After a few false starts and final construction delays, a new 1.6-mile segment of the Historic Columbia River Highway State Trail opened Thursday, making it possible for cyclists to travel a scenic 34 miles of the Columbia River Gorge without using Interstate 84.
The new trail segment, which was dedicated in September, is complete except for minor detail work, including landscaping. The $8.1 million project is the final link in a 34-mile scenic bike ride from Troutdale to Cascade Locks, Ore., on 26 miles of the Columbia River Historic Highway and 6.5 miles of shared-use path on the State Trail. Ultimately, the trail will extend to Hood River, Ore.
The new 1.6-mile trail segment includes:
- A new 12-foot wide paved path accessible to pedestrians, bicyclists, hikers and people using wheelchairs.
- A distinctive new 76-foot long, 16-foot wide bridge over McCord Creek reflecting the craftsmanship of the original highway design.
- A new picnic and rest area with restored views of Beacon Rock.
- A link with U.S. Forest Service Trail 400, connecting to Elowah Falls.