BEAUFORT — Beaufort County is preparing for construction on what could eventually be a 14-mile walking trail along the length of some old railroad tracks.

The Beaufort Gazette reports that county officials hope the trail will be a place where residents can exercise as well as another visitor attraction for the area.

They envision the trail having benches where people can chat, places to watch dolphins swim and signs posted to inform visitors about the history of the area.

Plans call for the first phase of construction to begin next summer. That work includes putting down a 12-foot-wide asphalt walkway on more than 2 miles of the old railroad line.

The $1.3 million first phase is expected to take about six months to complete.