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Help ODOT plan the Historic Columbia River Highway State Trail

Posted by on August 23rd, 2010 at 3:34 pm

A tour of the Historic Columbia River Highway
Rolling on the Historic
Columbia River Highway State Trail.
(Photos © J. Maus)

ODOT is hosting a presentation and open house tomorrow night (8/24) to get public input on the remaining 11-mile segment of the proposed Historic Columbia River Highway State Trail.

I took a ride on a segment of the trail back in 2007 and it was superb. Since then, advocates have worked closely with ODOT and Oregon State Parks on their dream of fully re-building the entire route. The old highway was completed in 1922, but fell into disrepair when Interstate 84 was built.

A tour of the Historic Columbia River Highway

Today, several segments of the highway have been renovated. 61 of the 73 original miles are open to motor vehicles, but 11 miles of state trail — some of the most spectacular bicycling in the state — have already been completed. The remaining 11 miles still await construction and ODOT says the goal is to finish them by 2016; in time for the 100th anniversary of the Historic Columbia River Highway.

An article in The Oregonian today points out that, “When the westernmost segments of the trail are finished, a bicyclist will be able to ride from Troutdale to Cascade Locks and beyond. Some day the vision is that hikers and bikers will start in Portland and wind up in The Dalles.”

Among the amenities in the Trail Plan are overnight bike camping facilities. Here are more details on the open house:

    Historic Columbia River Highway State Trail Plan Open House
    August 24th, 4-7:00 pm (Presentation at 5:30)
    ODOT Region 1 Offices (123 NW Flanders)

Learn more about this project at the Friends of the Historic Columbia River Highway website.

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Comments
  • Esther August 23, 2010 at 3:49 pm

    YAY!!! This is wonderful to hear. I and many others I know have ridden east from Portland so many times and the segments where you have to get on I-84 are so, so, so much worse than any other riding I’ve ever done in Oregon. The existing trail is so spectacular. Really looking forward to the completion of the western segments in the Portland “rideshed.” :)

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  • Aaron August 23, 2010 at 5:01 pm

    I second Esther’s comments. I’ve ridden the whole stretch from Portland to just before Mosier. The stretches on I-84 are so much worse given that both highway segments have bridges where the shoulder disappears, putting cyclists on a 65mph road. I would deeply love to see at least one of these gaps closed. I’m sure dozens more people will use them once you can actually bike to them.

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  • q`Tzal August 23, 2010 at 7:32 pm

    Just went over to O to see the comments on their article.
    Now maybe it is my moblie device but I saw no troll posts; in fact no comments at all in 12 hours since the article posted.
    What gives!?? Where am I supposed to go for my daily dose of bile and vitrol?

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  • Zaphod August 23, 2010 at 10:07 pm

    Fantastic. It makes one dream of a real network of bikeways that get us to mountains, rivers and the ocean. The Banks-Veronia link plus this one makes for a small taste of what is possible.

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  • Pete August 24, 2010 at 8:41 am

    q`Tzal (#3): no bikers were killed in the writing of this article…

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  • Spiffy August 24, 2010 at 9:26 am

    I’ve always wanted to ride through the old tunnels… I didn’t realize they were past Hood River… for some reason I thought they were right around the dam somewhere… but there still seems to be some good sections of the old highway around that area… but maybe they’re not joined together well…

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