HOT SPRINGS NATIONAL PARK, Arkansas — Phase One of Hot Springs’ new Northwoods Trail System is complete, giving the city 15.7 miles of world-class mountain-bike riding, Visit Hot Springs announced today.
Phase Two of the trails, when completed, will provide 44.6 miles of mountain bike trails that will be among the best in North America, according to Steve Arrison, CEO of Visit Hot Springs. A starting date on construction of Phase Two will be announced later.
The completion of the first phase of the Northwoods trails comes with the opening of the final segment of trail in the project, which is less than 10 minutes from downtown Hot Springs, according to Traci Berry, trails coordinator for Visit Hot Springs.
“With the opening of the Ragnarok trail, the system of biking trails in the Northwoods system now offers 15.7 miles of custom-built mountain biking trails,” Berry said. “Ragnarok is a super-fun downhill flow trail that has plenty of features for the advanced rider to play around on, and is completely rollable for riders who aren’t quite as comfortable catching air. The trail descends for almost a mile off the back of Hub H, dropping in at the transition of the Dream Catcher and Wishbone trails. Riders will descend for almost a mile to just below the base of the Bethel Dam and then have a short rocky climb out to the midpoint of Valkyrie trail.”
Berry said the International Mountain Bicycling Association’s Trail Solutions crew, which constructed the Phase One trails, will now move over to the connecting trail system at Cedar Glades Park. There, she said, the IMBA crew will begin working on improvements on Cedar Glades’ existing 10 miles of traditional single-track cross-country trail.
“The crew will also build a few new sections of Cedar Glades trail and begin making improvements to the trailhead,” Berry said. “The trail builders plan to work at Cedar Glades for the month of May before taking the summer off of the project and returning in the fall of this year to complete the improvements and additions.
“This is all so exciting for our community, our county, and our state.
“In the six months that the Northwoods trail system has been open we have seen people from all over America and from other countries come to Hot Springs to ride our trails. On any given day we will see at least two out-of-state license plates on vehicles parked at the trailhead.
“On some days I have seen six different states represented, and they aren’t just from our neighboring states. They are from South Carolina, Colorado, Ohio, Minnesota and more.
“Even better than the people we have coming in from all over is the number of local riders we see out on the trails on a daily basis. We definitely have something special here in Hot Springs and with the planning of additional phases, it is just going to get better. The adventure has just begun.”
The Northwoods Trail System mountain biking facility is located in the northern section of Hot Springs.
Visit Hot Springs began construction in November 2017 on Phase One of the Northwoods system. When completed, 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.