Roadies rejoice! In September, the Oregon Parks and Recreation Department announced five new scenic bikeways.

The 132-mile Willamette Valley Scenic Bikeway, which was the first in the state (and in the nation, no less) is now joined by five more: Sisters to Smith Rock Scenic Bikeway, Metolius River Loops Scenic Bikeway, McKenzie Pass Scenic Bikeway, Old West Scenic Bikeway, and Blue Mountain Century Scenic Bikeway.

Sisters to Smith Rock Scenic Bikeway covers a 36-mile high desert route from Sisters to Smith Rock State Park near the town of Terrebonne. The rolling ride includes views of the beautiful Deschutes River and Smith’s breathtaking red rock spires.

Metolius River Loops Scenic Bikeway is a series of loops that starts and ends at the historic Camp Sherman Store and Fly Shop. These family-friendly rides follow paved Forest Service roads along the scenic Metolius River and range from three to 22 miles.

The McKenzie Pass Scenic Bikeway covers 35 miles between Sisters and the Limberlost Forest Service Campground. The route includes a challenging climb, amazing views of Mt. Washington and the McKenzie River and a fast descent through dense forests.

The Old West Scenic Bikeway, a 178-mile loop, starts in John Day and travels in a counter clockwise loop through Austin Junction, along the Middle Fork of the John Day River, through Monument and the John Day Fossil Beds.

The 108-mile Blue Mountain Century Scenic Bikeway starts in Heppner and heads south to Ukiah, north to Nye Junction and back to Heppner. The route travels through forest, rangeland and eastern Oregon’s rolling hills.

The routes highlight the dramatic and varied natural beauty of Oregon. Route descriptions are available on the Oregon Parks and Recreation website, and signage is currently being installed along the routes.

The program is a partnership between Cycle Oregon, Travel Oregon, the Oregon Department of Transportation and Oregon Parks and Recreation Department.

For more information on cycling in Oregon, visit rideoregonride.com

about author Eileen Garvin

Eileen Garvin lives and writes in Hood River. When she’s not hunched over her keyboard or digging in the garden, you can find her mountain biking, kiteboarding, hiking, skiing or camping somewhere in Oregon.

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