Visit Hot Springs announced Wednesday a new effort to rehabilitate existing portions of the city’s Northwoods Trail System that is supported by a $175,000 grant from Walmart heirs Steuart Walton and Tom Walton through the Walton Family Foundation.
The Northwoods Trail System connects to Cedar Glades Park in Garland County, giving Hot Springs 26.5 miles of mountain-bike and hiking trails. Eventual plans call for the system to contain more than 52 miles of trails.
“Northwoods has already established itself as a major tourism attraction for Hot Springs as well as providing an unparalleled outdoor recreation resource for the city’s residents,” Visit Hot Springs Trails Coordinator Traci Berry said in a news release. “This effort will give us the opportunity to expand and improve that resource for both the economic growth and wellness of our city.”
The funds will be used to:
Rehabilitate flow trails, mainly by reworking the Black Diamond downhill trail, Lucky 13, which is used by experienced riders.
Rehabilitate areas of the Blue Jay, Screech Owl, Ragnarök and Cats Meow trails.
Build two to three miles of trail that will connect the Bethel and Sanderson bridges at the Waterworks property.
For design work by IMBA Trail Solutions on Phase 2 of the complex.
The Phase 1 contractor is Rogue Trails; work is set to begin in October.
Work on Phase 2 is set to start in December. It involves adding 8-10 more miles of trails to the system.
“The Northwoods Trail System has become a community asset for Hot Springs that builds on the statewide momentum to position Arkansas as a world-class mountain bike destination,” said Gary Vernon, senior program officer for the Walton Personal Philanthropy Group. “These improvements and expansion will enhance connectivity within the park and add new ride experiences such as views of lakes and historic dams.”