Step by step, stone by stone

The Columbia River Gorge is one of the most beautiful locations in the country. And for those of us who call Camas and Washougal home, access to this incredible natural beauty is just a few steps or a short drive away.

Providing public access to this area through hiking trails in and around the gorge on the Washington side of the Columbia River is a process that has taken decades of hard work and determination. It’s an effort fueled by passionate people who want to provide their neighbors and visitors alike the opportunity to explore and appreciate what Southwest Washington has to offer.

As detailed in an article on page A1 of today’s Post-Record, the final overlook to complete a 7-mile loop around Cape Horn, known as the Cape Horn Trail, officially opened on Saturday. There are a total of three dramatic stone overlooks — named Nancy Russell, Cape Horn Waterfall and Oak View — that were created and built by hand, stone by stone.

Partnership, vision, and commitment were three words used often during the dedication event.

According to Cape Horn Conservancy President Teresa Robbins, completion of this overlook represents the culmination of six years of safety and sustainability improvements on the trail.

It took the efforts of members of the Cape Horn Conservancy, Friends of the Columbia Gorge, U.S. Forest Service and the Washington Trails Association, and many, many other volunteers, to transform a connection of rugged goat trails into something incredible.

Now, we all have the opportunity to benefit from these groups’ efforts. We can truly appreciate this magnificent part of the world we call home.