“While this highway was built for Model-Ts, its future is meant for cyclists, walkers, and hikers…”
— Barbara Roberts, former Oregon Governor
100 years ago today the State of Oregon dedicated the 73-mile Historic Columbia River Highway. It was a marvel of its time, the nation’s first Scenic Highway, and it was known simply as the “King of Roads.” Its 73-miles of curves and sweeping gorge views from Troutdale to The Dalles were an inspiration to engineers and explorers alike.
Then it was all but forgotten in the 1950s when Interstate 84 bullied its way through the gorge. The new interstate cut off sections of the old highway and it fell into disrepair. In 1987 the state legislature established the Historic Columbia River Highway Advisory Committee and work began in earnest to restore the highway to its former glory.
When it was rededicated today at a Centennial Celebration held at Multnomah Falls, there was one major difference this time around: Instead of automobiles marking the future, they now mark the past.