Scheduled and ready to open next month, Castle Rock's new visitor center is located beside the on-ramp off exit 49 on I-5.
Most of the work of this $247,000 construction project was done by volunteers as well as the public works employees. It was funded by two grants: An $180,000 Cowlitz County Rural Development grant and a $67,000 "Big Idea" grant from the county's tourism tax revenue.
Public works director Dave Vorse said the city applied for state and federal tax to extend the riverfront trail from Lion's Pride Park to the new visitor center. This new building will be focused on tourism and allowing for Castle Rock's presence to be more noted.
Vorse said, "Most of Castle Rock's biggest challenge is that people don't know there's a Castle Rock in the valley. They think all we are is exit 49. We wanted to have a presence there to tell them about Mount St. Helens and all the things going on in north county."