. Along the way today you’ll pass through Clatskanie’s picturesque downtown, and enjoy lunch at the Old Mist School. A great combination of challenge and reward. Day 2:  Vernonia to Stub Stewart State Park (Mileage options: 24/33) Today all roads lead to Stub Stewart State Park, where you’ll enjoy lunch as the first official visitors to the park. Short-Distance Route – 24 miles Today you head south out of town, following a gently rising road through the woods. You get a taste of climbing and descending just before lunch, including a climb through the park that will earn you the reward of a hearty lunch at a site with a clear view of the Coast Range. Then it’s back to Vernonia, with the option of connecting to the paved Banks-Vernonia Linear Park trail for the last half of the return leg. Long-Distance Route – 33 miles For those riders who like to go the extra mile(s), we’ve added a little something to the Short-Distance Route. You’ll pass right by the park entrance and start a graceful descent of nearly five miles. You’ll head through Buxton to a snack stop, turn around and earn back all that elevation just before lunch. Then, on the way back to Vernonia, there’s a climbing option that loops out to the east, adding one mile and nearly 700 feet of elevation, so you can feel you got a good day’s work in.