Posted by Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) on September 9th, 2010 at 10:30 am
The State of Oregon's Parks and Recreation Department has announced eight new routes that will soon become official Oregon Scenic Bikeways. The routes criss-cross the state, from the Willamette Valley across the Cascade Range and into eastern Oregon.
The new routes — the first to be designated by the Scenic Bikeways Committee — will join the state's sole existing official route, the Willamette Valley Scenic Bikeway. The routes were nominated by advocates and tourism officials throughout the state who answered a call from the Parks Department. State Parks' Bicycle Recreation Coordinator Alex Phillips said she and the committee were "looking for the best bicycle rides in all of Oregon."
Here are details on the eight newly designated routes (descriptions taken direction from Oregon State Parks):
- McKenzie Pass, a 40-mile linear route following Highway 242 over McKenzie Pass between Sisters and McKenzie Bridge.
- Dorena Lake Loop, a 23-mile loop partially following an off-road path and back roads between Cottage Grove and Dorena Reservoir at the southern end of the Willamette Valley.
- Camp Sherman, a network of five, 17 and 21-mile loops passing through Camp Sherman near Sisters;
- Sisters-Smith Rock, a 44-mile linear route between Sisters and Smith Rock State Park;
- Twin Bridges Loop, a 32-mile loop ride on back roads between Bend and Tumalo.
- Old West, a 199-mile loop connecting John Day, Prairie City, Dayville and Kimberly;
- Grand Tour, a 130-mile, figure-eight route linking La Grande, Union and Baker City;
- Blue Mountain Century loop, a 108-mile loop connecting Heppner, Ukiah and Vinson.
According to Phillips the proponents of each new route will now follow up with management plans and marketing proposals before the State can approve the final designations.
The Scenic Bikeway program started as an idea from advocates involved with Cycle Oregon back in 2006 and became an official state program in January of 2008. It is now a partnership between Cycle Oregon, Travel Oregon, ODOT, and the Oregon Parks and Recreation Department. Learn more about the program, including how you can nominate a route, at OregonScenicBikeways.org.