Gorge Towns to Trails: Making the Connection
What does "town-to-trail" look like in the Columbia Gorge?
Watch the video and see for yourself:
The Mosier Plateau trail, connecting the town of Mosier, Oregon, to the Friends of the Columbia Gorge Land Trust property at Mosier Plateau, was completed in 2013 and is the first completed segment of Gorge Towns to Trails.
Gorge Towns to Trails is a vision for a comprehensive trail system wrapping around the Columbia Gorge, linking communities with recreation, benefiting tourism, and highlighting and enhancing the beauty and wonder of the Columbia Gorge. Friends of the Columbia Gorge is leading this effort and seeks input and partnerships from Gorge communities, citizens and elected officials.
Friends of the Columbia Gorge launched the first phase of Gorge Towns to Trails in 2011, the 25th anniversary of passage of the Columbia River Gorge Scenic Area Act. Our goal is to create nearly 60 miles of trail connecting Gorge urban areas to National Scenic Area lands.
The goals of Gorge Towns to Trails:
- Create new trails, opening hidden vistas and waterfalls to Gorge recreation users
- Benefit Gorge economy by connecting trails to communities
- Support sustainable recreation through alternative transportation options
- Create contiguous parcels of protected lands that benefit wildlife
Friends of the Columbia Gorge is committed to working with public land managers and communities to realize the Gorge Towns to Trails vision. Partner Organizations help create grassroots support by communicating the vision of a loop trail that encircles the entire Gorge. Supporter Organizations lend credibility and support to the project by listing their organizations’ name on Gorge Towns to Trails printed materials. View a list of Gorge Towns to Trails partner and supporter organizations.
Map is clickable on the colored areas for more details…
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The first phase of Gorge Towns to Trails will include the following trail segments:
- Washougal to Stevenson trail: An opportunity for a 34-mile trail connecting Steigerwald National Wildlife Refuge, Cape Horn, the Pacific Crest Trail and Beacon Rock State Park, as well as the communities of Stevenson, North Bonneville, and Washougal.
- Hood River to The Dalles trail: An opportunity for a 20-mile trail connecting the Historic Columbia River Highway, Mosier Plateau, Tom McCall Preserve, Seven Mile Hill and the Columbia Gorge Discovery Center, as well as the communities of The Dalles, Mosier, and Hood River. The completed Mosier Plateau trail segment would be included in the finished trail.
- Lyle Cherry Orchard loop: An opportunity for a six-mile trail connecting the urban area of Lyle to the top of the 550-acre Cherry Orchard property owned by Friends of the Columbia Gorge Land Trust and long-term potential to connect to over 1,000 acres of land owned by the Washington Department of Natural Resources.
Watch an inspiring new video about how Mt. Ulka (a property held by the Friends of the Columbia Gorge Land Trust, and a crucial segment of the eventual Hood River to The Dalles trail) is renewing itself after the 2014 Rowena Wildfire burned every acre.
WET (West End Transit) Bus
This seasonal weekend bus service supports the Gorge Towns to Trails goal of sustainable recreation by letting you enjoy the wonders of the Columbia Gorge without driving to them yourself! For $4 a day, hikers can hop on Skamania County’s WET (West End Transit) Bus to access nine trailheads and communities in the heart of the Gorge. The WET Bus service runs May-October. Save gas money, reduce your carbon footprint, and avoid congestion, parking, and worrying about which recreation pass to use!
Gorge Towns to Trails in the News
- "Town-To-Town Trekking Vision For Columbia River Gorge Inches Forward" (National Public Radio Network)
- The Trail Companion: A Newsletter of the Lewis & Clark National Historic Trail (see pp. 8-15)
- The Gorge magazine
- The Columbian newspaper
For questions or comments, please contact Gorge Towns to Trails Project Manager Renee Tkach at firstname.lastname@example.org or 503-680-3119.