Runners, walkers and bicyclists can plan to enjoy using a new trail in Washougal, starting in the summer of 2019.
The recently approved $4.2 billion state capital budget, which was stalled from the 2017 legislative sessions, includes $1 million for use toward the construction of the Columbia River Trail. The remaining funds for the trail, $518,870, will come from city park impact and traffic impact fees.
The 0.6-mile Columbia River Trail will start at the trailhead at the eastern end of Washougal Waterfront Park and Trail, 335 S. “A” St., and connect to Steamboat Landing Park, 100 S. Washougal River Road. A retaining wall will separate the trail from state Route 14.
The 8-feet-wide trail will be built adjacent to the north side of South “A” Street. That part of the future trail site currently includes blackberry bushes, mole hills, various pieces of litter and a fence that needs to be repaired.
“The city will have to maintain the right of way (donated by the state),” said City Engineer Rob Charles.
Construction of the trail is expected to begin in the spring of 2019 and be completed during the summer of 2019.
Charles said the purpose of the Columbia River Trail will be recreation. It will be part of the Towns to Trails vision, which would create a 200-mile trail network connecting all Columbia River Gorge towns via a system of trails — providing Gorge residents and visitors with a local, European-style trekking experience.
Parking for the Columbia River Trail is already available at Steamboat Landing, Washougal Waterfront Park and Trail and by the pedestrian tunnel, located near Pendleton Woolen Mills in Washougal.