Most riders will likely utilize the free parking at the Buxton Trailhead on the Banks-Vernonia State Trail
and use that as an access point to the riding in Stub Stewart State Park. However, sometimes a camping trip or another activity within the park may allow for more direct riding. This route utilizes the Hares Canyon Trail
to create an awesome loop.
Day-use parking is $5. To skip the fee, park at the Buxton Trailhead on the Banks-Vernonia State Trail
and utilize the Buxton to Stub Stewart MTB trail route for info.
This route begins and ends on Widowmaker Way
, a doubletrack trail leading to Hares Canyon Trail
. At the junction, keep straight and continue climbing briefly until the disc golf course. Bullbucker/Hooktender branches off to the left; take that. This will provide fun singletrack alternatives to the doubletrack drawl of Hares Canyon Trail
. It turns into Crosstie, and eventually dumps out to the MTB-only access point. It's hard to miss, with an information kiosk, skill check entrance and open space.
Once through the skill check, follow the trail to the left to ride some fast and fun singletrack through a grove of hemlocks and cedars. The trail follows North Caddywhomper Way
closely, merges briefly, and then shoots off into the forest again. Winding around through the trees, the singletrack almost doubles back on itself before it eventually settles out at a a crossroads of trails. Heading uphill will allow access for the freeride section of the MTB-only area (these trails are to the east of North Caddywhomper Way
.) Uphill also returns to the beginning of the MTB-only area. Heading downhill begins a series of tight switchbacks, across the bridge at Genzer Creek, then back up the hill on the other side.
Hug the narrow benchcut trail until it mellows out in a lovely Douglas fir grove. The riding is fun and flowing, eventually starting a long and winding descent down switchbacks to the Banks-Vernonia State Trail
Turn right on the paved path, and you'll only have to climb briefly before finding the southern terminus of Hares Canyon Trail
. Start climbing back up Hares Canyon Trail
until reaching Widowmaker Way
again, and use it to return to the Visiting Center Parking Lot.
Named after Loral L. "Stub" Stewart, a long time figure in Oregon's Parks and Recreations Department, Stub Stewart State Park was opened in 2007 after several land purchases created a cohesive park parcel. The park hosts a mountain bike only area of trails, with purpose-built singletrack for both cross country and freeride riding disciplines. This makes it some of the closest trails of its kind to the Portland area.