Walton Family Foundation supports $1.16 million trail system in Springdale

by Talk Business & Politics staff (staff2@talkbusiness.net) 1,121 views 

Photo credit: Arkansas Department of Parks & Tourism

Springdale is growing Northwest Arkansas’ mountain biking scene with a new $1.16 million trail system on Fitzgerald Mountain that will be the largest in the city.

The project is funded by grants from the Walton Family Foundation (WFF) to NWA Trailblazers, a nonprofit organization that builds trails in Northwest Arkansas. It will include 10 miles, and the first 7 miles of natural-surface trails will open June 29. The remaining 3 miles will be finished this fall.

“The natural rock formations at Fitzgerald Mountain create unique ride experiences accessible to cyclists of all skill levels,” Steuart Walton said in a statement. “Adding Springdale to the Oz Trails network will strengthen Northwest Arkansas’ reputation as a powerhouse mountain biking destination.”

The Fitzgerald Mountain trail system is designed for riders of all skill levels. It includes 4 miles of rocky, technical black trails and 3 miles of cross-country trails for hiking and walking on the north side of the mountain. An additional 3 miles of entry-level trails are currently under construction on the mountain’s south side. The trail system is being built on 130 acres of land near Bayyari Park, which are owned and maintained by the City of Springdale and Springdale Water Utilities.

The trails are accessible from downtown Springdale, the Razorback Regional Greenway and in close proximity to Runway Bike Park, the future 2.75-acre mountain bike skills park at The Jones Center. Temporary parking, as well as a trailhead kiosk, are available at Bayyari Park. A new dedicated parking facility with 35 spaces will be completed by the end of the summer.

The project builds on the 163 miles of natural-surface trails and paved paths funded by the WFF in Northwest Arkansas. According to three recent studies, cycling contributed $137 million in economic benefits to the region in 2017 alone.

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