FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. —The first in a series of mountain biking trails being constructed at Centennial Park at Millsap Mountain will open for public use on July 2, 2020. The “Learner’s Permit” trail, one of nine planned trails in the park’s master plan, is a family-friendly trail suitable for beginning mountain bikers, hikers, and runners. Users should abide by all posted trail signs and safety regulations. This trail can be accessed via Mountain Ranch Road near the north end of the park. Limited parking is available. All dogs should remain on leash and pet waste should be removed.
In addition to the “Learner’s Permit” trail, several other trails are nearing completion with opening dates anticipated later this summer. Construction throughout Centennial Park at Millsap Mountain is ongoing, and trails are at varying stages of completion. As this work continues, park visitors should use caution and expect adjustments as trails become established with increased use.
In February 2018, the Fayetteville City Council received a matching grant from the Walton Family Foundation to purchase 228 acres for Centennial Park at Millsap Mountain. After receiving notification in February 2019 that Fayetteville had been selected to host the prestigious 2022 UCI Cyclocross World Championship, the City began discussing the park’s needs with NWA Trailblazers, who hired and funded CEI, engineering and professional trail design consultants, to help develop the conceptual master plan for Centennial Park at Millsap Mountain. The Walton Family Foundation provided a grant to the NWA Trailblazers to support the construction of the trail system, which began in the fall of 2019.
The City of Fayetteville and the NWA Trailblazers, along with the trail building company Rock Solid, have combined efforts for construction of phase one improvements of the master plan, with the City concentrating efforts on park infrastructure and the Trailblazers concentrating on construction of the soft-surface cycling trails. The City is working with Crossland Heavy Contractors to complete a new access road and parking lot.
In addition to the mountain bike trails, a key feature of the trails at Centennial Park will be the unique Cyclo-Cross track at the heart of the park. Cyclo-Cross is a style of racing that includes short, steep trail riding, plus physical obstacles such as stairs through which riders must carry their bikes along a 3 km trail (1.75 miles). Conducted in the fall and winter, Cyclocross is a spectator-friendly, sometimes grueling sport. The 2022 event in Fayetteville will be only the second time for the Cyclo-Cross World Championship race to be hosted in the United States. The first time was in Louisville, KY in 2013.
As trails become available for use at Centennial Park, users are reminded to review trail descriptions and associated skill levels as well to follow soft surface trail etiquette. Downhill flow trails are for bicycle use only and are designated one-way traffic only. Construction is ongoing at the south end of Centennial Park, so the primary access road will remain closed for public safety until further notice.
For more information about Centennial Park at Millsap Mountain, visit www.fayetteville-ar.gov/centennialpark.