Detroit Area Visitor Portal, Bikeway and Day Use Enhancements

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Project Description

Detroit Lake is the busiest recreation lake in Oregon and is surrounded by the Willamette National Forest. To bolster the economic development and vitality of the area, local, county, state and federal agencies, local non-governmental organizations, and private citizens have invested countless hours and resources into expanding recreation opportunities in the area, including new recreation events, a new Oregon State Scenic Bikeway, and easier access to the remarkable natural assets in the area.

This project provides the critical linkages between the town and surrounding federal lands and recreation opportunities by constructing a visitor portal and enhancing an existing day use facility that will serve as a launch point for the tens of thousands of scenic bikeway users, participants in recreation events, and out-of-town visitors to Detroit Lake and all the nearby recreation opportunities. The visitor portal area is located on land owned by the City of Detroit which was once the site of Detroit Elementary School. The day use facility is the Detroit Flats Day Use Area currently maintained by the Willamette National Forest.

A combination of improvements is needed to meet various local plans that address current public needs and demands, and safety issues. Improvements for engineering design and construction include the following:

  1. Construct the Detroit Recreation Area Visitor Portal that serves the Cascading Rivers Scenic Bikeway (as Detroit’s Portal), West Cascade National Scenic Byway travelers, and tourists to Detroit Lake and National Forest destinations.
    • Install a lighted, covered octagonal visitor information kiosk.
    • Design and fabricate visitor information panels.
    • Construct asphalt parking areas.
    • Install flush restroom facilities and a new septic system, including connection to onsite water and power.
    • Construct concrete sidewalks from parking areas to restroom, visitor information kiosk, and amenities.
    • Install visitor portal amenities including a bicycle rack and bicycle “fix-it” station, benches, garbage receptacles, drinking fountain, and a 'dogipot' pet waste station.
    • Widen Patton Road to accommodate a paved pedestrian/bicycle path to Detroit Flats Day Use Area.
    • Install scenic bikeway signing and route marking along Patton Road, Forest and Front Avenues.
    • Construct soft surface walking trails, exercise equipment with informational kiosks, lawn and irrigation system, natural play area for children.
    • Install picnic tables, benches, garbage receptacles, cigarette receptacles, and recycling containers.
    • Install lighting, utilities, plantings, and bio-swales.
  2. Reconstruct, enhance and restore the Detroit Flats Day Use Area:
    • Construct and/or repave new and existing parking areas and interior road, including spaces for RV parking, and widen shoulder for a multi-use path.
    • Construct ADA accessible path to the Detroit visitor portal on Patton Road.
    • Reconstruct picnic area.
    • Replace portable toilets with double vault restroom.
    • Construct new and improve existing interpretive facilities.
    • Construct improvements to ADA interpretative trail.


The purpose of this project is to provide centralized visitor orientation, recreation information, visitor facilities and free lakeside access within the City of Detroit to support tourists. Additionally, the purpose of this project is to facilitate bikeway portal information, bicycle facilities, vehicle parking and restrooms.


Currently, only a few scattered sites exist throughout Detroit that provide visitor information, and the information is limited (the Forest Service office is closed on weekends). Additionally, there is limited public parking and few public restrooms. Businesses have inadequate and overtaxed septic systems, so they are unable to accommodate the high volume of users who need restroom facilities. The City and some businesses provide a few portable toilets in various locations around town. The proposed visitor portal consolidates visitor information, parking, and visitor amenities, including a restroom, in a one-stop location in the heart of town, fulfilling the need for a cost effective public restroom facility with parking that serves tourists and scenic byway travelers stopping through town.

Anticipated Timeline

  • Start Design – January 2017
  • 30% Design Complete – June 2017 (planned public open house)
  • 70% Design Complete – August 2017
  • Finish Design – January 2018
  • Construction Notice to Proceed – May 2018
  • Construction Complete – September 2018

Additional Project Information

Project Map

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Project Details
Project # OR DETROIT 2016(1)
Project Name Detroit Area Visitor Portal, Bikeway and Day Use Enhancements
Location Marion County, City of Detroit within Willamette National Forest
Status Completed

Contact Information

Matthew L. Miller, Project Manager
(360) 619-7832

Melissa J. Hogan, Environmental Specialist
(360) 619-7735

Federal Highway Administration
Western Federal Lands Highway Division
610 East Fifth Street
Vancouver, WA 98661-3801