State, federal and local partners helped dedicate two additional miles of the Historic Columbia River Highway State Trail Saturday with people hiking, biking and rolling through the newest path through the Columbia River Gorge.
The dedication ceremony included a ribbon-cutting at Viento State Park South, now home to a new hiker/biker campground with an ADA-accessible campsite, three shelters for cooking, lockers with chargers, hot showers and an ADA-accessible restroom.
ODOT Director Kris Strickler said projects like the Historic Columbia River Highway State Trail require efforts over many years but are worth the work.
"We have to stay vigilant," Strickler said. "These efforts don't just bring communities together but create a destination."
This additional two-mile segment continues the trail east from Viento State Park toward Mitchell Point. With this segment open, people hiking, biking and rolling can enjoy eight miles of car-free trail heading east from Wyeth Trailhead (Exit 51) accessible from Interstate 84. The trail does not yet connect to the Mitchell Point Tunnel, scheduled to open in the spring of 2024.
With this new segment now open, the State Trail has 18 car-free miles between Troutdale and The Dalles with four miles remaining.
“We’re almost there,” said Rian Windsheimer, ODOT Region 1 manager.
Joining in the event Saturday were ODOT, Oregon Parks and Recreation Department, the U.S. Forest Service, Friends of the Historic Columbia River Highway, Travel Oregon, Western Federal Lands and the Historic Columbia River Highway Advisory Committee.