For Immediate Release
New Trails Open at Centennial Park at Millsap Mountain
FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. — Construction on three new mountain-biking trails at Centennial Park at Millsap Mountain has recently been completed and the trails are now open for public use. “Junk Drawer,” “Basket Case” and “Fayetteville Traverse” are designated as “blue” trails, indicating they are more difficult than the beginner-level “Learner’s Permit” trail that opened in June 2020.
These new trails create a nearly four-mile loop off the southern slope of Millsap Mountain.
Each of the three new trails includes some challenging gap-jump features. These are indicated by “Mandatory Gap” signs that appear in advance of each jump. Trail users will also be able to opt for an alternate, less challenging route around these jumps.
Notably, the first section of the “Fayetteville Traverse” trail now is open. Once complete, the Fayetteville Traverse will become a unique single-track trail experience—knitting together several of our city’s amenities, multiple public parks, mountain bike trail systems, the University of Arkansas, and our Historic Downtown with a continuous natural surface route for mountain bikers, hikers and trail runners.
Hikers and runners using these trails are encouraged to use great caution, as bikers may appear quickly and at high speeds. Beginning bikers, young children, and hikers or runners who are not accustomed to longer trail lengths are encouraged to continue using the “Learner’s Permit” trail.
Construction throughout Centennial Park at Millsap Mountain is ongoing, and trails are at varying stages of completion. As this work continues, park visitors should use caution and expect adjustments as trails become established with increased usage. Please refer to park maps for information on closed sections and areas of caution and avoid active construction areas. Construction is ongoing at the south end of Centennial Park, so the primary access road will remain closed for public safety until further notice.
During construction, all trails can be accessed from the north trailhead located on N. Mountain Ranch Road. All trail users, including hikers, runners and bikers, are reminded not to use the trails during wet conditions. For current trail conditions at Centennial Park and other local trails, visit https://ozarkoffroadcyclists.org/trail-conditions
In February 2018, the Fayetteville City Council received a matching grant from the Walton Family Foundation to purchase 228 acres for Centennial Park at Millsap Mountain. After receiving notification in February 2019 that Fayetteville had been selected to host the prestigious 2022 UCI Cyclocross World Championship, the City began discussing the park’s needs with NWA Trailblazers, who hired and funded CEI, engineering and professional trail design consultants, to help develop the conceptual master plan for Centennial Park at Millsap Mountain. The Walton Family Foundation provided a grant to the NWA Trailblazers to support construction of the trail system, which began in the fall of 2019.
The City of Fayetteville and the NWA Trailblazers, along with the trail building company Rock Solid, have combined efforts for construction of phase one improvements of the master plan, with the City concentrating efforts on park infrastructure and the Trailblazers concentrating on construction of the soft-surface cycling trails. The City is working with Crossland Heavy Contractors to complete a new access road and parking lot.
In addition to the mountain bike trails, a key feature of the trails at Centennial Park will be the unique Cyclo-Cross track at the heart of the park. Cyclo-Cross is a style of racing that includes short, steep trail riding, plus physical obstacles such as stairs through which riders must carry their bikes along a 3 km trail (1.75 miles). Conducted in the fall and winter, Cyclocross is a spectator-friendly, sometimes grueling sport. The 2022 event in Fayetteville will be only the second time for the Cyclo-Cross World Championship race to be hosted in the United States. The first time was in Louisville, KY in 2013.
For more information about Centennial Park at Millsap Mountain, visit www.fayetteville-ar.gov/centennialpark.