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Cyclists on hand for trail dedication

Posted: June 16, 2014 - 2:06pm
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The Scott Family from Greenbrier said they were happy with the trail upon their return, but tired. BJ Fox photo.
The Scott Family from Greenbrier said they were happy with the trail upon their return, but tired. BJ Fox photo.

Bikers could not have had a more beautiful, sunny day for the dedication of the Enders Fault Mountain Bike Trail at Woolly Hollow State Park on National Trails Day. About 30 bikers, some with the whole family, showed up to help dedicate the trail and try it out for the first time.

Dignitaries on hand under the tent gave speeches, telling of the naming of the trail after the area’s active seismic fault line just north of the park. Arkansas State Parks Director Greg Butts, Superintendent of Woolly Hollow State Park Steve Wilson and President of the Central Arkansas Trail Alliance Bruce Alt all talked about the 9.2 mile trail that had been in the planning for five or six years. Wilson said, “We dreamed of this trail.” Random Black, the contractor from Legacy Links Golf Course and Recreation Sports Construction was so excited about the project that he was in the woods and on the site every day from the first earth move in the cold month of January this year — not the usual method for a contractor.

Local mountain bikers from the Central Arkansas Off-road Group (COG) were there in numbers to christen the new trail after their President Erik Leamon said, “Our group will volunteer support to help the park staff maintain the trail.” Some families rode the trail much earlier than the 10 a.m. dedication ceremony and were on hand for the formalities already back from their first ride, although some were winded and complained of soreness.

Marketing and Revenue Manager Joe Jacobs, dressed in true mountain bike gear, enthusiastically pointed out the good points and places to watch out for on a map of the trail. He described the trail as having two loops, the North Loop of approximately 4.17 miles and a South Loop of about 5.67 miles of mostly smooth tread. Both loops offer a singletrack tread through rolling hills and include short climbs and wonderful views, seasonal creek crossings, and some hillsides. He pointed out, “Once you are up the hill on the South trail, you've got a good time of just fun. The North trail does not have many rocks and it’s fast and flowy.” While grinning ear to ear, he said, "It's got a big yippee factor to it!”

A good time was had by all who crowded around to cut the ribbon with a giant pair of scissors made of wood, just before they all took off for the first bike run. The Park hopes to plan races in the future. Hot dogs, cookies and drinks were served after the dedication.

The 438-acre park also offers opportunities for fishing, floating and swimming in the waters of Lake Bennett. Canoes, kayaks, pedal boats, and fishing boats are available for rent. The park includes a free launch ramp. Anglers will need to bring bait and fishing supplies since there are no commercial docks on the lake. Near the swimming beach are a snack bar and bathhouse with hot showers. For campers, Woolly Hollow features 30 Class AAA campsites and 10 Tent Sites without hookups. Other park facilities include a picnic area, standard pavilion, a visitor center and gift shop.

Woolly Hollow State Park is in Faulkner County northeast of Greenbrier just 10 miles at 82 Woolly Hollow Road. Travel north on U.S. 65, then go six miles east on Ark. 285 to the park. The Park is open every day. Call 501-679-2098 for more information.  

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lachowsj
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lachowsj 06/17/14 - 06:29 am
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Bikers are good stewards

I have no doubt that this trail will be well used and well maintained by the biking community. It is a great addition to the many recreational opportunities already on offer.

reader
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reader 06/17/14 - 08:31 am
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Great for bikers

and anyone wanting to try it out. Just don't litter it up like so much of Conway is,

tracking wolf
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tracking wolf 06/18/14 - 04:17 pm
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spead the wealth

I would like to see the LCD calulate how much money has been spent on biking lanes, the expense of asphalt, paint, biking trails, and the labor cost in Faulkner Co, state of Arkansas. Seems like we spend an awful lot of money for a small minority of bike riders. Most of the time they don't even use it because I usually find them on a small, winding, hilly road holding up traffic.
Couldn't this money be better spent on something the majority of citizens would find useful?
If we are going to cater to a minority of people does it all have to be spent on the same group? How about a public golf course and let the bike riders use the cart path. It would be a win win situation. The bikers would have a place to ride and I wouldn't get so irritated when I hook one left and nail one upside the helmet. (j/k)

well....
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well.... 06/18/14 - 06:50 pm
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lose lose situation

Public golf courses are money pits. The money spent to maintain that kind of facility would make that Christmas tree purchase look like child's play. Conway can't afford any more waste.

"Between 5 and 10 percent of all public courses are expected to close in the next decade, according to the NRPA."
"A study published this year in the Journal of Public and Municipal Finance found that more than 90 percent of the enterprise funds Florida municipalities use to support golf courses are operating at a loss, with an average annual loss of more than $265,000."

http://www.thefiscaltimes.com/Articles/2013/09/13/Why-Public-Golf-Course...

tracking wolf
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tracking wolf 06/19/14 - 07:14 am
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actually

If you read my comments I said that the money should be spent on something the "MAJORITY of citizens would find useful."
The golf course was just more of a tongue in cheek wish list of what the money could be spent on if they are going to spend it on a minority of citizens instead of spending it on the latest fad of the unathletic.

Elmer Fudd
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Elmer Fudd 06/18/14 - 03:53 pm
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Tracking Wolf

I agree with you they do not use the paths. You realize you and i are going to get hammered because of our stance as they are a very vocal minority with a lot of pull in City Hall. A matter of time before one of them gets clobbered when riding at 5:30 on Friday afternoon in a high traffic area and the poor driver of the car will of course be to blame. Okay bikers yell away.

tracking wolf
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tracking wolf 06/18/14 - 04:19 pm
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to be expected

to be expected by a group, who's hobby requires the skill set of a 6yr old

lachowsj
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lachowsj 06/19/14 - 11:30 am
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Can't believe the negativity

Why in the world does it bother some people here that a group of bicycle enthusiasts have worked together to add an amenity to a state park?

First of all, do people even understand that this is a trail for off-road bikers? They will in no way interfere with automobile drivers. So the comment about how much money is spent on bike lanes is a completely separate issue.

Secondly, for tracking wolf to say that a golf course is something "a majority" would use is just ludicrous. I would venture that a majority of the citizens of Conway have never been inside the Conway Country Club, much less played a round of golf. Even at a municipal course, golf is a rich man's game. On the other hand, practically everyone has ridden a bike and most people own or have free access to at least one bike. And that's all you need to go and enjoy this trail. (Please understand that i am not anti-golf or any other physical activity that brings joy to a lot of people.)

Thirdly, to build and maintain a trail costs some money. I'm not sure of the numbers in this case but I'm sure the budget fits in well with other hiking, trail and beach maintenance expenses. And a state park is not meant to make money. It is meant to belong to everyone and provide opportunities for a range of outdoor activities.

Finally, I should (but I won't) ignore the remark about how biking "requires the skill set of a 6yr old" as it likely comes from someone who does little walking either and whose idea of physical activity is pulling themselves up to the table.

Igor Rabinowitz
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Igor Rabinowitz 06/19/14 - 12:07 pm
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Oh you wacky humans!

People often mistaken cynicism for wisdom, hence the grousing.

tracking wolf
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tracking wolf 06/19/14 - 12:50 pm
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or

or it was a legitimate question posed with a side of cynicism ;)

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