oregon scenic bikeways
Oregon’s Scenic Bikeway program is about to shrink by 7 percent.
Since becoming an official state program in 2008, Scenic Bikeways have become magnets for bike tourists. They pumped $12.4 million into Oregon’s economy in 2014. There are 14 officially designated routes promoted by the state’s tourism board as recreational attractions and economy boosters for the communities they pass through.
Results from the first study of Oregon’s Scenic Bikeways are in: The 12 carefully selected routes that showcase the best road riding in the state accounted for $12.4 million in economic activity in 2014.
The Economic Significance of Cycling on Oregon Scenic Bikeways, commissioned by Travel Oregon and Oregon State Parks and Recreation Department, was published earlier this month by Dean Runyan Associates. The study gathered data on overall usage of the bikeways as well as where money was spent and the bikeways’ impacts on job creation.
Scenic bikeways are the backbone of the State of Oregon’s strategic focus on bicycle tourism — an industry that pumps $400 million into our economy each year. The program was established by law in 2008 and the first scenic bikeway became official in 2009.
of the best places to ride a bike in Oregon.
(Photo © J. Maus/BikePortland)
Last week the Oregon State Parks Commission unanimously approved two new Scenic Bikeways; the Wild Rivers Coast and Cascade Siskiyou routes. The new routes are the first time the Bikeway program has included the coast and the southern Oregon region.
The Wild Rivers Coast Scenic Bikeway is a a 61-mile route based out of Port Orford. It heads southeast along the curvaceous Elk River and then north up to Cape Blanco State Park, the westernmost point in the entire state. The park includes a lighthouse and the historic Hughes House, both of which you might recall hearing about when I explored the area myself a few years ago during a ride down the coast.
The Cascade Siskiyou Scenic Bikeway begins in the southern Oregon city of Ashland. The 55-mile loop heads east and takes you around Emigrant and Howard Prarie Lakes. There’s even a nice bikepacking option if you’re ready to sleep overnight.
With the addition of these two new Scenic Bikeways, Oregon now boasts a total of 14 routes that have been officially recognized since the program was established in 2008.
The Bikeways program does not come with any funding for infrastructure improvements, except for special way-finding signage. The routes themselves are mostly on standard roads and highways, however the selection committee takes into account the general safety of the road in making their decisions.
You can learn much more about them and the other 12 Scenic Bikeways at RideOregonRide.com.
Washington County has opted to spend $125,000 to $175,000 on temporary repairs to its least sturdy bridge rather than close it to auto traffic.
As we wrote last month, the bridge on Porter Road northeast of Forest Grove is significant for biking because it’s part of the Tualatin Valley Scenic Bikeway and might also become part of a “Council Creek Regional Trail” that would eventually create a low-stress link between Hillsboro and Banks.
It’s also significant for driving because it currently carries an estimated 1,100 motor vehicles per day.
Just in time for peak summer riding season, the Oregon State Parks and Recreation Commission has just approved the latest State Scenic Bikeway. The Cascading Rivers Scenic Bikeway is a 70-mile route that takes riders from Estacada to Detroit along the Clackamas and Breitenbush Rivers.
Here’s more about the route from its official description: (more…)
Twin Bridges Scenic Bikeway video.
(Photo by Russ Roca/Path Less Pedaled)
One of the “problems” of living in a town with such a richly layered bicycle culture is that there is often too much of a good thing. This Thursday night is an example of when two big events — the Oregon Scenic Bikeways Video Party and the Oregon Manifest Launch Party — happen at the same time on the same night, forcing some bike lovers into a painful decision.
Here’s what’s on tap:
Oregon Scenic Bikeways Video Party – 6:00 to 8:30 pm at Chris King Precision Components HQ (2801 NW Nela St.)
Oregon’s Scenic Bikeways program is the only one of its kind in the nation. The cyclists who’ve ridden these community-suggested, state-adopted, best-of-the-best Oregon road routes know exactly why this program and the rides themselves are so special. But what about those who have yet to experience a Scenic Bikeway?
For you, we and Path Less Pedaled have been working hard on a series of inspirational videos highlighting each bikeway route and the things that make it a fun, beautiful and uniquely Oregon experience. And we think wintertime, while you’re dreaming up your next bike vacation, is the perfect time to watch them.
Now that’s a headline we don’t get to write every day.
Russ Roca of the bike-adventure media organization Path Less Pedaled, which works with tourism agency Travel Oregon to show off the state’s scenic bikeways, just shared this terrific opportunity for people interested in bike travel over the next three months.
Oregon’s State Scenic Bikeway program has really taken off in recent years. Routes have sprung up all over the state and they’re spurring economic development and providing people with great bike adventures. But so far, none of them are very close to Portland.
Now comes word from the Oregon Parks and Recreation Department that there’s a proposal on the table to designate a new scenic bikeway that would be relatively close to Portland and would begin just south of Hillsboro. (more…)