Has anyone ridden this recently? Did it seem safe? I’d like to go with my young kids but not if it has houseless camps/drug use similar to the Springwater. Thanks!
Both the Banks-Vernonia and the Crown Zellerbacher would be excellent choices for young kids. My advice for the BV is to start at the trailhead in Manning and head towards Vernonia.
I’ve never seen evidence of any illegal camping, drugs, etc. along the trail. It’s a state managed trail, far outside Portland city limits, and the towns it passes through are very small / rural.
Given there are plenty of people “boondocking” on Forest Service / BLM land in our region but there’s no area like that near the Banks-Vernonia trail, as far as I am aware of. Apart from the trail easement it’s bordered by State Parks and private land.
I rode it for the first time about 6 weeks ago. I don’t remember seeing any evidence of camps/drug use. It was really nice. Lots of families on it, so bring masks!