Arkansas Outside first reported on trail development in the Mena/Queen Wilhelmina State Park area of the Ouachita National Forest in April of this year. (April 26, 2022 & May 9, 2022). Today, the Arkansas Department of Parks, Heritage and Tourism (ADPHT) announced that a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) will be signed next week between ADPHT, the Ouachita National Forest, the Arkansas Parks and Recreation Foundation, and the City of Mena. This MOU is one of the steps that move the project closer to getting the NEPA completed which will have to be done before any trails in the national forest can begin. More information on the signing next week is below in the media release from ADPHT.
MENA, Ark. – A memorandum of understanding to begin an exploratory phase of a trail expansion project will be signed at 11 a.m. Tuesday, Dec. 13, at the University of Arkansas Rich Mountain in Mena. The memorandum, which will be signed by representatives of the Arkansas Department of Parks, Heritage and Tourism, the Ouachita National Forest, the Arkansas Parks and Recreation Foundation, and the city of Mena, will outline the group’s intent to cooperate to explore expanding trail opportunities within and adjacent to Queen Wilhelmina State Park, the Ouachita National Forest and the city of Mena.
If pursued and realized, the trail expansion would represent a significant enhancement of outdoor recreation activities and tourism attractions in the area.
On hand to sign the memorandum will be Stacy Hurst, secretary of the Arkansas Department of Parks, Heritage and Tourism; Felipe Cano, acting deputy forest supervisor for the Ouachita National Forest; Suzanne Grobmyer, executive director of the Arkansas Parks and Recreation Foundation; and Seth Smith, mayor of Mena. The signors and Shea Lewis, director of Arkansas State Parks, will be on hand after the signing to answer questions from members of the media.