Six gorge communities are calling for local businesses and organizations to partic- ipate in the Lewis and Clark National Historic Trail Geotourism project.
The interactive map follows the historic journey of Lewis and Clark, starting in Pittsburgh and ending in Oregon. The trail is tailored for the modern-day road tripper as it features restaurants, lodging, tours, history, outdoor adventures and other family fun along the way, according to a press release from Columbia Gorge Tourism Alliance.
Participating Gorge communities include Goldendale, The Dalles, White Salmon-Bingen, Hood River, Skamania, and Washougal.
The National Park Service recognized the Columbia Gorge as a participant in its Lewis and Clark National Historic Trail Sustainable Community Partnership Program earlier this year. The Program celebrates the region’s historic connection to Lewis and Clark’s 1803 expedition, known popularly as the Corps of Discovery expedition.
Nominations for sites along the trails can include unique places to stay, scenic landscapes, Native American sites, historic buildings, parks and trails, local places to eat, historic and cultural sites, festivals and events, artist studios and local guides.
“We are excited to bring this great opportunity to our local businesses and heritage sites to help tell the story of the trail and our history at a time when visitors are seeking out more unique and educational road trips than ever before,” said Lisa Farquharson, President/CEO of The Dalles Area Chamber.
Executive Director of Mt. Adams Chamber, Tammara Tippel, agreed, adding, “Road trips are a great COVID-19 safe way for visitors to travel and for families to explore interactive learning outside the classroom and to support our region in the shoulder seasons as our businesses recover.”
“The Lewis and Clark National Historic Trail provides an opportunity for people from across the country and around the world to follow in the footsteps of the most iconic explorers of the American frontier,” said Chief of Integrated Resources for the Trail Dan Wiley. “The new community partnership program showcases those communities along the Trail where visitors can learn about the historic expedition and the legacy which helped make these towns the communities they are now.”
“Our region is one of the most interesting parts of the trail. This program is a great way for locals to discover parts of the area they may have not had the time to visit in the past,” said Ashley Huckaby May, director of Visit Hood River.
The Lewis and Clark National Historic Trail, administered by the National Park Service, is more than 4,900 miles long, traverses sixteen states and many tribal lands, along the historic route of the expedition.
The Lewis and Clark National Historic Trail was designated by Congress in 1978 to commemorate the 1803 to 1806 Corps of Discovery expedition.
This journey contributed significant scientific knowledge from along the trail, and also contributed to the profound political, social, economic, cultural, and environmental changes to the peoples and landscapes of the North American continent in the years that followed.
The Columbia River was a particular challenge to the expedition, with its miles of rapids, channels, narrows and falls, all of which have since been submerged.
“Eastern Klickitat County served as the gateway to the final western portion of Lewis and Clark’s journey. The area’s unique terrain, museums, and businesses complement any modern tour,” said Goldendale Chamber Executive Director Dana Peck.
“The Gorge has some special history associated with the Corp of Discovery,” said Rene Carroll, City of Washougal tourism con- sultant. “We are excited to use this tool to help connect visitors to unique Lewis and Clark historic sites and information, as well as the great amenities in our communities.”
“We feel that this is an excellent project for the different chambers and communities to work together to support our region,” says Angie Waiss, Director of Skamania County Chamber. “We are stronger together.”
There is no charge for businesses and organizations to participate and get listed on the map.
Businesses can reach out to their local chamber for more information.