First Chelatchie Prairie trail section now open

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Battle Ground — Calling all walkers and other outdoor enthusiasts: The first section of the Chelatchie Prairie Railroad trail is open to the public.

The one-mile paved trail segment runs from the east entrance road inside Battle Ground Lake State Park southwest along the Clark County Chelatchie Prairie Railroad.

Battle Ground’s NW Construction General Contracting Inc. recently finished work on the $480,000 project.

The 10-foot-wide trail has an equestrian shoulder.

“This trail is for the entire community to enjoy,” said Troy Pierce, project manager with Clark County Public Works.

Clark County originally planned a 2.8-mile-long trail, but wetlands, steep slopes and sensitive wildlife made the project too expensive, so it was scaled back.

The county will continue applying for grants to build sections of the proposed 33-mile trail running next to the county-owned railroad.