A few weeks ago, we introduced you to new trails under construction at Lake Ludwig in Clarksville, Arkansas. Those trails will open later this fall. Not to be outdone, I was recently invited by Mayor Jerry Martin to attend what I call a FAMRIDE (Familiarization Ride) just down I-40 at Lake Alma, in Alma, Arkansas. Like the trails at Lake Ludwig, these trails are being built by Rogue Trail Building of Rogers, Arkansas. Rogue is well known for trails throughout Arkansas and other states. Most impressive is the work they have done on several of the Arkansas State Parks’ Monument Trails.
According to Mayor Jerry Martin, Funding for the new trails came from a Recreational Trails Program (RTP) Grant through ARDOT plus a parks bond and some city revenue. Volunteers also assisted by helping to build some sections of the trail. The project was started by local citizens who came up with initial design money several years ago. “We expected that the first phase would be complete in 2020 but due to working through complications with managing grant money and the recent pandemic, the project was slowed,” said the mayor.
Phase One, opening in September, consists of approximately 4 1/2 miles of fairly easy mountain biking trails around the lake. The route includes crossing the dam, several bridges, and a quick, flowy trail bed. It was a fun ride despite the heat. Experienced mountain bikers will make quick work of the trail, remembering that everything is technical at speed. New riders will find a great place to learn new skills. The city is currently working on seeking grant funding for Phase Two. Mayor Martin said the first phase was designed to be more of a beginner trail. Phase two is expected to be more of an intermediate trail and phase three will include more expert trails including downhill and jump features.
“The dream is that one day, these trails will be part of a network that connects mountain bike trails north to the trails in Bentonville,” said Mayor Martin.
Other future amenities will include volunteer tool storage. Crawford County will be paving the current parking lot on North Mountain Grove Road, the city will then stripe it. The mayor also said that phase three may include a small skills park.
The City of Alma will be having a Ribbon Cutting and Grand Opening at 10 am on September 10 to celebrate the brand-new Mt. Bike / Multipurpose Trail system at Lake Alma! The address for the ceremony is 901 N Mountain Grove Rd, Alma, AR 72921. The latest information is at their Facebook Event.