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oregon scenic bikeways

‘Two Wheels Spoken’ in eastern Oregon as bike tourism blooms

Thursday, May 24th, 2012

[Story and photos by Russ Roca of The Path Less Pedaled]

This is what the bike tourism revolution looks like.
(Photos © Russ Roca/The Path Less Pedaled)

Eastern Oregon is known for its dry climate; but there’s something taking root along its gorgeous backroads that could help grow the economy of its many small communities: bicycle tourism.

A makeshift meeting room in the Outpost Pub and Grill in John Day (pop. 1,744) is probably the last place you’d expect talk about the need of a bicycle friendly business program, community bike share or bike racks. However, this is the sort of quiet magic that a small, road-weary crew comprised of representatives from Travel Oregon and the Oregon State Parks and Recreation Department have been performing through many rural Oregon communities over the past year. (more…)

Take a ride on the ‘Grande Tour’, Oregon’s newest Scenic Bikeway

Monday, April 9th, 2012
Grand Tour: From La Grande to Cove
Riding the new Grande Tour Scenic Bikeway.
(Photos by Kristin Dahl/Travel Oregon)

In case you missed it, the Oregon State Parks and Recreation Department released their ninth Scenic Bikeway last week. The Grande Tour Scenic Bikeway is a 134 mile, figure-eight loop between Baker City and La Grande that winds between the Wallowa and Whitman National Forests in eastern Oregon.

The Scenic Bikeway program was made into law back in 2008 and the first route, the Willamette Valley Scenic Bikeway, was designated a year later. These routes, while they don’t come with physical infrastructure changes, are the backbone of Oregon’s larger effort to become the premier bicycle touring destination in America. (more…)

Three new Scenic Bikeways get unanimous support from Oregon Parks Commission

Wednesday, September 21st, 2011
Ride to Monmouth-15
Expect more signs like these
popping up all over Oregon.
(Photo © J. Maus)

At their meeting in John Day this morning the Oregon Parks and Recreation Department Commission voted unanimously to to designate three new State Scenic Bikeway routes. That brings the total to four and the new routes join the existing Willamette Valley Scenic Bikeway.

The three new routes are the Blue Mountain Century, the Old West Bikeway and the Three Sisters Bikeway. Each route comes with a marketing plan and the full support from city officials who see them as a way to attract bicycle tourists and spur economic growth. (more…)

Eight new routes designated as Oregon Scenic Bikeways

Thursday, September 9th, 2010
cycle oregon day 2 - heppner to Starkey
On the roads outside
Heppner, in eastern Oregon.
(Photos © J. Maus)

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.” (more…)

Newswire: Oregon Scenic Bikeways program now on the road

Thursday, November 12th, 2009

Oregon Parks and Recreation Department

Nov. 3, 2009

MEDIA CONTACTS:
Alexandra Phillips
OPRD Bicycle Recreation Coordinator
503-986-0631

Oregon Scenic Bikeways program now on the road
Online handbook tells how to nominate routes for designation

Oregon bicycle riders can now nominate their favorite routes for consideration as State Scenic Bikeways.

Such designated bikeways would follow roads and bicycle paths that connect riders with outstanding scenic, historic and natural settings. The Oregon Parks and Recreation Department (OPRD) will accept nominations through Jan. 31, 2010, and annually from Nov. 1-Jan. 31 thereafter.

OPRD’s state bicycle coordinator, Alexandra Phillips, says anyone can propose a route for designation according to Oregon Administrative Rule guidelines. “The program is designed as a grassroots effort,” she said. “Nominations will need to come from local proponents.”

An Oregon Scenic Bikeways handbook now online at www.oregonscenicbikeways.org gives a step-by-step designation process and provides instructions and forms for nominators. The nominations will be considered by the Oregon Scenic Bikeway Committee, an advisory group that will recommend scenic bikeway designations to the OPRD director. The Oregon Parks and Recreation Commission must give final approvals.

“The committee will be looking for proposed routes that offer thetotal experience of sights, sounds, smells, tastes and feelings of landscapes that you can have traveling at the pace of a bicycle,” said
Phillips. “We hope to find the bikeways that offer the best rides in the state.”

According to Phillips, the Oregon program is the first state government-sanctioned scenic bikeway designation process in the nation. The program is a partnership between Cycle Oregon, Travel Oregon, the Oregon Department of Transportation and OPRD.

The Willamette Valley Scenic Bikeway, which was developed as a 2005 pilot project by the partnership, serves as a prototype for the program. The Willamette Valley route has been officially recognized as Oregon’s first state scenic bikeway.

###

Alexandra Phillips
Bicycle Recreation Coordinator
Oregon Parks & Recreation Department
www.oregonscenicbikeways.org
725 Summer Street NE, Ste. C
Salem, OR 97301-0792
phone: (503)986-0631
cell phone: (503) 480-9092
fax: (503) 986-0792

Riding on Oregon’s first official State Scenic Bikeway

Wednesday, July 22nd, 2009
Ride to Monmouth-14
Rolling through the Willamette Valley.
(Photos © J. Maus)

Last Friday a few friends and I decided to ride our bikes down to Monmouth (about 15 miles west of Salem) for the start of the Cycle Oregon Weekend event.

When I checked the map to plan the route, I realized this was a perfect opportunity to test out the state of Oregon’s first fully signed and mapped, official State Scenic Bikeway.
(more…)

Oregon’s prototype “Scenic Bikeway” now has online home

Thursday, May 14th, 2009
Riders on a multi-day trip
near Champoeg State Park.
(Photo: Matt Picio/CycleWild)

The State of Oregon’s “Scenic Bikeway” program has taken a nice step forward. This week, the State’s Bicycle Recreation Coordinator, Alexandra Phillips, unveiled a website that features detailed maps and route information on the Willamette Valley Scenic Bikeway.

The Willamette Valley route is the first officially recognized scenic bikeway in the state and it’s referred to as “a prototype” for others yet to come. The 127-mile route begins at Champoeg State Heritage Area just south of Wilsonville and ends at Armitage County Park just north of Eugene. (more…)

Volunteers needed to select Oregon Scenic Bikeways

Friday, October 24th, 2008

A reader (thanks Brian) gave me the heads up that Oregon Parks and Recreation Department is looking for volunteers to serve on a new advisory committee that will evaluate routes nominated for Oregon Scenic Bikeways.

Full press release is below (more info on Oregon’s Scenic Bikeway program here):
(more…)

Hearing will set “scenic bikeways” rule into motion

Thursday, January 17th, 2008
cycle oregon day 7 - ride-6.JPG
Cycle Oregon pedalers on their
way to the Dee Wright Observatory
high above Sisters.
(Photos © Jonathan Maus)

Next Wednesday, the State of Oregon Parks and Recreation Department will hold a public hearing in downtown Portland to hear feedback on a program that would designate and develop a statewide network of “Oregon Scenic Bikeways”.

On the table will be a new Oregon Administrative Rule (OAR) that would give “scenic bikeways” the same level of protection (known technically as a “Goal 5 resource”) currently given to everything from wetlands habitat to historic sites.

The scenic bikeways program was first championed by the Board of Directors of Cycle Oregon back in 2004 and now has the partnership of Oregon State Parks. (more…)

Oregon Scenic Bikeways Public Hearing

Wednesday, January 16th, 2008

Location: Multnomah County Library; 801 SW 10th Ave.; Portland, OR

Hearing Officer: Iris Riggs

Summary: This rule will establish criteria and a procedure for the establishment of Oregon Scenic Bikeways. The Oregon Parks and Recreation Department will coordinate the process, hold public hearings and facilitate signing of the Scenic Bikeways.

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