Frontier Ozark Off-Road Cyclists and the city of Alma continue working together on a 14-mile trail around Lake Alma.
Lap Bui of the cycling group said the master plan for the trail, which was funded by private donations and Alma area businesses, is complete and has been approved by the city.
Buddy Gray, Alma Planning director with parks duties, said his department is “fine tuning” a model to obtain funding from various entities with hopes to begin the next phase of development this winter.
A map of the trail shows a four-mile beginner level lake loop, a five-mile intermediate level perimeter loop, a four-mile advanced alternate line, a one-mile “flow zone,” a half-mile spillway connector, a one-third-mile possible dam connector and the existing hiking trail.
“I think it’s going to be a great tourist attraction,” Gray said. “Hopefully we can get funding and start by this winter, the best time to start work on it when the leaves are gone and we can get a better idea of where exactly to place the trails.”
Gray went on to say that the existing trail on the lower end of the lake will remain solely dedicated to hiking, and there is talk of adding a “progressive playground” with “pump tracks” for training purposes.
The track will be able to meet competition level requirements, Gray added.
The city of Van Buren has also approved the master plan for a mountain bike trail being developed by Frontier Ozark Off Road Cyclists on a 50-acre tract of land donated to the city of Van Buren by Chad and Betty Ann Colley. About $141,000 from local businesses and citizens of Van Buren have been donated for the project. The Van Buren Advertising & Promotion Commission also gave $5,000 to develop the master plan.
Bui could not disclose any details, but the cyclists are also working to develop more “surface trails” in Van Buren and are in the initial design and concept stages for a “pocket” park that for bikes that incorporate “jumps, berms and flow lines.”
The cycling group is also working on a concept plan for a kids pump/skills track for Ben Geren Park in Fort Smith and plans to update signage and features on existing trails.
The signage would provide better trail markings and enable people who are new to the trail system to better navigate the 13-plus miles of trail, Bui explained.
At Springhill Park in Barling, Frontier Ozark Off-Road Cyclists are in the planning stages for the Springhill Mountain Bike Event to take place Oct. 28.
The Barling event attracts about 200 riders and racers and more than 100 spectators, many from out of town and out of state.