Newsletter Headin
February 2011
 In This Issue:

--Historic Highway Poster--Get Yours Today!


--State Parks Adopt the State Trail Plan


--Thanks to the Oregon Pedestrian Bicycle Committee

--Starvation Creek to Hole-In-The Wall Falls Plan Kicks Off


--Friends of the Highway Update
--Happy 25th Birthday to the Gorge National
Scenic Area








The Historic Columbia River Highway News is your source for updates and information regarding efforts to remember, restore and reconnect the Historic Columbia River Highway and State Trail--a world class adventure from Portland to The Dalles.  

Mitchell Point Tunnel East Entrance 

Mitchell Point Tunnel

East Entrance


"There is but one Columbia River Gorge [that] God put into this comparatively short space, [with] so many beautiful waterfalls, canyons, cliffs and mountain domes."  Visitors "will wonder at its wild grandure [sic] when once it is made accessable [sic] by this great highway." 


Sam Lancaster, Historic HIghway Builder


Get Involved in the Preservation of the Historic
Columbia River Highway

Join us at the next Historic Columbia River HIghway Advisory Committee  meeting in The Dalles.  We will be meeting at the Columbia Gorge Discovery Center on Thursday, Feb. 24 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. The public is encouraged to attend.


Highlights from the agenda include....

  • Concepts for an eastern gateway in The Dalles
  • State Trail Implementation Plan
  • Starvation Creek to Hole in the Wall Falls - A collaborative approach
  • Preparing for a trip to Washington DC
  • Crown Point Viaduct Project

The full agenda can be found here

For more information on the Advisory Committee, click here 

To learn more, check out the Milepost 2016 Reconnection Strategy here or watch a 9-minute video about this project here


The minutes from the December 9, 2010 meeting are available online


Historic Highway Poster is Hot Off the Press



Thanks to funding from a National Scenic Byway Grant, Paul Platosh of Platosh Design, in collaboration with professor Jason Resch and students from the Pacific Northwest College of Art, designed a poster depicting the

Historic Highway's tag line, "Remember, Restore and Reconnect." Set against iconic images depicting scenes along the Highway is now available.  


For copies: Email Kristen


State Parks Commission Adopts the Historic Highway State Trail Plan


Oregon Parks and Recreation, USFS Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area and the Oregon Department of Transportation have recently completed the first Historic Columbia River Highway State Trail Plan with the assistance of Quatrefoil Associates and their principal Landscape Architect, Brian Bainnson.  On Jan. 26, the Oregon Parks Commission approved the plan -- making this year-long effort official. This comprehensive plan lays out the State Trail from Wyeth to Hood River in detail. 


Perspective Mitchell Point

The proposed trail layout takes full advantage of the Gorge's spectacular beauty and considers the future visitor's experience along the trail.  With this plan in place, the agencies now have a clearer understanding of costs and design challenges along with excellent opportunities for new trailheads, overlooks and trail amenities such as camping.  Check out the State Trail Plan. It will be posted on the web site soon.   We guarantee you will be inspired to go for a hike in the Gorge. 


East Mitchell Point Plan


In conjunction with the State Trail Plan, the Friends of the Historic Columbia River Highway undertook a refinement plan for the east side of Mitchell Point. This planning exercise includes an overlook near the original location of the west portal of the Mitchell Point Tunnel, proposed quarry restoration. With the quarry floor and three other areas to the northeast, all of the material from the tunnel could be accommodated on site, if needed.  An area currently infested with Scotch broom and poison oak was also noted for restoration with native species.  This plan was funded by a grant from the Cycle Oregon Fund of the Oregon Community Foundation. 



Thanks to the Oregon Pedestrian Bicycle Committee


The Historic Columbia River Highway Advisory Committee would like to extend a sincere thank you to Oregon's Pedestrian and Bicycle Committee who recently recognized the Historic Highway State Trail by helping us fund the critical connection between Warrendale's John B. Yeon State Park Trailhead and Moffett Creek.  


This 1.6 mile trail connection is the missing link between Troutdale and Historic Moffett Creek BridgeCascade Locks and points beyond.  The Oregon Pedestrian Bicycle Committee'grant of $600,000 will be pooled with $3.4 million Forest Highway Enhancement Funds. 


The project is awaiting the results of geo-technical evaluations. Once this step is complete, ODOT engineers will be able to hone in on a construction cost estimate.  Construction will start this fall with completion planned for Summer  2012.      

Starvation Creek to Hole-in-the Wall Falls Trail Plan

Kicks Off


The next section of the Historic Columbia River Highway State Trail will enter the Hole in the Wall Fallsdesign phase this spring.  This trail segment will provide enhanced access to the Mt. Defiance Trail and will allow Gorge visitors to experience the Historic Highway and view two beautiful waterfalls.


The new trail will head west out of the Starvation Creek Trailhead parking area following historic pavement past Cabin Creek Falls and terminate at the historic and mysterious Hole-in-the-Wall Falls.  Warren Creek Falls was diverted in the 1930s to a "hole-in-wall." We are not sure the exact motives for this action and we would love to hear your theory.   



Happenings along the Historic Highway


In 2010, the Friends of the Historic Highway volunteered over 800 hours through the State Parks Adopt-A-Park Program. Three work parties are scheduled for this spring on March 26 (near Bonneville Dam), June 25 (Mitchell Point) and August 27 (Mitchell Point).  For more information or to participate contact Jeanette at Gorge Ride Logo


Make history! Sign up for the Gorge Ride on June 11.  Registration is open and volunteers are always needed.  For more information, visit Gorge Ride


The second annual Friends-sponsored antique auto tour through the Mosier Twin Tunnels will be held July 9.  Owners of antique cars and potential passengers should contact  


 Maryhill's Founders Day features the Historic Highway


On May 21, 2010, Dr. Robert Hadlow, David Sell and George Fekaris will present a lecture and slide presentation of the history of the Historic Highway at Maryhill Museum.  For more information check out the Museum's web site


Happy Birthday Columbia Gorge National Scenic Area 


This year the Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area celebrates it 25th anniversary. In the quarter century since, the Act has created clear successes including the restoration and reconnection of the Historic Columbia River Highway.  We look forward to the next 25 years.


For more information, check out the Gorge Commission's anniversary web site.  

Your Thoughts 
Tell us what you think of this update.  What would you like to see in future issues? 


Email Kristen
Share this newsletter with your friends and colleagues by clicking on the Forward email link below. 
Contact Info
Kristen Stallman, Historic Columbia River Highway Coordinator
ODOT Region 1