Did you know Oregon is the only state in the entire United States of America to have a Scenic Bikeways program? Oregonians should be proud of their bicycle program, and citizens of Maupin can be proud that the Sherars Falls Bikeway is becoming an official Oregon Scenic Bikeway. Both bicycle enthusiasts and nature lovers will enjoy the beauty and grace of the bikeway and the peaceful Sherars Falls, the last of many waterfalls on the Deschutes River.
THE HISTORY OF SHERARS FALLS
Sherars Falls has been an important site for Native Americans for over at least 150 years. Even today, the Warms Springs Nation, a tribe of Native Americans, can be seen fishing at and around Sherars Falls on the Deschutes River. The beautiful cascade has featured many bridges over the years. The first bridge was built in 1860 by a man named Jason Todd, but had to be rebuilt after only two years when a flood washed the bridge away. In 1871, the bridge was rebuilt again by Joseph Sherar, the namesake of the bridge and the falls. Mr. Sherar spent over $70,000 to build the bridge and to connect roads to the area. That’s over $1.25 million in today’s money!
WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO BE AN OREGON SCENIC BIKEWAY?
The Oregon Scenic Bikeway Program has bikeways of all shapes, sizes, and difficulties. In order to officially be an Oregon Scenic Bikeway, a course must go through a rigorous examination to make sure that it is safe, fun, and showcases the best Oregon has to offer. Now, Sherars Falls Bikeway has passed its inspection and will be added to the diverse lists of locales. The Sherars Falls Bikeway is a relatively difficult course, especially for amateur bikers, including several slopes that are quite steep. The course has many hairpin turns as well, and there’s wind that can be tough to ride against. On the bright side, traffic is fairly light near Maupin, so you will not be competing with cars to get where you want to go.
WHAT YOU’LL SEE ON THE BIKEWAY
The fact that the course is challenging only makes the route’s scenic beauty more rewarding. The area around Sherars Falls has vibrant geological formations that have developed over thousands of years. The bikeway features big, blue skies stretching as far as the eye can see. Your trip will show you the fascinating and unique high desert flora and fauna. And, of course, the Sherars Falls Bikeway has to go through Sherars Falls. You will get to see one of the best cascades in Oregon and cross Sherars bridge. Whether you pack a picnic and stop near the Deschutes River or power on through the difficult ride, the Bikeway is an experience you’ll always remember.