Rich in history, bountiful forested hillsides, and a thriving small town culture, the town of Vernonia offers both visitor and new residents a warm welcome. Travel through the trees, over the streams and under the railroad trestles and you’ll find a small, tight knit community that is ready to be discovered.
Vernonia is a small town of just over 2,000 people, nestled in the Upper Nehalem Valley in the foothills of the Pacific Coast Range. It sits at the confluence of the Nehalem River and Rock Creek and is surrounded by forests. Less than an hour from from SW Portland and Hillsboro employment centers, Vernonia is also just 60 minutes away from the Oregon Coast.
Known for it’s logging history, Vernonia is remaking itself as a outdoor recreation destination as well as a great place for those looking to escape the hustle and bustle and relocate to the peace and quiet of the country.
We invite you stop by for a visit. Come see why Vernonia is such a great place to live, work and play.
Live – With a charmingly old-fashioned downtown and a brand new school, life in Vernonia is a mix of old and new.
The new Vernonia K-12 school offers a green design, two gymnasiums, new computer labs and a natural resources curriculum that connects to an eight acre wetland just across the road. The high school robotics class has earned awards at several competitions!
The walkable downtown core offers shopping, a full service post office, grocery store and two hardware stores. The town has eight restaurants; seven are in the downtown area.
The Vernonia Pioneer Museum is a collection of artifacts from throughout the county including items from the local Native American tribes, early settlers and logging.
The community library offers after school and summer reading programs for children. A chess and stamp club meet there regularly as well. The Vernonia Library is also a favorite stop for Oregon Humanities special programs.
A brand new Health Center has broken ground and is scheduled to open in the fall of 2014; a new Senior Center and Food Bank is also in the planning stages at the same development.
Vernonia has a very active Lion’s Club, a PTA and a Booster’s Club that supports children’s activities. There are eleven active churches in town.
Work – Known for the huge trees that once grew in the area, Vernonia’s nearby forests still support both large and small natural resource-based businesses. But today you are just as likely to bump into a computer programmer or high tech fabrication plant employee when stopping to fill your tank and grab your morning coffee at the Mini Mart.
Vernonia is the ultimate small-town bedroom community for the high tech industry. Intel employees who have moved to town get the best of both worlds – high tech opportunity a short drive from a quiet, safe and friendly small town to raise their families.
Local business is another key element in the employment market in Vernonia. Full time, part-time and seasonal jobs are available; some of the larger local employers include the Vernonia School District, Sentry Market, Photo Solutions and Cedar Ridge Conference and Retreat Center.
Numerous home-based businesses have become successful; those with an entrepreneurial streak may find an opportunity in Vernonia. Work-from-home is also an option for some as high speed cable internet service is available in town.
Play – Vernonia is an outdoor enthusiast’s dream, with multiple parks, trails, streams, rivers and logging roads to explore.
We are proud of our city Park system which includes full hook-up RV camping at Anderson Park and primitive camping at Airport Park. Both parks are set along the Nehalem River and offer river access. During summer months, we also enjoy an old-fashioned swimming hole at Hawkins Park.
The 42 acre Vernonia Lake is regularly stocked with rainbow trout by ODFW and anglers can also catch largemouth bass, crappie, bluegill and brown bullhead – there may even be a steelhead or two! The lake features a paved trail, a wheelchair accessible fishing platform, restrooms, drinking water, and on-site bait shop/concession stand during the spring and summer months.
Vernonia, once the terminus of several logging railroad lines, is now the terminus of two great area recreation trails. The Banks-Vernonia Trail is 21 miles of paved multi-use trail that is now included as part of the Tualatin Valley Scenic Bikeway. The trail is accessible from six trailheads. The Crown Zellerbach Trail travels from Vernonia to Scappoose and offers over 20 miles of multi-surfaced trail more suitable for fat tire bikes, hikers and horseback riders.
Hunting and river fishing are two other popular pastimes that beckon Vernonians into the nearby hills. The Nehalem River, which runs 90 miles to the Oregon Coast, is a premier spot for wild native salmon, steelhead and cut throat trout.
The Vernonia Golf Club offers a nine hole course and year-round alpine golfing.
Other Nearby Attractions:
The Jewell Meadows Wildlife Area is a 1114 acre refuge for Roosevelt Elk. Open pastures border the highway, offering excellent
views of elk during winter and spring. There are two paved parking areas, four viewing areas.
- L. Stub Stewart State Park is just 10 miles south of Vernonia and offers camping, and day use areas for hiking, biking and equestrian riders. 25 miles of trails, RV and primitive camping, 18-hole disc golf course, mountain bike riding area, cabin village, and equestrian camp make
this a family-friendly and fun vacation spot.
The Oregon Coast is just an hour away from Vernonia with easy access to Cannon Beach, Seaside and Manzanita. Portland, Beaverton and Hillsboro offer shopping, entertainment and sporting events ranging from Single A baseball to MLS soccer to NBA basketball.
Whether your interest is finding a new home, a new place to open a business, or just a new spot for a favorite hobby, Vernonia offers all that in one charming package. Give it a try, and be amazed at what you find. Come visit Vernonia, and stay a while.