HOT SPRINGS NATIONAL PARK, Arkansas — Traci Berry, race director of Raid the Rock Adventure Race in Central Arkansas, has been named trail coordinator for the new Northwoods mountain biking trails system in Hot Springs.
Berry, who is an account executive with the Arkansas Times weekly newspaper, will begin her new job with the Hot Springs trails on November 1, according to Bill Solleder, marketing director for Visit Hot Springs, which partnered with the Walton Family Foundation on the trails project, 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.
Raid the Rock Adventure Race includes both an eight-hour and a 24-hour course covering 60 to 100 miles of terrain. The courses combine the disciplines of biking, paddling, and trekking/running as well as the ability to navigate with a compass and topographical map. Berry also volunteers with the Central Arkansas Trail Alliance and the National Interscholastic Cycling Association.
Berry also was a zip-line canopy tour manager/guide at the Buffalo River Canopy Tour in Ponca, Ark., as well as the POSTOAK Canopy Tours in Tulsa.
“When we officially open Phase One of the Northwoods Trails system on November 16, Hot Springs will become the hottest new destination in America for the increasing numbers of people who enjoy mountain biking both as a recreational activity and as a highly competitive sport,” said Steve Arrison, CEO of Visit Hot Springs. “Traci Berry will give us a direct liaison with both of these biking communities and help us maximize the beneficial impact that the Northwood system is certain to bring to the city.”
“Traci’s background and experience with outdoor activities and marketing make her the perfect fit for helping Visit Hot Springs market and coordinate this astounding new addition to the extensive menu of attractions that make Hot Springs Arkansas’s No. 1 tourism destination,” Solleder said.
Berry is a health and physical education graduate of Henderson State University, where she was on the basketball team, and holds a master’s degree in education administration from the University of Arkansas Little Rock. She is working toward an executive master’s degree in public service at the Clinton School of Public Service in Little Rock.
She has been a teacher/coach at schools in Mayflower, Bentonville and Little Rock.
A ribbon-cutting for the Northwoods trail system Phase One will be held the afternoon of Friday, November 16, at the Water Works Trail Head, according to Solleder. Taking part will be 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.
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 with the annual Attila the Hun Bike Race.
Visit Hot Springs began construction in November 2017 on Phase One of the system of mountain biking trails. 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 series of events, according to Steve Arrison, CEO of Visit Hot Springs.
Phase Two of the trail system will result in a 44.6-mile 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.
A $648,421 Walton Family Foundation grant for Phase One was matched by Visit Hot Springs.
For more information contact Steve Arrison or Bill Solleder at 501-321-2027.