Great views, smooth ride on new cycling, hiking trail in Columbia Gorge

The long-awaited Historic Columbia River Highway State Trail is still at least a couple years from completion, but the latest trail segment to open to the public proves that patience can pay off.

A new three-mile section of the trail opened to the public, connecting Wyeth State Park to Lindsey Creek where it meets up with another trail segment that opened in 2016.

That means cyclists and hikers now have a designated, protected pathway that runs nearly six miles along the Columbia River Gorge, from Wyeth State Park to Viento State Park. That route runs past waterfalls, hiking trails, a campground and spectacular views of one of the most scenic destinations in the Pacific Northwest.

When complete, the Historic Columbia River Highway State Trail will run 73 miles connecting Troutdale to The Dalles, retracing the original scenic highway that was partially destroyed in the construction of Interstate 84. While parts of the trail will be on the new, protected pathway, other sections will run along the Historic Columbia River Highway, sharing the road with cars.

All that remains to be constructed is the five-mile Mitchell Point segment, which requires either blasting a tunnel or building a bridge to connect the western trail segments to Hood River and The Dalles.

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