Next time you find yourself pedaling along the amazing new section of Historic Columbia River Highway State Trail keep your eyes open for a trail that peels off toward the river just east of Summit Creek. The short dirt and gravel path winds slightly uphill to the northwest and eventually pokes out at a breathtaking view of Wind Mountain, an 1,800 foot high peak on the Washington side of the Gorge.
My son and I stumbled on this trail when we rode the path last month. There were no signs, but I could tell the trail and lookout were meant to be discovered. Today I learned the Wind River Overlook is indeed a bonus feature of the Oregon Department of Transportation’s $18 million Wyeth to Lindsey Creek project.
According to Friends of the Historic Columbia River Highway President Jeanette Kloos, the overlook is the final piece of the latest trail segment. The trail officially opened in August, but Kloos says the overlook wasn’t a part of the festivities because it’s being completed separately. “It was not constructed as part of the project due to funding constraints,” she shared via email today.
The decorative wall is being built by Michael Byrne, a Parkdale resident and owner of MB Stonemasonry. Total budget for the trail and wall is about $31,000. Kloos says one-third of the cost was donated by the Portland Bicycling Club (PBC). The rest of the project was paid for with funds originally donated to Eagle Creek Fire recovery efforts (and whose donors gave permission for it to be used for the overlook instead).
“We enjoy riding in that area and so want to support the restoration so that not only we aging members of the club but our children and grandchildren can enjoy the highway in the future and see it come to fruition,” said Ann Morrow with PBC.
This is a must-see addition to an already stellar piece of infrastructure. Thanks to PBC, ODOT, the Friends of the Columbia River Highway, and the rest of the donors for making it happen!
— Jonathan Maus: (503) 706-8804, @jonathan_maus on Twitter and firstname.lastname@example.org
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