View Travel Guide Request Info

Crystal Bridges Multi-Use Trail Now Open

Article follows the photos. Click on a thumbnail to view and download a high-resolution version of the image. Due to the large file size of the high-res images, they may take a few minutes to appear. You must be logged in to view the high-res images.

The new Crystal Bridges Trail
The new Crystal Bridges Trail
    People enjoying the new Crystal Bridges Trail
People enjoying the new Crystal Bridges Trail
Crystal Bridges Multi Use Trail Grand Opening
Crystal Bridges Multi Use Trail Grand Opening
July 17, 2005
Jill M. Rohrbach, travel writer
Arkansas Department of Parks and Tourism
Leading bicyclists and pedestrians through the canopy of a hardwood forest, a new multi-use trail in Bentonville will provide a view of the construction of Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art and a link to the city trail system. The Crystal Bridges Trail, a 10-foot-wide, hard surface trail, opened Friday, July 17 with a ribbon-cutting ceremony.
Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art will be a major new art museum and cultural center located within walking distance of the city square. This premier art institution will be dedicated to American art and artists, learning and community gatherings.
Beginning at Compton Gardens, just off the square, the hilly, ½ mile trail will end at NE “A” Street just north of Park Street. Here it will connect to North Bentonville Trail out to Walton Boulevard, according to Scott Eccleston, manager of parks and grounds for Crystal Bridges.
Along the route, a wooden viewing platform on a ridge overlooking the museum site allows trail users to stop and view the construction of the museum. The platform will remain until construction is complete.
“The bike trail is part of a larger trail system that includes the 100-acre park where Crystal Bridges resides,” Virginia Germann, director of museum relations, explained. “In the short term, we anticipate people will use the bike trail to go to the overlook and watch the construction of the museum.”
The entrance to the trail at Compton Gardens is marked by a 1999 cast of the sculpture, “A Group of Bears,” by artist Paul Manship. The original 1932 sculpture is at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City. Central Park also contains a cast of the bears.
While the length of the multi-use trail will be left natural, it will connect to a pedestrian art trail that will lead to the museum. Several family-friendly sculptures will be installed along this path, including: “Lowell’s Ocean” by Mark di Suvero, and a James Turrell “Skyspace.”
The innovative building design of Crystal Bridges is meant to capture the interplay of nature, art and culture in the region. It is reflective of its forested creek-side home and linked by trails and paths to connecting area neighborhoods and the downtown square. The museum takes its name from a natural spring on the museum’s wooded site as well as the unique glass-and-wood building design created by world-renowned architect Moshe Safdie.
The museum’s main pavilions will house a permanent collection of American art masterworks from the colonial era to modern day, and touring collections from national art institutions. Visitors will be able to enjoy the collection within the state-of-the-art galleries and throughout the surrounding park. Temporary exhibitions drawn from national institutions will complement the holdings of the permanent collection.
Some announced works of the permanent collection include: Hudson River School masterwork “Kindred Spirits” by Asher B. Durand; “George Washington” by Charles Willson Peale; “George Washington” (The Constable-Hamilton Portrait) by Gilbert Stuart; “Portrait of Professor Benjamin H. Rand” by Thomas Eakins; “Spring” by Winslow Homer; “Cattleya Orchid, Two Hummingbirds and a Beetle” by Martin Johnson Heade; and, “Hall of the Mountain King” by Marsden Hartley. For more information, visit
Submitted by the Arkansas Department of Parks & Tourism
One Capitol Mall, Little Rock, AR 72201, 501-682-7606
May be used without permission. Credit line is appreciated:
"Arkansas Department of Parks & Tourism"

1 Capitol Mall, 4A-900 - Little Rock, Arkansas 72201 | 1-800-872-1259 or (501) 682-7777 (V/TT)
Copyright © 2017 Arkansas Department of Parks & Tourism. - Web Services by Aristotle Web Design
The Arkansas Department of Parks and Tourism is in compliance with the Freedom of Information, Ar. Code Ann., 25-19-101 et seq.