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Crown Zellerbach Trail

Easy/Intermediate
 3.4 (14)

A somewhat rough and rowdy rail-to-trail that starts in Scappoose and climbs towards Vernonia.


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Map Key

22.5

Miles

36.2

KM

Doubletrack

1,268' 387 m

High

14' 4 m

Low

1,827' 557 m

Up

1,199' 365 m

Down

3%

Avg Grade (1°)

19%

Max Grade (11°)

Dogs Unknown

E-Bikes Unknown

Family Friendly Although the path is a near constant uphill grade, it's not very steep and the path is fairly smooth and lacks any substantial obstacles. Good for young ones to get familiar with gravel and dirt.

This rail-to-trail runs through and very near a lot of private property, despite the actual trail being public property. You'll pass several signs designating it. This is especially important in the northwestern-most section, which goes through a timber lot owned by the Weyerhaeuser logging company. Be respectful and stay on the well-marked trail.

Need to Know

Be advised that the last section between Scappoose-Vernonia Highway and the town of Vernonia itself is CLOSED due to logging activity.

Description

The Crown Zellerbach Trail (CZT) is an old rail-to-trail, starting in Scappoose and climbing across the Nehalem Divide to Vernonia. In the eastern section, the path is a patchwork of smooth and broken pavement. As the trail winds deeper west, the pavement become more broken and sparse before it disappears entirely, and the rest of the trail is gravel.

The CZT isn't much for fancy trailheads; it begins and ends unceremoniously. But there are trailheads along the way that can provide adequate parking. The trail starts in Scappoose with only a small pull-over parking space and a short foot trail to the start of the paved route. Nearly four miles into the CZT is the first large, easy-to-find parking area, on the Scappoose-Vernonia Highway.

For several miles, the trail closely follows the highway as it heads west. Eventually, the trail breaks away from the highway and goes deeper into the forest. This heralds the start of a long, steady climb to the Nehalem Divide. At the top of the Divide, the trail begins an equally long and steady descent. This is a nice reward for all of that climbing; it's a nice, long, steady downhill.

The trail on the western side of the Divide is quite pleasant. With no more asphalt around, it becomes a classic gravel doubletrack road. There are fewer reminders of the civilized world on this leg of the trail, and the flat grade makes for easy pedaling.

Eventually the trail nears a large meadow. At the far end of the meadow is a vital junction with a road to the left. A chain-linked fence around a gas meter and an abandoned trail kiosk mark this junction. The CZT continues to the left. While this is pretty obvious because of the signs, what is NOT obvious is that proceeding straight forward on what you've been riding thus far is actually trespassing on logging land. So turn left and cross the creek.

The CZT soon crosses the highway yet again and is guarded by a gate. Don't worry, the gate is for cars, not people. Immediately after the gate the road begins a steep climb to the top of the ridge. This section runs through Weyerhaeuser logging land. Follow the signs and stay on the road, all other spurs result in trespassing. It will start to descend steeply after a while and the road gets very rough and primitive.

At the bottom the CZT ends at the end of Knott Street. This short road leads to Highway 47. Turning left leads to Vernonia. Ride the Banks-Vernonia State Trail to Banks to really rack up the miles!

Shared By:

Brock Warner with improvements by Andy Forster

Trail Ratings

  3.4 from 14 votes

#1

in Scappoose

#8838

Overall
  3.4 from 14 votes
5 Star
7%
4 Star
43%
3 Star
36%
2 Star
14%
1 Star
0%
Trail Rankings

#1

in Scappoose

#225

in Oregon

#8,838

Overall
365 Views Last Month
16,411 Since Aug 16, 2016
Easy/Intermediate

50%
14%
36%
0%
0%
0%

Photos

Some of the singletrack
Oct 2, 2019 near Vernonia, OR
The bridge carrying Scappoose-Vernonia Highway. Continue underneath on the Columbia Forest Road to reach Vernonia.
Aug 16, 2016 near Vernonia, OR
Trail can be a little hard to find on this stretch. This looks like it was a huge, old road block that has been overgrown.
Aug 14, 2017 near Vernonia, OR
In late summer, much of the trail is lined in blackberries! Mmmm! Be sure to get a big, fat juicy one in the sun.
Aug 16, 2016 near Warren, OR
First little whoop-dee-doo, several miles in. About to start the tougher climb to the end.
Aug 16, 2016 near Warren, OR
Just the nice, open (gravel) road.
Aug 14, 2017 near Vernonia, OR

Weather


Current Trail Conditions

Update Conditions
All Clear 26 days ago See History
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Check-Ins

Feb 27, 2021
Austin Burns
Muddy. Several downed trees across trail to climb under / over. 15mi
Jan 17, 2021
Ben Brass
It was wet and a bit muddy. I got completely sprayed! 26.5mi — 2h 20m
Aug 9, 2020
David Karkanen
Aug 9, 2020
Doug Karkanen
Jun 11, 2020
Michelle Ekstrom
pretty & well maintained, muddy in spots
Oct 2, 2019
Jeremy J
Two downed trees and some mud. 3+ dry days was enough to dry most of it out, but not all of it after all the rain over the last month. 36mi
Sep 7, 2019
Jesse Brown
Pretty flat fast on the way back 19.7mi
Aug 25, 2019
Levanto Schachter
The area east of columbia river highway is partially closed to constuction. Better to go to where the trail meets the highway and take a left to park