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Columbia River Gorge

Travel Oregon tourism workshops and better transit coming to the Gorge in 2016

by on January 12th, 2016 at 9:41 am

Gorge Roubaix - Sunday-13
More bikes in the Gorge is a very good thing.
(Photo: J.Maus/BikePortland)

If you’re interested in helping the Columbia Gorge keep ascending into the pantheon of world-class cycling destinations, Travel Oregon wants to help you.

The extremely bike-friendly state tourism organization has selected the Columbia Gorge for its “Tourism Studio Program” in 2016. This is “a professional bi-state development program designed to bolster the region’s tourism economy while maintaining its rich environmental and cultural assets.” After the same program was implemented in Clackamas County in 2011, that region witnessed a blossoming of bike-related tourism projects and initiatives.

The Oregon Department of Transportation’s continued connection and improvement of the Historic Columbia River Highway has been combining with enthusiasm by people up and down the Gorge who see their area’s huge potential for tourism that has low environmental impact but big economic impact. We’ve been covering all of this as it has come together in recent years, and it looks like we’ll have plenty more to cover in the years to come.
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Advocate: County survey needs input from rural road users, not just residents

by on September 29th, 2015 at 4:25 pm

Family trip to Stub Stewart State Park-15-15
Riding on the County-maintained Skyline Blvd.
(Photo © J. Maus/BikePortland)

Welcome to one of the first in our series of occasional “Advocate” posts. These are quick, simple opportunities to get involved in making the Portland area better for biking.

Multnomah County is updating its wide-reaching long-range plans in ways that matter deeply to residents of the relatively few urban streets owned by the county government.

The result is that people who live on those streets — notably for bike users, Northwest Skyline Boulevard and Corbett in the western Colombia Gorge — have weighed in about the importance of bike transportation to the county, but most residents of the county haven’t.

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State parks office will sponsor a free beginners’ bike tour through the Gorge

by on August 12th, 2015 at 3:42 pm

Biking Break in Lee Vining Ca
Ride leader Stephen Dodson.
(Photo courtesy Dodson)

A seasonal Oregon State Parks employee is leading a free introduction to bike touring in the Colombia River Gorge this month.

The 30-mile trip on Saturday, Aug. 22, will start at 9 a.m. outside Hood River, and loops to Mayer State Park and back by 5 p.m. Here’s the description from Oregon State Parks:

You will learn what equipment is necessary, how do you plan a route and pack panniers or a trailer to be successful. We will discuss the light impact of bike touring is on the environment and other traffic, and the positive effects on small town economies. By the end of the program you’ll have resources to take away and learn more about this exciting way to see the world around you!

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Fatal collision spurs new calls to complete the Historic Columbia River Highway State Trail

by on August 27th, 2014 at 10:30 am

Ellen Dittebrandt.

The death this past Sunday of Ellen Dittebrandt, killed while bicycling on Interstate 84 west of Hood River, has stunned her large community of friends in the Gorge, many of whom are now focused on completing the Historic Columbia River Highway State Trail in her memory.

Dittebrandt’s death also comes on the heels of a scary month in Oregon. Just last week we reported that there were four major rear-end collisions in the span of just one week.

This latest collision happened early Sunday morning. According to Oregon State Police investigators, Dittebrandt, a 52-year old volunteer firefighter (named Firefighter of the Year in 2010), artist and triathlete who lived in Mosier, was riding westbound in the shoulder of I-84. Friends say she was training for a triathlon and was riding from Rowena Crest to Crown Point and back.
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Day 3 with Treo Bike Tours: Hardman to the Columbia River

by on July 17th, 2014 at 10:47 pm

Treo Bike Ranch trip day 3 - Hardman to Columbia River-38
Mike Bernard rides in the mirage just a few miles south of the Columbia River on Highway 74.

This is the third in a series of four posts on riding in eastern Oregon with the support of Treo Bike Tours. See the other posts here.
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New I-84 bridge over Sandy River comes with new bike connections

by on July 1st, 2014 at 1:24 pm

ODOT officials and assorted dignitaries walk across the path alongside the new I-84 bridge over the Sandy River.
(Photo: ODOT)

Things are looking up for bicycle access in Troutdale along I-84 and the Sandy River.
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Skamania County’s bike-friendly transit to the Gorge expands to weekends

by on April 28th, 2014 at 10:35 am

Policymakers Ride - Gorge Edition-71
Starting May 1, you’ll have transit access to
Cascade Locks seven days a week.
(Photo J. Maus/BikePortland)

As bike tourism booms in and around Mt. Hood and the Columbia River Gorge areas, there’s a growing interest in transit service. With a reliable way to integrate transit into a bike trip, people can reach destinations that are further away and complete longer loops — all without the hassle and expense of using a car.

Earlier this year we reported on new bus service in Sandy that offers access to Timberline and other Mt. Hood destinations. Now a transit option on the Washington side of the river is set to expand, offering great promise for people looking to access the Gorge, Cascade Locks and more.
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Columbia River Hwy State Trail gets major endorsement

by on February 25th, 2014 at 10:43 am

Policymakers Ride - Gorge Edition-58
A new section of the path just opened last fall.
(Photo by J. Maus/BikePortland)

The momentum to complete the remaining 10 miles of the Historic Columbia River Highway State Trail — a route that will ultimately provide a pleasant bicycling connection between Troutdale and Hood River without ever forcing riders onto Interstate 84 — got a major boost on Friday. In a unanimous vote, the Oregon Transportation Commission (OTC) approved a resolution (PDF) that puts the project atop the Department of Transportation’s priority list.

The resolution calls for ODOT to fund and construct the final segments and called it, “a project of statewide and national significance.” (more…)

Travel Oregon launches Columbia Gorge Bicycle Trail Survey

by on January 21st, 2014 at 8:32 am

Policymakers Ride - Gorge Edition-36
Riding the Historic Highway.
(Photo by J. Maus/BikePortland)

A new online survey just launched by Travel Oregon wants to know more about your bicycling experiences in the Columbia River Gorge. With exciting cycling momentum — both on and off road — in the Gorge, state tourism officials now hope to analyze the impacts of recently completed projects as they prep for new ones already in the pipeline.

As we shared back in November, nearly two miles of newly paved cycling paths opened adjacent to I-84, completing the connection between Troutdale and Cascade Locks. That new path is already spurring economic development in Cascade Locks, a small town that is quickly becoming a bicycling epicenter in the Gorge. (more…)

It’s official! New section of Historic Columbia River Hwy State Trail now open

by on November 14th, 2013 at 12:08 pm

Policymakers Ride - Gorge Edition-57
This path is now open.
(Photos by J. Maus/BikePortland)

A gorgeous new segment of the Historic Columbia River Highway State Trail is now officially open to the public. The new paved path is 12 feet wide and 1.6 miles long. It goes from the John B Yeon State Park trailhead to the Moffett Creek Bridge. Its completion marks a significant milestone because it’s now possible to ride a bicycle between Troutdale and Cascade Locks without ever having to ride on the shoulder of Interstate 84.

We got a sneak peek at this back in August and it is a truly stunning place to ride. The new shared-use path is 12-feet wide and is ADA compatible. There’s also a new 76-foot long, 16-foot wide bridge over McCord Creek that ODOT says, “reflects the craftsmanship of the original highway design.” Other features include a new picnic and rest area with views of Beacon Rock and a link to US Forest Service Trail 400 that connects to Elowah Falls. (more…)