Partnership to add ‘world-class’ trails at central Arkansas parks

by Talk Business & Politics staff ([email protected]) 558 views 

A public-private partnership between Arkansas State Parks, the City of Little Rock and the Arkansas Parks & Recreation Foundation with philanthropic support from the Walton Family Foundation will connect 28 miles of trails to three parks in and around Little Rock.

The joint trails collaboration connects trails at Pinnacle Mountain State Park and the soon to be constructed trails at River Mountain Park and Two Rivers Park in the city of Little Rock.

The work at all three parks is supported by $2.6 million in grants from the Walton Family Foundation to the Arkansas Parks & Recreation Foundation. The groups said these investments will produce “world-class hiking, trail running and mountain biking experiences.”

“This project serves as a prime example of how the partnership of public and private entities can accomplish great things for Arkansas,” said Gov. Asa Hutchinson. “That public-private relationship has brought about substantial enhancements to a park that was already beloved by so many, and that investment will be here for generations to come.”

Pinnacle Mountain State Park, which will add another 5 miles of trails in the coming months, will be accessible to River Mountain and Two Rivers Parks through the newly improved shared lane on Pinnacle Valley Road.

“It’s no secret tourists have come to know and love one of the most iconic resources our state has in abundance and that is nature, on full and wondrous display,” said Stacy Hurst, secretary of the Arkansas Department of Parks, Heritage and Tourism. “Our department’s commitment to deliver this most precious natural and cultural resource for Arkansans as well as out-of-state guests supports our state’s economic growth and vitality. Tourism is the second largest industry in the state, with travelers spending over $7 billion in the state in 2018 and employing nearly 68,000 Arkansans.”

This is the first joint trails collaboration between the Arkansas Parks & Recreation Foundation and the Walton Family Foundation with the City of Little Rock. However, both foundations have worked together before on three other Monument Trails projects.

“The development of these trails serves as an invitation to experience one of our City’s greatest features, our parks,” said Little Rock Mayor Frank Scott Jr. “The investment and coordination between Little Rock and Arkansas Parks and Recreation Foundation serves as a testament to the intentional effort we’re pursuing to increase the quality of life of our residents and visitors, and we couldn’t ask for better partners in the effort.”

“Arkansas is known for building trails that invite everyone to hop on a bike,” said Tom Walton with the Walton Family Foundation. “A new network of Little Rock trails is an opportunity for our state to rise together as the leading mountain biking destination.”

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