The City of Fayetteville purchased Kessler Mountain, an approximately 387-acre upland forest, for public outdoor recreational use. This land is immediately adjacent to the Kessler Mountain Regional Park.
The City commissioned Progressive Trail Design LLC, a local trails design, planning and construction company, partnered with Alta Planning and Design and Ozark Ecological Restoration, to prepare a trails master plan for Kessler Mountain, which established recommendations for existing trail improvements and new trail construction.
Why is this project important?
Kessler Mountain was identified by multiple organizations and individuals as a premier natural area of the region and the state that needed to be preserved and available for public recreation. This property was established as a nature preserve and a conservation easement was entered into with the Northwest Arkansas Land Trust (NWALT). NWALT will serve as a valuable partner to the City with emphasis on the protection of the mountain's environment, wildlife, and plant communities. This partnership in management, coupled with an adjacent developed active recreational park, will provide the people of Fayetteville and surrounding areas unparalleled experience in outdoor recreation, education, observation and appreciation. Fayetteville residents and visitors are already enjoying the almost seven miles of existing nature trail accessible from the adjacent Regional Park. To see all trails, explore the Interactive Trail Map.
What is the current status?
Chinkapin, Last Call, and Terrapin Station Trails
Complete: These 3.5-mile shared use, natural surface trails provide improved access to the top of the bluff on both the north and south ends of the park. Trent Trail follows the bluff line at the top.
Saddle Up Trail Enhancements
Complete: This 1.2-mile section was first constructed in 2019 but experienced temporary closures when heavy rain events make the trail inaccessible. Construction took place in 2023 to mitigate this issue and improve the trail’s usability with low bridges, boardwalks, and trail armoring as well as widening the trail to 4’ minimum to create Fayetteville’s first trail to accommodate adaptive mountain bikers. These improvements are paid in part by a 2021 grant from the Arkansas Department of Transportation.