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Weekend events hail Historic Highway linkage

The spotlight falls Saturday on the newest portion of a freshly minted global top 10 destination (sidebar, at right) in the Historic Highway Revived event near Cascade Locks.

Oregon Department of Transportation and Oregon Parks and Recreation Department will dedicate the newest segment of the Historic Columbia River Highway State Trail.

The dedication of this newest segment will occur on Saturday at 11 a.m. on the new McCord Creek Bridge.

This 1.6-mile trail connection, from Yeon State Park to Moffett Creek, will allow cyclists to ride from Troutdale to Cascade Locks without having to use the shoulder of Interstate 84.

‘top 10 destination FOR FALL’

It’s no secret that the Historic Columbia River Highway is a renowned destination for tourism in the Columbia River Gorge, and recently the roadway received some more national recognition.

The Washington Post Social Reader — the social media arm of The Washington Post newspaper — recently listed the highway as one of the top 10 “best destinations for fall” in the world.

In the unranked list, the Historic Columbia River Highway shared the honor with nine other destinations from all over the globe, including the Serengeti in Africa and the Lavaux Vineyard Terraces in Switzerland.

The list was compiled by Mark Johanson of International Business Times, a global news outlet that recently purchased Newsweek. In his review, Johanson said the road was designed as “a platform for viewing the natural beauty of the area, which boasts a tapestry of colors each fall that complement the region’s plunging waterfalls, deep gorges and perky wildflowers.”

(Attendees are urged to ride bicycles to the event; bike and auto access are described on page A2.)

The Historic Highway Revived event is a celebration of the reconnection of the Historic Columbia River Highway State Trail, and it will be joined by dozens of weekend events in and around Cascade Locks.

A 5K and 10K run and cruise-in car show are planned Sept. 14-15 in Cascade Locks, along with live music, a beer and wine garden, art show at Lorang Gallery, and more.

To help celebrate the events to come, Cascade Locks Mayor Tom Cramblett and City Council have declared September to be Cascade Locks Trails Month.

Last week’s city proclamation notes that the City of Cascade Locks recognizes the health values of cycling, and its importance to local tourism.

It also recognizes Pacific Crest Trail Days, held Sept. 7-8, and notes that last year the council adopted the award-winning “Connected Cascade Locks 2012 Plan” developed by students from Portland State University.

Other Cascade Locks events include Walk the Bridge of the Gods, Sept. 15 at 10 a.m., and the “Cascade to Crown” bike ride (Cascade Locks to Crown Point) on Sept. 15.

The Port of Cascade Locks will close the Bridge of the Gods for 1½ hours for the “Bridge Walk” event. The bridge will be closed to all vehicles from approximately 9:45 to 11:15 a.m. to allow for event safety set-up and take-down.

The ability to walk or bicycle across the bridge, without vehicles, may truly be a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. The event is free.

“Highway Revived” and Cascade Locks community event highlights include:

All three days

Friday through Sunday — 8 a.m. to 11 a.m. — information booth and bike valet, WaNaPa

Historic photo exhibits, The Bold Orange, WaNaPa Avenue, noon to 2 p.m. on Friday, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday

Drop-in movie, “The Road They Built,” Best Western Columbia River Inn; Friday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Saturday and Sunday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Highway-inspired art show, Lorang Fine Art, WaNaPa Avenue, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Food, wine and beer garden, Cascade Locks Community Association, WaNaPa Avenue, 3-10 p.m. Friday- Saturday; noon to 5 p.m. Sunday

Friday

Noon to 3 p.m. — Commemorative Stamp Cancellation, U.S. Post Office and Lorang Fine Art; free postcards and kids’ coloring sheets

6-9 p.m. — Live music by Muystik Mojo

Saturday

8 a.m. to 5 pm. — 5K and 10K Fun Run and Walk

10:45 a.m., to 1:45 p.m. — Scenic boat rides, Sternwheeler, Cascade Locks Port

1 p.m. — Storytelling and Speaker series, Historic Museum or Port Pavilion

3-5 p.m. — Artist Reception, Lorang Fine Art, Highway Inspired Art

11 a.m. — Trail Dedication, 11 a.m. at McCord Creek Bridge

Sunday

Cascade to Crown bike ride, 7 a.m. (details below)

10-11 a.m. — Walk the Bridge of the Gods; bridge closed to vehicle traffic starting at 9:45 a.m.

10 a.m. — guided hike, Dry Creek Falls, 4 miles, Friends of the Gorge

n

For Saturday’s trail dedication, participants are encouraged to bicycle to the trail along the Historic Columbia River Highway or Historic Highway State Trail. If you are planning to ride your bike to the site you can access the Historic Highway State Trail from the following locations:

n I-84, exit 44 — Cascade Locks, Bridge of the Gods Trailhead (overflow parking will be available along WaNaPa Street). Park in Cascade Locks and enjoy a 6-mile bike ride to the new trail segment and plan on spending your day exploring Cascade Locks and other attractions along the Historic Highway State Trail.

n I-84, exit 40, Bonneville Dam Exit — Parking will be available at the Toothrock Trailhead located on the south side of the Interstate. Park here and ride approximately 3.5 miles to the new trail segment and enjoy the dedication ceremony at McCord Creek Bridge.

If you are coming by car, park at the Ainsworth exit (exit 35) and board the shuttle.

Event parking will be available on the south side of I-84. A shuttle will be available for those driving to the event. The shuttle will drop folks off at the John B. Yeon Trailhead parking area. There is quarter-mile walk to the McCord Creek Bridge from the shuttle drop off. Allow time to walk to the ceremony before 11 a.m.

The John B. Yeon Trailhead parking lot will be closed during the dedication event.

Cruise in details

Sept. 14 — Start your scenic drive at downtown Troutdale, the beginning of the Historic Columbia River Highway. Cruise in on the beautiful historic highway, and be sure to take advantage of the opportunity to drive through Oneonta Tunnel. Head toward the John Yeon/Elowah Falls Trailhead (24 miles, about 45 minutes), then continue to the onramp of I-84 (7 miles, about 9 minutes) to exit 44 into Cascade Locks.

Cars will park in reserved lots along WaNaPa Street; check in at the information booth near the Post Office.

Sept. 15 — Cascade to Crown ride

Ride from the beautiful community of Cascade Locks to the panoramic Crown Point and Vista House. Choose from route lengths of 10 miles, 28 miles, 48 miles and 62 miles. This ride is fully supported with rest stops and mechanical support at Bonneville Dam, Herman Creek Road/Hill, Multnomah Falls and Portland Women’s Forum. Read more about the routes at www.highwayrevived.com.

Sept. 12 — Planning meeting

A local planning committee is working in coordination with complementary ODOT and Friends of the Gorge events. Its next meeting will be Sept. 12 at 6 p.m. at The Bold Orange, next to Cascade Locks Post Office.

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