June 10, 2016
Historic Columbia River Highway is one of the many Scenic Byways in Oregon
By: Mary Pellegrini
An abandoned section of the Historic Columbia River Highway, the Wygant Trail, begins at the Mitchell Point trailhead and meanders through Douglas Fir Forest along the Columbia River Gorge. By the fall of 2016 this old section of the Historic Highway will become part of the Historic Columbia River Bike Trail. Watch for more news on that. It will be transformational. Thanks Travel Oregon for sharing this information
‘Construction of the Historic Columbia River Highway
began in 1913 and was considered one of the greatest engineering feats of the modern age. As its name implies, the Byway is incredibly rich in cultural history. This stretch of the Columbia once served as fishing and meeting grounds for the many indigenous peoples of the Columbia Basin. Oregon Trail Pioneers also traveled down the Columbia in the mid 1800s.When the highway first opened in 1916, Teddy Roosevelt praised its scenic grandeur and remarkable engineering. And The Illustrated London News went on to call it “the king of roads.” With its mossy stone walls and graceful viaducts winding past dozens of waterfalls, this All-American Road still reigns as one of the world’s most glorious drives.’
Sections of the Historic Highway are are open to car traffic and there are many sections that open to alternative modes of transportation, no motor vehicles allowed. While walking these sections you’ll see cyclists, folks on roller blades, strollers, and walkers and their dogs. Sometimes you won’t see anyone at all as was our experience last week on the Wygant Trail. Our guests coming from the West receive a welcome letter about a week before their arrival to the Old Parkdale Inn. Included are directions to get off the Interstate and enjoy the ride through the Gorge on the Historic Columbia River Highway. Worth slowing down for.
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