PORTLAND, Ore. — In this week's Let's Get Out There, we look at a tool rolled out by ODOT late last year to help you plan your next Oregon road trip.
Did you know Oregon has 29 scenic byways? Some of the routes are hundreds of miles, some a bit shorter, but there’s something for everyone.
“The Oregon Scenic Byways Driving Guide is the published printed magazine that's a travel guide for the scenic byways, said ODOT transportation planner Sandra Hikari. “Now we have an online version that we're calling the byway story map.”
Hikari is a former scenic byway manager. She was part of a team in charge of creating the Oregon Byway Story Map, an online tool great for trip planning and preparation. ODOT teamed up with Travel Oregon on the project which was launched late last year.
“The purpose for the interactive map is for inspiration,” Hikari said. “When I look at these beautiful photos, I think I want to go there, how do I get there, and how do I create a vacation out of that?”
The guide is split into seven regions and includes Oregon’s national byways and the state’s four All-American roads, some of the most scenic drives in the country. Select areas of the map have downloadable audio guides, triggered by GPS depending on where your trip takes you. The audio teaches about nearby historical and cultural points of interest along with geography, geology, and more.
“It tells you about the different stops along the way you don't actually have to stop but tells you a story will tell you about you know the scenery will tell you about the forest landscape will tell you about you know just the different features you see along the way,” Hikari said.
The Oregon Byway Story Map is great for the outdoor enthusiast looking for something new or if you just want to get behind the wheel and go for a drive. It’s also a chance to visit lesser-known rural communities and support local businesses.
“Right now is a great time to be planning your trip as you look ahead to the summer and the year ahead and figuring out where you want to go,” Hikari said. “This is a great tool to read about the various destinations the various routes.”
It could be a destination or a waypoint. No matter where you go, when you get out there, bring home some memories.
“Is there a scenic byway that can take me there and it might take maybe 10 minutes, 30 minutes longer, but why not take the scenic route?” Hikari said.
You can access the Oregon Byway Story Map here: https://geo.maps.arcgis.com/apps/MapSeries/index.html?appid=8acee20a082949b889eb5ff224307a5a
Let's Get Out there airs once a week on KGW's 4 p.m. newscast and The Good Stuff, which airs Monday-Thursday at 7 p.m. We're including viewer photos for this series. You can text your photos to 503-226-5088 or post them on the KGW Facebook page.