Newsletter Headin



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.    

Moffett Creek Bridge
Moffett Creek Bridge


 "You have in the Columbia River Highway the most remarkable engineering in the United States, which for scenic grandeur is not equaled anywhere."     

Former President   

Theodore Roosevelt





GetInvolvedGet Involved in the Preservation of the

Historic Columbia River Highway


Join us at the next Historic Columbia River Highway Advisory Committee meeting on Friday, March 16th, 2012 from 10:00 AM to 3:00 PM at the Port of Hood River Conference Room 1000 E. Port Marina Drive, Hood River OR 97031.  The full agenda can be viewed online.

Highlights of the meeting will include:

  • Updates on the John B. Yeon to Moffett Creek State Trail Construction Project
  • Draft concept plans for the Mosier Hub
  • A presentation on opportunities to restore the lost waterfall at Warren Creek Falls

The minutes from the December 15th, 2011 meeting are available online. 

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


For more information on the Advisory Committee, click here  

Construction Updates  Construction


State Trail: John B. Yeon to Moffett Creek Segment 

Construction of the John B. Yeon to Moffett Creek State Trail Project is now underway. This project, connecting a major gap on the Historic Highway State Trail system, is expected to be completed in summer 2013.  The first tasks for the contractor, Tapani Underground of Battle Ground, Washington, were to remove trees from the trail footprint and do some rock drilling, blasting, and scaling of the 50+ft tall rock face just east of McCord Creek.  The contractor is also installing rock-bolt anchors into the face of the cliff to keep the rocks on place.  


Soon, construction begins on a new retaining wall at the John B. Yeon Trailhead. HCRH Trail Yeon to Moffett Construction 2.12 This wall will be 569 feet long and between 5 to 10 feet tall. Construction of a second wall will begin soon. Starting mid-March, the Contractor will build the first steps the new bridge crossing McCord Creek. The design of the new bridge was inspired by the beautiful bridges along the Historic Highway.    


On January 25, the temporary closure of the eastbound on-ramp at John B. Yeon State Park was implemented as well as single lane closures on I-84 to accommodate the blasting and rock removal work. This closure is expected to last up to 90 days.  For more on the project web page, click here.


State Trail: Starvation Creek to Warren Creek Segment

In two years, the Historic Highway State Trail will be extended 1 mile west from the Starvation Creek Trailhead toward Warren Creek. This trail connection not only follows the original alignment of the Historic Columbia River Highway, but also provides access to three stunning waterfalls (Cabin Creek, Hole-in-the-Wall Falls, and Wonder Creek). This project is expected to be completed in 2014 and will move us one step closer to our ultimate vision of a fully connected State Trail network through the Gorge.


Rowena Bluff Rockfall

As the Historic Highway winds its way up to the Rowena Overlook and down the Rowena Curves over the Rowena Bluff, Interstate 84 and the Union Pacific Railroad squeeze between this impressive rocRowena Bluffk slope and Columbia River down below. The Rowena Bluff, located six miles west of the Dalles, is ranked as the 4th highest rockfall hazard in the state according to the Statewide Unstable Slopes Inventory. This summer ODOT will be addressing safety and operations along I-84 by cleaning out the catchment area and installing sand blankets to help catch the falling rocks. Construction is planned to occur during August and September requiring some lane closures. For more information check out the project website  









TributeTribute to a Friend of the Highway


Gail Achterman, who passed away January 28, 2012, was a champion of the Historic Columbia River Highway and a strong promoter and supporter of the Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area.   As Oregon Transportation Commission Chair, Gail shared her enthusiasm for the trail reconnection projects and a passion for the history of the Highway. Additionally, Gail had a significant hand in drafting the Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area Act and Management Plan. The Act provided the funding mechanism for the first projects to reconnect the Historic Highway. Gail was a dedicated leader committed to the State of Oregon, with special affection for the Gorge. Click here for more on Gail Achterman's legacy.


Ready  Ready, Set, Plan


Thanks to a grant from the Federal Transit Administration's Transit in the Parks Program, the US Forest Service--Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area will undertake a planning effort to help navigate the complex environmental permitting maze for the final 10 miles of un-reconnected State Trail.  This funding provides us with a giant step forward that will bring the State Trail Plan one important step closer to implementation.  


We will also be working closely with our partners at Oregon Parks and Recreation Department who are undertaking a comprehensive planning effort for their properties in the Gorge starting this spring.  The last State Park planning effort in the Gorge, The Columbia Gorge District Master Plan, was completed approximately 20 years ago.   


The Gorge Master Plan along with many other State Park Master Plans were developed under the leadership of Kathy "Kate" Schutt.  As planning manager for Oregon State Parks, Kathy Schutt has been deeply involved in preservation, restoration and new facility development for Oregon State Parks for the past 25 years.  Her body of work clearly reflects what Oregonians love about our State Parks.

This spring, Kate will end her dis-

Kate Schutt

tinguished career at the Oregon Parks and Recreation Department (OPRD). Kate has guided the department's planning efforts and played a key role in ensuring a vision for the future that will guide how we recreate and care for Oregon's rich natural and cultural heritage. Under her management and thoughtful oversight, the Oregon State Parks system has blossomed and is beloved by Oregonians.  Kate's ability to plan well has carried over to her personal life.  She is moving north to beautiful Winthrop, Washington in the North Cascades to embrace her passions - skiing, gardening and enjoying life. 


HelpImproveWant to help improve the hiking and

biking experience in the Gorge?


You're invited to provide feedback and information to a group of graduate planning students who are working with the Port of Cascade Locks on a trails plan that will connect regional trails, identify opportunities for economic development and local business enhancement and recognize existing local attractions. The students formed a team under the name of Celilo Planning Studio and are from the Master of Urban and Regional Planning program at Portland State University.


The Celilo Planning Studio is gathering information from trail enthusiasts (hikers and bikers) on their current trail use and their preferences for trail and town amenities in the Gorge. Please help the team collect trail user information by taking this survey! The survey is anonymous and takes 5-8 minutes to complete. Please share it with others.

Celilo Planning
(left to right): Chloe Ritter, Sara Morrissey, Ellen Dorsey, Michael Ahillen and Sarah Bronstein (Danielle Fuchs is not pictured)

Take the survey here


For additional project information and to join in on the upcoming public workshops please visit Celilo Planning Studio at


Celilo Planning Studio will also hold community workshops and an open house in April to generate ideas with the local community and trail users.  


Community Trails and Amenities Workshop: April 3rd, 5:30 - 8:30 p.m. (Cascade Locks Marine Park Pavilion) or April 7th, 1:00 - 4:00 p.m. (Cascade Locks City Hall). The workshops will address: Signage and other wayfinding tools, Preferred trail connections, marketing and communication, Business opportunities and trailhead amenities.


Public Open House (Cascade Locks Marine Park Pavilion): April 25th, 5:30 - 8:30 p.m. Come to the open house to meet the project team and provide feedback:  Review the results of the workshop and surveys and share your thoughts on the proposals.


GearUP Gearing Up for Summer 


For cycling enthusiasts in the Gorge area, springtime weather means one big thing; a chance to get outside and enjoy the many rides and scenic beauty that the Historic Highway has to offer without facing the harsh elements of cold and rain.  Despite the fact that we will have to wait one more season to ride the new John B. Yeon to Moffett Creek trail segment, this summer promises to deliver plenty of cycling opportunities and events.


Gorge Ride

On Saturday, June 16th, the 6th annual Gorge Ride sponsored by the Friends of the Historic Columbia River Highway will be taking off from the Gorge Discovery Center in The Dalles. This 19 mile ride will be a combination of Historic Highway with very low traffic, and the HCRH State Trail open only for hikers and cyclists. This is an out-and-back trip, returning on the same route. Online registration is now open at Volunteers can contact Jeanette Kloos at   Volunteers get to ride for free once registration is completed.


Cascade to Crown

On Sunday, July 1st, the Port of Cascade Locks will host their second annual Cascade to Crown bike ride. This event will take riders from the community of Cascade Locks to the panoramic Crown Point Vista House along the drivable and trail sections of the Historic Columbia River Highway. For those looking for a bit less of a challenge, the 15-mile family-friendly ride will take riders along the Historic Columbia River Highway State Trail, past Bonneville Dam and Eagle Creek. Once again, the local high school football team will be out there to transport bikes up and down the one stairway along the route at Eagle Creek.   For more information, click here. 


Cascade to Crown bike ride
Horsetail Falls

Other upcoming events

Volunteers are needed for three work parties, sponsored by the Friends of the Historic Columbia River Highway, as part of the Adopt-A-Park program. The dates are: March 24, April 14, June 30. For March 24, volunteers will meet at the Eagle Creek Fish Hatchery at 10 AM to perform vegetation management (removing invasive plants, etc.) along the HCRH State Trail near Ruckel Creek. For further information contact

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Contact Info Kristen Stallman, Historic Columbia River Highway Coordinator
Oregon Department of Transportation, Region 1