Trails are a variety of infrastructure development with unique longevity and benefits far above their costs. We’re lucky to have the Warrenton Trails Association, the Clatsop County Trail Initiative and other groups with an active interest in expanding pedestrian and bicycling activities.

When thinking of how Clatsop County may best succeed in winning the Road to Wellville challenge over the next five years, the proliferation of trails here is bound to play a role. For everyone in the entire county — and for people in general — there are few simpler or better ways to improve health than by using our own legs to get around. Getting up and staying active are key — use it if you don’t want to lose it.

Beyond this, walking and bicycling are intrinsically fun. We live in one of the most scenic regions of the nation. On all but the worst and darkest days of midwinter, it is enjoyable and gratifying to get out, see the wildlife, listen to the frogs and feel the fresh air.

Communities tend to overthink economic development, but trails also are a prominent and appealing form of civic improvement that adds to our success in attracting and keeping talented and creative residents.

WTA Chairwoman Tessa Scheller, summarizing the group’s vision, recently said “We will focus on our region. We really see trail routes from Arch Cape all the way to Knappa.” This also fits within an even broader regional framework, in which Pacific County, Washington State Parks and others are working to expand the stellar trail system north of the Columbia estuary. A new extension linking North Head Lighthouse into the Discovery Trail network between Long Beach and Ilwaco is a wonderful addition.

In a world that is becoming ever more crowded, the trails built today will ensure links between and within communities for perhaps as long as civilization endures. What an incredible legacy it is to bequeath these connections to our distant descendants.