SALEM, Ore., April 5, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- The Oregon Parks and Recreation Department (OPRD) and Oregon Tourism Commission (dba Travel Oregon) announce the designation of a new Scenic Bikeway along the wide-open, low-traffic roads of northeastern Oregon. The Oregon State Parks and Recreation Commission formally approved the new designation yesterday in its meeting in Medford, Ore. This addition brings the total number of bikeways to nine, furthering Oregon's position as a premier cycling destination.
The 134-mile Grande Tour Scenic Bikeway leads riders under a scented canopy of Ponderosa pine forests, past stunning views of the Blue Mountains and the Wallowa Mountains and across sweeping sagebrush rangelands near La Grande and Baker City. The bikeway, which covers sections of the original Oregon Trail, offers cycling opportunities for all abilities. Whether adventurers seek a challenging destination ride or prefer to break up the route into leisurely segments, the trail runs near quaint communities with all of the amenities needed to make a trip fun, comfortable and memorable.
The Oregon state scenic bikeway program is the first and only program of its kind and was launched in 2010 with the 132-mile Willamette Valley State Scenic Bikeway. Eight have been added since, and three more are currently in development. The program, which now includes more than 700 miles of designated scenic bikeways, is a partnership between Cycle Oregon, Travel Oregon, Oregon Department of Transportation and Oregon Parks and Recreation Department.
Travelers looking to explore any of the scenic bikeways, or experience other Oregon adventures, have a new resource for questions when they're planning their trip. Travel Oregon has launched an "Ask Oregon" ambassador program. Visitors can ask questions of experts around the state, from cycling aficionado Otis Rubottom – an Oregon cyclist and guidebook author – to white-water river guides, family travelers and other passionate Oregonians. For more information or to submit questions to the "Ask Oregon" ambassadors, visit www.traveloregon.com/ask-oregon.
For information on Oregon's scenic bikeways, detailed maps, route descriptions and itinerary ideas visit rideoregonride.com/inspiration/scenic-bikeways. To learn more about the program go to oregonscenicbikeways.org.
The Oregon Tourism Commission, dba Travel Oregon, works to enhance visitors' experience by providing information, resources and trip planning tools that inspire travel and consistently convey the exceptional quality of Oregon. The commission aims to improve Oregonians' quality of life by strengthening economic impacts of the state's $8.8 billion tourism industry that employs over 91,000 Oregonians. www.TravelOregon.com
Oregon Parks and Recreation Department's mission is to "Provide and protect outstanding natural, scenic, cultural, historic and recreational sites for the enjoyment and education of present and future generations."It operates a system of State Parks , Historic and Natural Areas and manages a number of special programs including the Oregon Exposition Center , Scenic Rivers, Recreation Trails, Historic Preservation, and Ocean Shores. OPRD serves more than 40.2 million visitors per year.
SOURCE Travel Oregon