Stub Stewart Bike Ride

I do a yearly bike ride out to LL Stub Stewart State Park, between Banks, OR and Venonia, OR. It's a fantastic intro to bike camping trip that's a known quantity. The full ride is around 48 miles and requires minimal meal preparation given it's access to food and grocery stores.

The guidance I give to my friends is: "If you bicycle around town to get around, you can do the trip no problem. If you aren't much of a cycler but are in reasonable shape, you can do it, but your saddle will be sore. If you're not in shape and don't bicycle, you should strongly consider whether this is where you start cycling. You'll probably fall behind and be tired. While the group won't leave you, people tend to feel bad to be the last one in the line."

The trip starts with brunch, then hits the MAX blue line out to the last stop west: Government Center. The train ride is about an hour from the Portland's east side. From there, we take a bathroom break at the county offices (near a Starbucks) 2 blocks east of the stop. From there, it's back west. We make our way out of Hillsboro and into the farm land. After a bit, we stop in Banks, OR which makes for a great stop. There's a grocery store, a few restaurants and the grocery store sells smoked ribs during the warmish months.

At the grocery store, we eat lunch and buy enough food for that dinner. Usually extra ribs or similar. This place also sells beer & liquor, which is nice because it can still be cold by the time you get to camp.

From there, it's down to the Banks-Vernonia trail, which is a mixed-use, no-cars-allowed trail. This introduces the only real elevation gain of the trip. The last 5 miles is 800ft or so of gain.

On the trip back out, there is a good breakfast place in Banks, OR. When you get back to Hillsboro, there's a fantastic Mexican food place called "Taqueria Hermanos Ochoa's", which is a great end to the trip.

This is the route:

It doesn't properly work on mobile or embed, so look at it on a desktop. You want to take NW Wilkesboro Rd, not Greenville, because HWY 47 is treacherous and the cars go WAY too fast.

Personal History


Finally not a rainy trip! Instead, it was 102F. Ice packs (Thanks E!) were key, due to folks having overheating issues. There were more mechanical failures than previous years, we think due to hot roads causing tire expanding. It's important to check that you have the right valves for your rims. We thankfully had spares, but someone realized after having the flat that the valve on his replacement tubes wouldn't fit through his rim.


  • Buying two beers in Banks is enough beers.
  • I bought a pie in Banks to share at dinner. It was a fantastic choice.
  • We shouldn't eat at Swift Lounge. While their food is tasty, they take too long and it delays the trip. Instead, we should look at brunch places on the west side, in order to avoid the worst, most crowded parts of the train trip.
  • This was the first year hammock camping, taking a note from cbeck who did it on my first year. It was really comfortable.


Another cold and rainy year. Adam was pretty new to biking and this was just within his limits. He was a champ though. Great sport.


This was the first trip. We did it in April, which was cold and rainy. This trip is still fun when it's cold and rainy. My buddy Josh brought a LED Frisbee, which (paired with individual headlamps) made for great night-time recreation.

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