Federal grant awarded to build 58-mile recreational trail in Central Arkansas

Three counties awarded federal grant for 'rails to trails' program

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KTHV) -- A vision is coming to life.

Three counties have been awarded a federal grant to design a rails to trails project in Central Arkansas. This will provide new territory for cyclists.

The trail will extend from Little Rock Central High School to Hot Springs National Park.  As required by the grant it must go from one federal site to another.

According to Pulaski County Judge Barry Hyde, efforts are underway to build a new 58-mile recreational trail through Pulaski, Saline and Garland counties.

"This is going to follow the old rail line that went from the old train station all the way out to southwest Little Rock, Shannon Hills, through Benton and actually continued to Hot Springs," said Judge Hyde.

Once built, Judge Hyde said you'll be able to ride your bike or even run from Little Rock Central High to Hot Springs National Park.

"The bulk of the trail will not be on surface streets or adjacent to surface streets.  It will be in areas with a lot of green and trees and the forest and creeks," he said.

Hyde explained the trail system will include boardwalks through swampy areas and provide interesting terrain.

"This is new territory.  It's a fresh ride.  This will attract even more people regionally in," Judge Hyde said.

The total cost of the project $3.2 million.  Once the grant money is applied the counties will divide it up.

Judge Hyde said he expects the project to be fully completed in the next five years.

© 2017 KTHV-TV


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