Rolling hills, beautiful wineries and a quaint college town atmosphere is enough to make any cycling enthusiast want to peddle their way down a scenic pathway in Forest Grove. As of spring 2013, this will be more than just a distant daydream for local and out-of-state bike riders.
The Oregon Scenic Bikeway Committee officially recommended the construction of the Tualatin Valley Scenic Bikeway that will make Forest Grove part of a 30-mile rural bike path from Hillsboro to Banks.
On Oct. 24, the city hosted a public meeting showcasing the new scenic bikeway and invited the community to come and learn about the project. Members of the Washington County Visitors Association, who initially proposed the bikeway, were available to answer questions and talk with members of the community.
The meeting informed community members of the bike route, where the funding came from and how it was approved.
After riding the proposed scenic bikeway, the Oregon Scenic Bikeway Committee critiqued and reconstructed the proposed route to deem it acceptable to be a part of the nine other scenic bikeways in Oregon.
“This is an exciting program because it is the first of its kind in the entire nation,” said Washington County Visitors Association stakeholder development manager Allison George.
The Visitors Association managed the scenic bikeway project with the help of funding from Oregon State Parks and Travel Oregon.
“The scenic bikeway will show the beauty and benefits of the local community,” said George.
The bikeway will not only connect Forest Grove to Banks and Hillsboro. It will also link to the Banks-Vernonia State Trail that includes 22 miles of off-road biking trails. City engineer Derek Robins said the scenic bikeway will be a great way to link the local community with cycling tourists by connecting not only rural trails, but also neighboring cities.
Robins also discussed the Council Creek Regional Trail, which is currently in preliminary stages. Robins said it would be a great trail for Pacific students commuting from the Hillsboro area. If completed, the Regional trail will be 15 miles connecting Hillsboro, Cornelius, Forest Grove and Banks.
Local business owner Mike Olson of Olson’s Bicycles is excited for the trail and hopes it will bring cyclists from all over the country into Forest Grove. Olson also looks forward to the scenic bikeway maps marking where the local bike shops are located.
For more information about the Tualatin Valley Scenic Bikeway and other bikeways throughout the state visit oregon.gov/OPRD/PARKS/BIKE/Pages/index.aspx.

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