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2008 State Trail Administrators Meeting


Workshop Descriptions

Family Hike along a trail in Burns Park


The Burns Park trail system has over 15 miles of interconnected natural surface loops that are open to horses, mountain bikers, and pedestrians.

Hiking, biking, and horseback riding are always fun in the backwoods, but they can be just as fun in the "front woods" of an urban park. With some trails being more crowded, we all need to know and practice how to get along. On this mobile workshop you will have your choice of hiking, horseback riding, or riding a bike.

The Burns Park trail system has over 15 miles of interconnected natural surface loops that are open to horses, mountain bikers, and pedestrians. The workshop will cover a 5-mile trail (medium difficulty, rocky surface) which meanders up and down forested ridges, beside a covered bridge, alongside the Freeride Arena, and to a bluff overlooking the beautiful Arkansas River.

The workshop will address how to meet or pass other users safely, how to handle special situations (e.g. dog on leash meets horse), and how to help make sure your travel doesn't adversely affect other users.

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Accessibility on a soft-surface trail with watchable wildlife opportunities.

Birding along the trail at Bell Slough

Enjoy a 2.1-mile stroll along the first Arkansas Game & Fish Commission Watchable Wildlife Trail at Bell Slough, an Arkansas Wildlife Management Area. Teeming with wildlife, Bell Slough offers stone overlook vistas and interpretative wayside exhibits on wildlife and flora/fauna.

While learning more about soft-surface accessibility, participants will have many opportunities to view waterfowl, raptors, and songbirds in woodland and marsh environments at multiple points along the trail. This site is used by six Central Arkansas universities for environmental study.

Wildlife Viewing
At least 35 resident bird species and as many as 75 species during the summer months have been seen at Bell Slough. Fall and winter are best for waterfowl viewing on Grassy Lake. Summer is best for reptiles and amphibians, with numerous turtles, frogs and toads inhabiting the area. You'll also see white-tailed deer and other mammals such as beavers, muskrats and swamp rabbits. Many blooming wildflowers can be seen from February until November.

Just over 2,000 acres make up the Bell Slough WMA. It is a mix of moist-soil wetlands, bottomland hardwoods, prairie and upland hardwood and pine forest. The wetlands are managed as a waterfowl rest area.

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Learn about a unique health and trails partnership that created the nation's first outdoor linear health museum along the Arkansas River Trail.

Along accessible city sidewalks over flat terrain, you will learn how the medical community was engaged for private fundraising for the Medical Mile section of the Arkansas River Trail. You will also look at developing nature trails in an urban environment.

One of many health-oriented messages included in the Medical Mile sculptures.

Leave your stress behind as you step out onto the Medical Mile. This part of the Arkansas River Trail features a fantastic partnership with the local medical community that has received national recognition for educating the public on improving their overall health by incorporating recreation on trails. A blend of artwork, landscaping and interpretive panels leads to the heart of Riverfront Park. Side trips lead to the new adventure playground, the "little rock," and lunch like a lizard on beautiful lichen covered boulders.

A hike to the Witt Stephens, Jr. Central Arkansas Nature Center, operated by the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission, will follow. The center is on the bank of the Arkansas River and is a portal to a variety of wildlife recreational opportunities. Two wetland trail projects are being developed to compliment the nature center and the adjacent Clinton Presidential Center. Bring along binoculars for birding! The center is bordered by the Arkansas River Trail and the city's statue promenade.

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Please let us know whether you plan on renting a bike or would like to ride in the van.

The trip will review how to develop a shared sense of community purpose, united around quality of life issues represented by trails and the value of thinking BIG as you cross the Big Dam Bridge -- the longest specifically built bicycle-pedestrian bridge in the world. The trip will end with a streetcar ride across the Arkansas River to the start point.

Riding over the Big Dam Bridge bike and pedestrian route

Travel Options:

Among the stops along the way are:

Updated: 10/20/2015
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