Garland County’s Cedar Glades Park gets Walton Grant

The Walton Family Foundation has granted Cedar Glades Park in Garland County $450,000 to improve its trail system. The park is immediately adjacent to Northwoods, the 2,000-acre urban park owned by the city of Hot Springs, which opened last fall with 14.5 miles of multiuse trails designed for mountain biking. Visit Hot Springs matched a grant from the Walton Family Foundation to fund the $1.3 million Phase One of the project. Eventually, 45 miles of trails are envisioned for Northwoods.

Cedar Glades has about 10 miles of single-track cross-country-style trail. AJ Johnson, park coordinator, said no final decisions have been made about what the new development will entail, but he said among the things that have been discussed include building a mile or two of beginner trail, making the existing trails more consistent with ratings (i.e. making the green trails more like typical greens), adding alternate trail lines, creating a quicker connection to Northwoods (the connection is about 4 miles now) and building a skills or pump-track in the parking lot area. “We’re not going to change the overall single-track old-school feel that Cedar Glades has,” Johnson said.

The International Mountain Bicycling Association’s Trail Solutions, which has been leading the trail building efforts in Northwoods, will start on Cedar Glades in April or May, Johnson hopes. It will take a break in the summer and resume work in the fall. Johnson hopes everything will be finished in a year.