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Chelatchie Prairie Rail with Trail

Chelatchie Prairie Rail with Trail Project

Over a period of years, Clark County intends to work with community partners to build a multiuse trail paralleling the 33-mile length of the county-owned Chelatchie Prairie Railroad.

In July 2008, the then-Board of Clark County Commissioners, now Board of County Councilors, approved the Chelatchie Prairie Rail with Trail Corridor Study, which includes an alignment plan and trail design guidelines.

The envisioned trail between the Burnt Bridge Creek Trail in Vancouver and the Yale Bridge in Chelatchie Prairie would accommodate walking, biking and horseback riding.

Clark County provides three parking spaces at Battle Ground Lake State Park so people who want to access the trail can park for free.

However, other users of Battle Ground Lake State Park should be aware that a Discover Pass is required for motor vehicle access to state parks and recreation lands managed by the Washington State Parks and Recreation Commission, the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife and the Washington State Department of Natural Resources.

Cost is $10 for a one-day pass and $30 for an annual pass, not including transaction and dealer fees. For more information and to purchase passes online, go to:

Project update - December 2011
The first section of the Chelatchie Prairie Railroad Trail project is open for use by walkers, runners, cyclists, equestrians and other outdoor recreationalists.

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

NW Construction General Contracting Inc. of Battle Ground recently completed the major work on the 10-foot-wide trail. The contractor still has some signs and final details to complete on the $480,000 construction contract.

Federal and state funds provided much of the funding for the design and construction of the trail. State funds were from the Washington Wildlife and Recreation Program of the Recreation and Conservation Office (RCO).

Clark County asks trail users to respect private property and to refrain from wandering off the trail. They also should stay off the railroad tracks and avoid conflicts with other trail users.

Future plans
Clark County initially had intended to build a 2.8-mile trail, connecting Battle Ground Lake State Park with Fairgrounds Park in Battle Ground. Environmental considerations, namely wetlands, steep slopes and sensitive wildlife habitat, made the project more expensive than originally estimated.

The county also applied for but received little additional grant funding needed to construct the entire 2.8-mile segment.

County officials will proceed with obtaining environmental permits for the full 2.8-mile segment. They also will continue to apply for grants, pursue partnerships and seek nontraditional ways to build future sections of a trail that will improve pedestrian safety, enhance recreation and promote a healthy lifestyle.

Future trail segments will be developed over time as funding allows.


July 2007 - July 2008 Corridor study and alignment plan developed
January 2009 Begin design of first trail segment
August 2009 Host public open house to review preliminary design plans for first trail segment
Fall 2009 Begin environmental permitting for first trail segment
Winter 2010/11 Complete environmental permitting for first trail segment
Spring 2011 Complete design of first trail segment
Late spring 2011 Begin construction of first trail segment
Fall 2011 Complete construction of first trail segment

For more information, contact:
Troy Pierce, Project Manager
Clark County Public Works
Phone: (360) 397-6118 ext. 4403
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