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 improve access to outdoor recreation in the region.
Little Rock, Ark. (Oct. 28, 2020) – Central Arkansas residents and visitors will soon gain access to a 28-mile network of trails, including the recently opened Monument Trail system 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.
This announcement follows the recent opening of 13 miles of the newest Monument Trail system, designed and crafted at Pinnacle Mountain State Park. 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. These investments will produce world-class hiking, trail running, and mountain biking experiences for all to enjoy in central Arkansas.
“This project serves as a prime example of how the partnership of public and private entities can accomplish great things for Arkansas,” said Arkansas Governor 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 delivering 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.”
The trail development at River Mountain Park and Two Rivers Park will provide a unique opportunity for riders of all ages and skill levels to utilize more than 10 miles of world-class mountain bike trails in the heart of Little Rock. The River Mountain development will feature numerous downhill sections, which will capitalize on over 300 feet of elevation change and will complement a beginner’s bike skill park that will be built at Two Rivers Park.
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, which are shared-use trails that provide world-class outdoor recreation destinations that showcase the natural iconic beauty of the state parks they are within.
“The development of these trails serves as an invitation to experience one of our City’s greatest features, our parks,” Little Rock Mayor Frank Scott Jr. proclaimed. “The investment and coordination between Little Rock and Arkansas Parks and Recreation Foundation serve 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, 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.”
The Arkansas Parks & Recreation Foundation is focused on improving the quality of life in our state through incredible outdoor experiences. These projects offer opportunities for such activities and outcomes. They magnify and highlight these unique locations to restore a sense of place and instill pride for our fellow citizens.
“Pinnacle Mountain is truly one of a kind and the new trails there highlight the beauty of this park in never before seen ways,” explained Suzanne Grobmyer, executive director of the Arkansas Parks & Recreation Foundation. “As we look to our work with the City of Little Rock, we seek to expand the diversity of experiences and establish a new sense of place within two well-loved parks.”