Phase One of Hot Springs’ world-class Northwoods system of biking trails will be dedicated the weekend of November 16 – 18 in conjunction with running and mountain biking competitions.
A ribbon cutting will be held the afternoon of Friday, November 16, at the Water Works Trail Head, according to Bill Solleder, Visit Hot Springs’ marketing director. City of Hot Springs ofﬁcials and staff, Chamber of Commerce Ambassadors, staff of the International Mountain Biking Association, local bike shops, the news media and Visit Hot Springs staff will all take part.
That will be followed by a “Slow Roll” bike ride on Park Avenue and Whittington Boulevard.
On Saturday, November 17, there will be a public ribbon cutting and group ride at the Cedar Glades portion of the trails system, Solleder said.
“Saturday is also the day of the Spa Running Festival in the morning, so our public ribbon cutting that afternoon will extend the day’s activities throughout the day,” he said.
Sunday, November 18, will feature more biking events at the Cedar Glades portion of the trails system for the annual Atilla the Hun Bike Race.
Visit Hot Springs began construction in November 2017 on phase one of a planned 44.6-mile system of mountain biking trails on the city-owned Northwoods/Cedar Glades properties in the northern section of Hot Springs.
It has partnered with Tom and Steuart Walton and the Walton Family Foundation to construct the ﬁrst 16-mile segment of the project, which will provide Hot Springs with an important new tourism attraction aimed at mountain bikers and other outdoor enthusiasts. The 16-mile section of the trails will be opened to the public during the November weekend of events, according to Steve Arrison, CEO of Visit Hot Springs.
Phase two of the trail system will complete the system of ﬁrst-class biking trails in the property that incorporates pristine forested hills and three lakes. It is in the Cedar Glades area north of Whittington Avenue.
“The new trails in the Northwoods property will be an enormous economic engine for our city and a world-class recreational facility for our residents and visitors,” Arrison said.
“It’s almost impossible to express how grateful we are as a community to Tom and Steuart Walton and the Walton Family Foundation for helping provide the resources to get started on this new attraction. Without the help and encouragement of Tom and Steuart Walton and the folks at the foundation, it would have been extremely difﬁcult for us to develop what is going to be an outdoor recreation magnet that will place Hot Springs in the forefront of this booming tourism segment.”
“The city of Hot Springs, Arkansas, is poised to become the nation’s next mountain bike destination,” said trail specialist Joey Klein of the International Mountain Biking Association’s Trail Solutions program. “Hot Springs is surrounded by ample forested hillsides and pristine waterways. Cedar Glades Park and the new Northwoods Park will be connected by trails, all of which will be designed to be completely accessible from town. IMBA Trail Solutions plans to showcase the varied terrain, offering many trail experiences to all skill levels.”
Klein continued, “To have such high-quality trail potential not more than minutes from a historic downtown setting is almost unheard of in this day and age. Residents and visitors alike will be reaping the beneﬁts for decades to come.”
IMBA Trail Solutions is providing the planning and construction expertise for the Northwoods/Cedar Glades project.
A $648,421 Walton Family Foundation grant for phase one was matched by Visit Hot Springs.
For more information contact Steve Arrison at 501-321-2027.