By Boyd C. Allen

Pilot Staff Writer

Brookings dedicates Pete Happ Trail at Chetco Point

Brookings Mayor Jake Pieper thanked Lela Wagner and unveiled a trail marker Wednesday at the official dedication of the Pete Happ Trail at Chetco Point.

The old Chetco Point Trail was widened and paved, the bridge was widened and rebuilt on an enhanced foundation, and a stone monument with a brass plaque was installed.

The ceremony and plaque officially marked the opening of the renovated trail and dedicated it to Peter and Stella Happ, whose daughter Lela (Happ) Wagner donated $200,000 to the city to improve the trail and name it in honor of her parents.

Larry and Debbie Kahle represented Wagner, who was unable to travel to the opening from Washington. Larry Kahle spoke after Pieper and touted the beauty of the trail.

Brookings officials said Larry Kahle had acted as the liaison between Wagner and the city throughout the process of choosing and designing the project.

Public Works and Developmental Services Director Anthony Baron thanked Wagner for her donation and said it spurred the city into making other planned improvements to the area to serve the increase in visitor traffic the new trail would draw.

The parking lot was paved and a permanent restroom was added, according to Baron, and those improvements were funded by the city.

He said the city hopes these improvements, along with picnic tables and horseshoe pits, will increase the number of visitors to the park as well as increase the lengths of visitors’ stays in town.

Wagner had looked throughout the West Coast for an area suitable to memorialize her parents, according to city documents. The site had to be close to a major thoroughfare, within walking distance of downtown, offer easy hiking for older folks and feature panoramic views of the coast.

While not ADA-accessible, Baron noted that the trail can be easily hiked, and a resident in an electric wheelchair or scooter traveled most of the trail Wednesday.

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