The Arkansas River Trail System is a tribute to outdoor recreation, conservation, wellness and the diverse geographies of Central Arkansas that creates an expansive 88.5 mile (and growing) loop across the Natural State.
This award-winning community effort winds its way across the entire metropolitan area and points westward, connecting 38 parks, six museums and 5,000+ acres of federal, state and local parkland. Thousands of hikers, cyclists, skaters, joggers and other outdoor recreation enthusiasts flock to this Arkansas trail to explore the diversity of habitats, landscapes and activities. Expansive and of primarily flat-terrain, the original 16 mile loop offers recreational opportunities for people of all ages, fitness levels, interests and health conditions, while the expanded 88.5 mile Grand Loop through Faulkner and Perry Counties offers a variety of terrain and challenges for experienced cyclists.
From urban downtowns to rustic corners of the wild, visitors to the trail can spot wildlife, shop at local businesses, walk their dogs, gaze on picturesque landmarks and engage in a wide array of other activities.
Four bridges span the river, allowing visitors to easily branch off and explore other portions of the trail. These include the famous Big Dam Bridge – the longest pedestrian/cyclist bridge in the world built solely for recreation; the Clinton Presidential Park Bridge, which overlooks the lush 13-acre William E. “Bill” Clark Presidential Park Wetlands; the Two Rivers Park Bridge, whose red midsection was designed to mimic a railway bridge as a nod to the many converted railway bridges along the trail; and the Junction Bridge, believed to be the only “lift span” bridge in the U.S. converted into a pedestrian/cyclist bridge.
Other impressive points of interest include Little Rock’s Medical Mile, a wellness promenade featuring a 1,162 foot three-dimensional mural wall and a Body-Mind-Spirit entry plaza (all designed to promote healthy living); and Two Rivers Park, a 1,000 acre expanse including 450 acres of wooded wetlands and 550 acres of open fields. These unique landmarks are just some of the dozens of recreation areas and other attractions spanning the length of the trail.
A model of inter-governmental collaboration, this one-of-a-kind series of pedestrian bridges, Arkansas trails and attractions serves to promote economic development, health & wellness, environmental sustainability and improved safety for residents and visitors alike.