Five bike projects earn Travel Oregon grant awards

Five bike projects earn Travel Oregon grant awards

Sandy Ridge loop-5

Tourism grants will help fund everything
from maps to a bike visitor center, to
new off-road cycling trails.
(Photo by J. Maus/BikePortland)

In the latest sign that bike tourism is taking the state of Oregon by storm, a recent announcement of 11 grant awards from Travel Oregon (officially the Oregon Tourism Commission) worth a total of $120,000 included five bike projects.

From southern Oregon to the Columbia River Gorge, local governments, agencies, and non-profit groups are jumping on board the biking bandwagon and working hard to develop their natural assets into cycling destinations. This latest round of grants were aimed specifically at advancing projects that “improve local economies and communities by enhancing, expanding, and promoting Oregon’s travel and tourism industry.”

We asked Travel Oregon for details on all five bike projects. As you can see below, there are exciting things afoot for cycling all across the state!

Here are brief descriptions of the projects (taken directly from Travel Oregon grant applications):

Estacada Development Association – Estacada Station Cycling Plaza

estacadaplaza

Drawing by Fertile Grounds, LLC.

This cycling plaza will serve as the gateway to the new, 70 mile Cascading Rivers Scenic Bikeway. The plaza will provide necessary facilities and services to visitors that will enhance their cycling experience and encourage them to return… The plaza will provide an all-weather facility for cyclists to meet, plan, eat, repair bikes and gear up for their ride. With services such as water, bike repair, parking, security, and trail information, the city and cyclists will benefit from the plaza. Surrounding areas are beginning to offer bike-camping tours, making the plaza even more desirable.

Team Dirt – Alsea Falls Flow Trails
Team Dirt will construct a 1-mile black diamond trail at the BLM Alsea Falls Recreation Site. The trail will be located in the Advanced Trail Expansion area, east of Highballer… Over 2.5 million Pacific Northwest residents are within 115 miles of the system. This trail system is situated halfway between the growing communities of Corvallis and Eugene, Oregon. Both of these communities boast significant riding communities but lack the full complement of available riding options. Specifically, there is a regional lack of bike‐optimized and bike‐specific trails to keep the sport moving forward. This trail system has the potential to be 20+ miles of progressive trail including cross‐country, enduro, and downhill trails for beginner to expert.

International Mountain Bike Association – Mountain of the Rogue Trail System (Phase One Flow Trail)
This project will construct 1.5 miles of world-class mountain bike-specific flow trail 1.5 miles from downtown Rogue River… Building a trail system that accommodates hikers and trail runners while being focused around mountain bike specific trails will bring an enormous economic benefit to Rogue River retailers, lodging, restaurants, and other businesses.

There is a profound need for both economic improvement and access to nature-based recreation in Rogue River. Rogue River is a small town that is struggling economically. Despite the natural beauty of the area and the Rogue River itself, there is very little tourism. Restaurants, lodging, retailers, and other businesses are looking for a way to draw tourists to the community. Area residents lack trail access to the amazing beauty of the mountains that surround Rogue River. There are currently no publicly available, non-paved nature-based trails in the area. This project is needed to provide significant economic benefit by creating a destination for cycling tourists, while simultaneously providing much-needed access to nature-based recreation for area cyclists, hikers, and trail runners of all ages.

Discover Klamath Visitor & Convention Bureau – Klamath County Cycling Map
Discover Klamath will develop a large format tear-pad cycle map. The map will highlight mountain bike trails and road bike routes in Klamath County. The map will be available in digital/downloadable formats on the Discover Klamath website. The goal is to raise awareness that Southern Oregon / Klamath County is an area rich with road bike and mountain bike trails.

With cycling becoming a popular activity, Discover Klamath sees the opportunity as a strategic growth area with considerable upside. The map will begin to strengthen our position as an area for visitors to ride.

Travel Lane County – Eugene, Cascades, & Coast Bike Visitor Center
The development of a bike visitor center will be a human powered outreach program that allows our knowledgeable staff to be accessible in more places throughout the region to provide visitors with first-hand local information, tips and personalized trip planning. It will be the first bike visitor center in the country making it a unique and authentic representation of our destination which is home to three scenic bikeways, two IMBA Epic rides and countless miles of trails and roads for cyclists to explore…

Often when travelling, outdoor activities and natural sites are hard to find information about. The bike will connect people to the resources they need, eliminating barriers to engaging with activities. Combine our trained staff with access to technology and the Bike Visitor Center becomes a better trip planning tool than Google.

As per the grant instructions, these projects must be completed between September 2014 and September 2015.

— Browse our archives for more bicycle tourism news and stories.

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