Oregon transportation and tourism commissions approved designating the 'Trees to Sea' Scenic Byway.

COURTESY MAP: OREGON DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION - The Trees to Sea Scenic Byway passes through the Oregon Coast Range in between Banks and Cape Meares.Much of Highway 6 in western Washington and Tillamook counties has been designated as one of 29 "scenic byways" in Oregon, the Oregon Department of Transportation has announced.

The designation of Highway 6 between Banks and the Cape Meares peninsula west of Tillamook won approval from the Oregon Transportation Commission and the Oregon Tourism Commission last month, ODOT stated.

The 68-mile route has been named the "Trees to Sea" Scenic Byway. It transits the Oregon Coast Range and the Tillamook State Forest, running roughly parallel to the Wilson River for much of its length.

The newly minted Trees to Sea Scenic Byway also connects with the Highway 101 Pacific Coast Scenic Byway, among other routes, including the Banks-Vernonia State Trail and the Three Capes Scenic Loop.

The state has a scenic byway program in order to "identify, preserve and enhance Oregon's most outstanding scenic transportation corridors," according to the ODOT announcement Thursday, May 3.

"The scenic byway program thrives on and is the focal point for many communities across the state," Matt Garrett, director of ODOT, told the Oregon Transportation Commission. "The program is a grassroots effort, with support from local residents and businesses interested in preserving and enhancing local scenic roads, diversifying the local economy and promoting tourism opportunities."

Routes are nominated locally and reviewed by the Oregon Scenic Byways Advisory Committee. The transportation and tourism commissions will then give them either a thumbs-up or a thumbs-down to determine whether they should be added to the list.

Two other new scenic byways were simultaneously accepted, according to ODOT.

A portion of Highway 126 east of Eugene was designated as the McKenzie River Scenic Byway, named for the watercourse alongside which it runs. A second valley-to-coast route, Highway 34 between Interstate 5 and Waldport (plus spurs accessing the Marys Peak and Alsea Falls areas), was named the Marys Peak to Pacific Scenic Byway.

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