Six communities along the Historic Columbia River Highway from Wood Village to The Dalles have banded together to develop a system of Gorge Hubs. The Hubs are a network of welcome centers, information centers, trailheads and rest areas for travelers — especially hikers and bikers. The project aims to encourage visitors to stage their trips from these communities' central business cores, boosting economic development.
With site design assistance provided by the Oregon Transportation and Growth Management Education and Outreach program, each city developed a hub design unique to their community, though all feature kiosks, maps, and a bike fix-it station donated by the Portland Wheelmen.
Through collaboration with Travel Oregon and the Oregon Department of Transportation, the hubs share a logo and look, with a wayfinding map for the complete route between them. Signage and mapping is consistent from city to city so visitors are able to discover each community's special attributes.
The Gorge Hubs are in various stages of development. Hood River's was the first Hub launched, in 2015. Cascade Locks held a ribbon cutting ceremony in April 2016, kicking off the spring recreation season with the unveiling of a bike fix-it station.
The Gorge Hubs project continues to take shape during this year's Centennial Celebration of the Historic Columbia River Highway. For more, visit historichighway.org.
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More about the Hubs:
Wood Village and Troutdale. Wood Village's Hub is located in Don Robertson Park, where cyclists are encouraged to begin their bike ride through the Gorge as the park features great amenities such as picnic shelters, water and restrooms. Troutdale's Hub will be located adjacent to the historic train depot museum, providing an anchor to the city's vibrant downtown core. Recently, Wood Village and Troutdale received a Regional Transportation Options Grant through Metro to develop the hubs' engineering documents.
Cascade Locks. The Historic Columbia River Highway State Trail enters Cascade Locks at the trailhead located under the scenic Bridge of The Gods on the west end of town. Visitors are encouraged to explore Cascade Locks' main street, WaNaPa Street, and sample the city's restaurants, native fish market, brew pubs and ice cream. The Cascade Locks Gorge Hub is in the city's core near the post office, next to Overlook Park. The City hopes to expand the hub in concert with a proposed pedestrian bridge linking WaNaPa Street to the Port's Marine Park.
Hood River. Hood River launched its Hub in 2015. A key feature of the Hood River Hub, located on 3rd and State Streets, is the city's new public restroom facility. The Hub will soon incorporate additional amenities, such as a fix-it station and area map.
Mosier. Mosier is where the idea for the Gorge Hubs originated. When the popular Historic Columbia River Highway State Trail "Twin Tunnels" section was restored, cyclists arriving in Mosier needed basic amenities. Local businesses started loaning bike tools, and the city set up a portable toilet. Wanting to encourage these and additional visitors, the idea of a welcoming station in the center of town to greet visiting cyclists and provide them with basic conveniences, was born. In the future, the Mosier Hub will also serve as a downtown gathering place for locals.
The Dalles. The City of The Dalles' Hub will be in the Lewis and Clark Festival Park. Using the amenities of this beautiful new park, it will incorporate community way-finding information and a fix-it station. The Hub will serve cyclists on the city's nine-mile Riverfront Trail as well as those who visit The Dalles via one of the many tourist boats that dock nearby.