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19th National Trails Symposium in Little Rock, Arkansas, November 15-18, 2008

EMERALD PARK SIGHTSEEING & HISTORICAL HIKE

Spectacular views of the downtown skyline, the Arkansas River, and the many bridges that span the river.

spacephoto of view of r

Mobile workshop at the National Trails Symposium; photo by John C. Jones


Date: Monday, November 17
Time: 1:00 p.m. – 5:30 p.m.
Cost: $25 (includes box lunch)

This workshop will be for physically fit hikers. The total round trip is about four miles on a very demanding up and down hill natural surface trail (www.nlrpr.org/parks/trails.php). The hike will start at the Arkansas River Trail and then travel up a loose rock, natural surface trail through a series of switchbacks and climbing turns to the top of Big Rock Mountain.

At the top you will travel along the edge of historic Ft. Roots and along the rim of Big Rock Mountain Quarry. There are numerous and absolutely fabulous scenic overlooks along the way and stops will be made at many of them to take the time to discuss the history of Ft. Roots, North Little Rock, and central Arkansas. The spectacular views will be of the downtown skyline; the Arkansas River, which was part of the water trail of the Trail of Tears; and the many bridges that span the river including the newest Big Dam Bridge built specifically for pedestrians and bike riders.

The views are breathtaking, but so is the climb. Participants must be in very good physical condition. Even the descent down the other side back to the River Trail is a challenge due to the loose rocks, steep terrain, and sharp switchbacks. The return trip will be along the flat, paved surface Arkansas River Trail where you will walk through the quarry you just saw from above. Wildlife is plentiful along this section of the trail.

Note: Since this workshop starts and finishes on the Arkansas River Trail, wheelchair participants may want to use this venue for a self-directed event along the Arkansas River Trail, meeting back up with the other participants on the return trip.

Leader: Mayor Patrick Hays, City of North Little Rock

Workshop Leader Bio:
This workshop will be led by Mayor Patrick Hays. He has been the Mayor of the City of North Little Rock since 1988. The mayor is an avid biker, hiker, promoter of outdoor activities, and was instrumental in building the Arkansas River Trail, the Big Dam Bridge, the Junction Pedestrian Bridge, and the vast trail system in Burns Park. He is a very strong advocate of biking/walking in place of driving cars and is actively promoting North Little Rock as a bicycle-friendly city. The Emerald Park Trail was one of his ideas and he knows the trail and the history around it better than anyone.

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