Scenic Byways have been a fixture of the American touring landscape since the early ‘90s. The program was established by Congress in 1991 to preserve and protect the nation's scenic but often less-traveled roads and promote tourism and economic development. They have been particularly successful in boosting tourism in small rural towns that do not have the drawing power alone to attract many visitors. But when combined with others within the region, these towns can also leverage benefits and savings through cooperative marketing.
Capitalizing on Oregon’s outstanding scenic beauty and its burgeoning cycle tourism industry, Oregon State Parks and Recreation Dept has announced two new Bikeways. There are now fourteen Scenic Bikeways totaling 982 miles of Bikeways in Oregon. The Oregon Scenic Bikeways program is the first in America, according to state officials.
Oregon Public Broadcasting reports, “The bikeways are signed routes along some of Oregon’s most beautiful, bicycle-friendly roadways. Some bikeways are short and easy. Others are epic rides designed for three- or four-day tours.”
Cyclists who rode Oregon Scenic Bikeways spent nearly $12.4 million in 2014. This represents about 3 percent of all bicycle-related travel in Oregon. The continued development of Scenic Bikeways will be very valuable to many small communities that may not otherwise attract high spending tourists.