New Mountain Bike Trails to Officially Open at Craighead Forest

New Mountain Bike Trails to Officially Open at Craighead Forest

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Craighead Forest Park in Jonesboro, AR, is set to unveil a new network of trails next week. These trails have been crafted by Rock Solid Trail Contractors and are expected to add fresh new energy to the local cycling scene. This addition will cater to a wider range of riders and will expand the park’s existing offerings.

The newly added section comprises over 13 miles of trails, including 9 miles of beginner/intermediate Green trails, and just over 4 miles of Blue and Black trails. The Rock Solid Trail Contractors, renowned for their exceptional expertise in creating sustainable and exhilarating single-track experiences, have delivered a network of trails that will challenge and enthrall riders of all skill levels. Regular readers of ArkansasOutside.com might remember that this contractor built the Arkansas State Park Monument Trails at Mount Nebo State Park and much of Devil’s Den State Park.

“As Arkansas is known as ‘The Natural State,’ it is fitting for Jonesboro to have its own soft surface trails for outdoor enthusiasts to enjoy,” stated Mayor Copenhaver. “The trails provide growth in Jonesboro’s quality of place as well as creating more opportunities for tourism to Jonesboro, a beacon within Northeast Arkansas.”

This project received a total funding of $801,000, which the City invested, plus an additional grant. The design of the project and cost for the study were shared between Jonesboro Unlimited and the City, as a partnership in preparing the city for future growth.

Berms in the Delta.
Berms in the Delta.

The newly constructed trails have a range of exciting features that cater to the diverse needs of riders. Whether you are an amateur rider looking to improve your foundational skills or an experienced rider seeking a challenging climb or a technical descent, the network has got you covered. With a variety of options to choose from, the trails offer an exhilarating experience to all types of riders.

Director of Parks and Recreation, Danny Kapales, said, “The soft surface trail usage has created a great increase in out-of-state license plates in addition to increasing trail usage as a whole. We are looking forward to hosting more out-of-town guests as they discover the trails in Craighead Forest Park.”

A rider testing out the new trails.
A rider testing out the new trails.

The addition of mountain bike trails to Craighead Forest Park is expected to attract a wider range of visitors, which can lead to increased economic activity for local businesses and boost tourism. It’s also great news for the Jonesboro Ridge Riders, the area’s NICA cycling team, who will now have a dedicated and well-maintained location for practices and training.

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The official opening ceremony for the new mountain bike trails will take place on Tuesday, April 23 at 2 pm at the Access 1 Trailhead. Notable tourism and cycling leaders, including Arkansas First Gentleman, Bryan Sanders, Chairperson of the Governor’s Natural State Initiative, are expected to attend.

The local NICA team, Ridge Riders, will guide the trail.

Craighead Forest Park was first opened to the public in 1937 when the Young Men’s Civic Club began work on the lake. Today, the 692-acre city-owned park offers a variety of recreational activities for visitors, such as basketball, bike and running trails, bird watching, camping, disc golf, fishing, playgrounds, softball, and volleyball.

Jackalope

With the addition of these new mountain bike trails, Craighead Forest Park is expected to become a premier mountain bike destination in Arkansas. So, grab your bike, gear up, and get ready to experience the thrill of riding through the heart of Jonesboro’s natural beauty.

(All photos courtesy of Jonesboro Advertising and Promotion Commission.)

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