Wander Woman: Chelatchie Prairie Railroad

Wander Woman: Chelatchie Prairie Railroad

Take a ride back in time on the historic Chelatchie Prairie Railroad. Whether you and your kids are train enthusiasts or just looking for a fun afternoon adventure, Chelatchie Prairie Railroad will be an experience you won’t soon forget.

Historical Background

In 1888, work began on a railroad line from Vancouver to Yakima to access and transport the abundant timber in Northern Clark County. However, economic depression, forest fires and other challenges caused the railroad to expand its line in fits and starts. By 1948, the line would reach its northern-most terminus at Chelatchie Prairie, just north of Yacolt and far short of its original goal of Yakima. For a time, the railroad and the timber industry provided an economic boom for places like Battle Ground, Yacolt and Amboy. But, eventually, the railroad fell into disrepair.

Thanks to the hard work of countless volunteers, the track bed, rails and bridges from Yacolt to Moulton Falls were restored; and in 2001, the Battle Ground Yacolt Chelatchie Prairie Railroad (BYCX) began giving rides and offering excursions. Dedicated volunteers continue to maintain the tracks, man the ticket office, operate the train, and do whatever else is required to keep the railroad running.

To read more, pick up a copy of the October 2016 issue at any of these locations, or view the digital archive copy here.

Find more of my adventures here.

Have a favorite gem in Clark County? Let us know in the comments below!

Afton Nelson is a wife and mother of three boys, and a writer who loves exploring the Pacific Northwest with her family. Get to know her better at

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