The project will take place in six phases over the course of 16 months:

Phase 1: Internal PreparationNovember 2016 through January 2017 (complete)

  • The project team compiles resource data, reviews existing plans, prepares non‐motorized trails and transportation inventories, identifies and engages additional stakeholders, and coordinates anticipated outreach.

Phase 2: Stakeholder Review and Initial Public Outreach WorkshopEnd of January 2017 (complete)

  • The first round of public workshops is held, where stakeholders and members of the public review information and maps on existing infrastructure, and provide guidance on additional connections and destinations.

Phase 3: Analysis of Workshop Findings and FeedbackFebruary through May 2017  (complete)

  • The project team analyzes desired origin and destination pairs and route options, and examines land use and environmental data to determine feasible alignments to prepare a conceptual network.
  • The second round of public workshops is held, where stakeholders and members of the public review the conceptual network and provide input.

Phase 4:  Network Function and DesignMid‐May through Mid‐September 2017

  • The project team determines function and resulting design options to create a complete and connected network.
  • The blueprint for the complete network is revealed to the public.

Phase 5: Drafting of Blue Mountain Region Trails PlanMid‐September through Mid‐December 2017

  • The project team collaborates to complete the documentation of the planning effort and the resulting regionwide non‐motorized trails and transportation network.

Phase 6: Local Entity Review and AdoptionMid‐December 2017 through February 2018

  • Key partner agencies showcase their jurisdiction‐specific network recommendations, and champion adoption by their respective governing boards, commissions, and councils.

Following local adoption of the recommendations, the "Blue Mountain Region Trails - Ridges, Towns, and Rivers" plan summary will be released to the public. Project completion is anticipated by March 2018.

Project Timeline

Providing this seamless network of non-motorized trail and transportation connections calls for a multi-layered approach that analyzes and effectively integrates urban area walking and biking commutes, intra- and inter-city recreational travel, as well as regional hiking, cycling, and horseback riding links to the multitude of cultural, historical, and natural resource sites the Blue Mountain Region has to offer. The recommended infrastructure will be designed to best serve the identified need and associated transportation, recreation, and mobility functions.

This planning effort will enable local entities to adopt identified sidewalk, bike route, and trail recommendations into their own comprehensive plan - transportation and recreation elements, thereby unlocking public and private funding opportunities, including federal and state grants such as Washington Recreation & Conservation Office (RCO) or Oregon Parks & Recreation Department (OPRD) grants. In order to facilitate the implementation of the regionally coordinated facilities, the resulting plan document will comply with RCO and OPRD planning requirements to immediately establish grant eligibility.

Inspired by citizen input and Community Council's 2015 study on "Enhancing Outdoor Recreation Opportunities", area jurisdictions and public health officials recognize that a regionwide non-motorized trails and transportation network will provide low-cost, safe, and active transportation and recreation options that offer health, stewardship, quality of life, economic development, mobility, and livability benefits to all Blue Mountain Region communities - for enjoyment by residents and visitors alike.

Blue Mountain Region Trails