Chris and Inga | Visit Vernonia Lake

Welcome to Vernonia Lake

I knew of Vernonia Lake from my cycling days on the Banks-Vernonia trail. If you start in Banks, reaching the lake in Vernonia will be about 21 miles. If you want to avoid riding the Banks-Vernonia trail, then drive north up highway 47 off of highway 26. I’ll have a google maps for directions at the bottom of the page. There is a $5.00 fee to park at the lake, or you can buy an annual pass for $35.00.

Old Abandoned Lumber Mill

Although there are trees growing on the inside of the structure now, this was at one point a working lumber mill.

Red-winged Blackbird

This Red-winged Blackbird was nice enough to let me snap a few photos. I brought the Mark II, but I made the mistake of not trying the Pro-capture mode here. I could have gotten a much better shot of the bird taking flight had I used that.

Mallards and Red Clover Flowers

There is plenty of wildlife in the area to watch. Fishing is allowed, but there is no hunting. There are primitive camping spots open for $10.00 a night. If you need an RV spot, you can go down the road to the campground for $20-$30 a night.

Vernonia Lake Lumber Mill

We did venture inside the old lumber mill building, but only for a moment. I grabbed a few photos, but I wish I could have gotten some more. There is some pretty impressive art in there.

Inside the Lumber Mill

More Photos of Vernonia lake

Overall, Inga and I enjoyed our short trip to Vernonia Lake. If you get bored of the Lake, you can go explore the nearby Banks-Vernonia Trail. The Banks-Vernonia trail is an old railroad line that has been paved over for pedestrian use. Vernonia Lake is a good spot to go if you are looking for a quiet place near the water that’s not too far outside of town. If you are coming from the westside of Portland, you can reach the Lake in under an hour with no traffic.

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