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Work on trail improvements in Turkey Mountain master plan starting soon

 River parks staff, local officials and wilderness coalition members participate in a ceremonial groundbreaking in the grass in front of a pavilion and a piece of construction equipment to celebrate the start of trail improvements at Turkey Mountain.
Matt Trotter
/
KWGS
River parks staff, local officials and wilderness coalition members participated in a ceremonial groundbreaking Friday to celebrate the start of trail improvements at Turkey Mountain.

The first phase of improvements recommended in a Turkey Mountain master plan are getting underway.

River Parks Authority hosted a groundbreaking Friday afternoon with 12 miles of trail building slated to begin Nov. 15. Crews have already started flagging trails in the urban wilderness area.

Progressive Trail Design, which has contributed to the extensive trail network in northwest Arkansas, is leading the project. Director of Business Development Jason Stouder said their focus is on sustainable trails, meaning rock armoring and less steep grades.

"The old-school type of trail was, 'There's the top of a hill. How do we get there? We go up.' Ours is we go out as we're going up and create those greater verses and drainage. Our main goal is we think about where's the water going, and we try to manage that the best we can," Stouder said.

River Parks Executive Director Matt Meyer said the firm's work will create trails that are less prone to erosion than what Turkey Mountain currently has.

"Most of the trails will be multipurpose, so you can walk, run, walk your dog, ride a horse, mountain bike, whatever," Meyer said.

The work will be going on in the part of Turkey Mountain spanning the lot at 61st and Elwood to Mooser Creek north to south and the Arkansas River to U.S. 75 east to west. It’s expected to take up to 12 months.

Portions of trails will be closed as they're being worked on. Signs and caution tape will be posted, and River Parks will post updates on social media.