This ride begins at Church Rd (just past the Warren General Store on Hwy 30): turn right onto Hazen and continue past the St. Helens golf course to turn left up Stone Road and begin climbing and then descending to the junction with Cater Road, climbing more and more up Cater Hill (aka Monster Hill) until the road glides down and connects up with the Scappoose-Vernonia Hwy.
Alternatively, you could begin at the Scappoose-Vernonia Hwy (which begins further south on Hwy 30) thus cutting out one of the hills (i.e. Monster Hill) . . . but why would you want to do that? (Eventually the Crown-Zellerbach multi-use gravel trail will parallel the Scappoose-Vernonia so you could even bike separate from traffic along this route, if you wished.)
- Scappoose-Vernonia Highway: Motor Cycle Roads Northwest (good description and map of road for us all-natural cycles, too)
After the junction of Cater & the Scappoose-Vernonia, the road climbs again (Monster’s Other Brother) and then descends to the Scaponia Campground (no water or plumbing, but there are picnic tables and reportedly a pit toilet available).
Continue on Scappoose-Vernonia. At the signage for Pittsburg, Scappoose-Vernonia junctions with Nehalem Hwy 47. Turn right on Hwy 47. Down the road about 5 more miles you will come to Big Eddy Park (water, plumbing, very nice park managers)
Beyond Big Eddy, Hwy 47 will junction with 202 in Mist (no services). From Mist, continue on 202 through to Birkenfeld (country store with pretzels, nuts, etc., and ice cream, as well as a restaurant with soup and sandwiches – great when we’ve been wet with rain and exhausted, but they are often just closing or not yet open when we go through on sunnier days.)
and then past the Elk Refuge (water, restrooms, picnic tables) to Jewell (no services).
After Jewell, comes the Jewell Hill which makes Monster and Monster’s Other Brother look like pimples by comparison. Keep climbing (think about the descent you’ll have two days later, coming back home). Near the top you’ll come to Olney and its cheerful general store (hot homemade soup in the crockpot as well as water and juice and a variety of snacks available – but they do close at 5pm).
- Olney: a biker’s view of Olney (as in motorcyclist’s – we always see more bikers than cyclists on this ride, but not many motorized engines of any kind until the last climb into Astoria itself)
The road continues to climb (deceptively so at times) until it comes to the Clatsop County fairgrounds and the view opens out onto Young’s Bay along the marshy shores of the widening Nehalem River.
You can continue on 202 around Tongue Point and connect with W. Marine Dr. and the Riverwalk trail which will take you into downtown Astoria, but we always go up toward the Astoria column, over the spine of town at 7th Street, then over to Niagra and down: 11th – Jerome – 12th – Exchange where we connect up with Marine Dr and the Riverwalk trail (heading east now) and up towards the Crest Motel.
The Map: the Annual Astoria