There are plans in the works for the Columbia River Gorge to become a major U.S. hiking destination.
Friends of the Columbia River Gorge announced Towns to Trails, a 200-mile loop hike connecting small towns, wineries, breweries, farms and wild areas in the Gorge five years ago.
Yesterday, they released a video showing how far they've come to making the trek a reality.
Friends of the Columbia Gorge calls the hike, a "European-style trekking model," where the trail will connect wild lands with towns two to 15 miles apart. Instead of driving in for the day, the trail will focus on emphasizing multi-day journeys, where hikers can stay in Gorge towns and visit wineries and breweries at night—all on foot.
These towns include Lyle, Mosier, Hood River, Cascade Locks, Carson, Stevenson, North Bonneville, Washougal and Troutdale. On the hike, you'd be able to walk from Troutdale to the Dalles, and then over to Washougal.
The plan has been in the works since 2012, but is inching closer.
So far, Friends of the Columbia Gorge have secured nearly 80 percent of the land corridor miles and 46 percent of the trail miles.
In addition to releasing the video, the project has just gained some major support from Oregon organizations.
The town of Bonneville is showing their support through the Bonneville Trails Foundation, who is currently working to design paths to reach Stevenson, Washougal and Camas from Bonneville.
Travel Oregon also recently included the plan in their 15-year vision for outdoor recreation in Oregon, created by 25 members that represent key stakeholder groups from the outdoor recreation economy.