Hiking six miles from Fort Clatsop to the ocean seem a little daunting?
Another new trail under construction offers a more manageable one-mile stroll between the park and its new "front door."
The Netul Trail follows the bank of the Lewis and Clark River between Fort Clatsop and the Netul Landing parking lot and shuttle stop. The pathway, like the longer Fort to Sea Trail linking the park to the beach, is expected to be completed in time for the Lewis and Clark Bicentennial in November.
The trail was part of the original plans for Netul Landing, but construction had to wait until the necessary federal funding was secured, according to Chip Jenkins, superintendent of the Lewis and Clark National Historical Park.
Cherokee General Corp. is the general contractor and Bergerson Construction the subcontractor for the $600,000 project.
The trail follows an old dike that runs along the shore of the river. The first of two wooden bridges along the trail was installed Monday using a unique method - the structure was placed on a barge and lowered into place with the falling tide.
Netul Landing, opened in 2004, serves as the park's official "front door" during the busy summer season. The main parking at the fort is closed and visitors are instead directed to Netul Landing, where they park and take a shuttle into the park.
Now visitors can choose to walk to the park instead, along a pathway that offers unique views of the river, Jenkins said.
"It will be a wonderful place to take a stroll, or for school groups to use for field trips," he said.