The first scenic highway in the nation, the Historic Columbia River Highway was a marvel of engineering elegance and aesthetic treatment. However, with the construction of Interstate-84, many sections were destroyed or disconnected. The creation of the Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area sparked interest in the Historic Highway and kicked off a long-term project to reconnect it as a pedestrian and bicycle trail. Walker Macy, as part of a multi-disciplinary team, defined the trail alignment for six miles of new facilities between Wyeth and Starvation Creek. The project includes the development and refinement of new trailheads, locating auxiliary trails and overlooks, visualization of the user experience, and conceptual aesthetic treatments for bridges, viaducts, and walls. Native Columbia Gorge plantings were established to promote habitat and healing of previously impacted landscapes.
Our work in the Columbia River Gorge was featured in the Landscape Architecture Magazine September 2022 Issue.