The Deschutes National Forest will construct of a 6-mile, multi-use paved path connecting Sunriver, Newberry National Volcanic Monument and the Deschutes River Trail following approval of the project Thursday.

The 10-foot-wide multi-use path will provide visitors and residents the opportunity to safely walk or bike between the three popular tourist destinations, the agency said, and is designed to accommodate non-motorized travelers of all physical abilities.

Most of the path will be constructed within an old road alignment to limit soil impacts and the need to remove trees, which will total about 156.  Parking area improvements and interpretive information kiosks are also approved with the decision.

“We are very pleased to improve access and opportunity to experience the diverse landscapes of the Newberry National Volcanic Monument and the Upper Deschutes River,” states District Ranger Kevin Larkin.

The Oregon Department of Transportation significantly contributed to the design and development of the multi-use path and also will be involved in construction of the path.

"ODOT is pleased to be a partner as this project reflects our common values for supporting safe public recreation through a variety of travel modes," said Gary Farnsworth, area manager for ODOT.

Construction is anticipated to begin in late 2013 or 2014.  The project will be partially funded through a $1.9 million grant from the Federal Highways Administration, Public Lands Highways Discretionary Program.

For more information, please contact Scott McBride at (541) 383- 4712 or Alicia Underhill at (541) 383-4769.