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Scenic bikeway designation crosses a major hurdle

Final approval expected next month


The proposed Cascading Rivers Scenic Bikeway between Estacada and Detroit got a major boost last week when it was approved by the state’s Scenic Bikeway Committee.

The next and final hurdle will be a decision by the state Parks and Recreation Commission on June 25 in Klamath Falls.

Phil Lingelbach, chairman of the Estacada Development Association, said this is good news and he feels positive that the Bikeway Committee will approve the designation as well.

“So we’re hoping to hear on June 25 that it’s now a scenic bikeway,” he said. “Then we’ll do some kind of ribbon cutting to get the word out.”

Travel Oregon will then put up signs along the route within a year and handle all publicity.

“This is super news and it’s real important,” Lingelbach said of the committee’s approval. “The commission usually accepts their (the committee’s) recommendations.”

Alex Phillips, bicycling recreation specialist for Parks and Recreation, agreed the committee’s approval is a good sign.

“It’s an application-driven process and out of all the applications, they rejected about half,” she said. “They only pick the best of the best road bike roads in all of Oregon, and this is one of them.”

Phillips said the new designation as a scenic bikeway means that it will be promoted “locally, nationally and internationally” by Travel Oregon.

“The very next day, if it is approved, people will be able to access maps on rideoregonride.com,” she said. “In the next few months signs will be installed and then the promotion starts as well. We work with Travel Oregon and they work directly with travel writers and the web and promote it that way.”

The first couple of miles of the route on Faraday Road are “very flat and family-friendly,” Phillips said.

“Then after that it starts climbing for another 35 miles,” she said. “It’s really a hidden gem for folks who want to ride without traffic.”

But the route is rated “extreme,” and after the short flat stretch, it climbs for another 35 miles and gets increasingly difficult the closer you get to Detroit. The entire route is 72 miles long.

“It’s like a triangle,” Phillips said, if the triangle is vertical.

After Faraday Road, the bikeway follows Highway 242 and then turns onto Forest Road 46 all the way to Detroit, Phillips said. She added that it wouldn’t have happened without a grassroots local effort.

“It really is locally proponent driven and we need that local effort,” she said. “It is a lot of work for people like Phil and others in the community.”

It’s been a labor of love for Lingelbach and others who have worked on the project for a long time.

“The state has 11 scenic bikeways and ours will be the 12th,” he said. “We have a scenic bikeway committee and we wrote up a plan and submitted it and have been working on it for four years.”

The plan includes features along the bikeway, points of interest, camping and other information. The bikeway will have a web page on the Estacada Chamber of Commerce website which will link it to ride

oregonride.com.

“You will be able to access our bikeway on that and it will be run locally with the information coming from our end,” he said. “And if there is something at the Detroit end, we will link that, like closures for snow or road problems. We will also link to the Forest Service so you can get up-to-date road information, fires in the area, and other things you can find out from the Forest Service.”

In an article last year in the Estacada News, Lingelbach said folks who want to use the trail can use free parking in the lot at Estacada City Hall and the public restroom there. Plans also call for a new bike rack.



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