Outdoors: New National Recreation Trails in Arkansas

Jill M. Rohrbach

The Old Post Mountain Bike Trail near Russellville, and the Springhill Park Mountain Bike Trail in Barling, both U.S. Army Corps of Engineers trails, have been designated National Recreation Trails by the U.S. Department of the Interior.

The trail are now part of the national network of more than 1,100 recreation trails located across the country that encompass more than 13,000 miles of existing trails and trail systems. The national recreation trail designation recognizes those trails that link communities to recreational opportunities on public lands and in local parks across the nation. The first national trails were established in the early 1970s.

According to a description from the Corps, “The Old Post Mountain Bike Trail hosts a series of 12 interconnecting loops offering the mountain bike enthusiast more than eight miles of trail in one great place. The loops vary in difficulty. Easy Rider Trail is great for beginning mountain bikers and also a perfect place to warm up or cool down from a great ride. All other trails interconnect and vary from modest to intermediate skill level allowing everyone the opportunity for a personalized ride.

“The Corps partnered with the Mercy Cycling Club to construct the Springhill Park Mountain Bike Trail. The 10-mile route, with three loops, twists and winds like a spider web. Regionally known as a ‘fast’ trail by experienced mountain bikers, monthly races are held for area riders and two annual competitions are sanctioned by the International Mountain Biking Association.

“The trail provides an escape from the urban and congested Fort Smith/Van Buren metro area. Families, hikers and bikers benefit from the safe and healthy trail environment. Low impact bridges, built to IMBA standards, cross gullies that empty into the Arkansas River. Volunteers maintain the trail.”

You can find out more about these trails and other Corp recreational fun at http://corpslakes.usace.army.mil/visitors/.

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