Construction is under way on a new trail that will connect Scull Creek Trail to Lake Fayetteville Trail, thanks to a partnership between the cities of Fayetteville and Johnson.
The nearly three-mile Clear Creek Trail is part of the Northwest Arkansas Razorback Regional Greenway, a 36-mile trail that will connect south Fayetteville to north Bentonville, and is funded by a grant from the Walton Family Foundation to the Northwest Arkansas Regional Planning Commission.
“Our work in Northwest Arkansas is all about improving quality of life,” said Rob Brothers, director of the Walton Family Foundation’s Home Region Focus Area. “We look at trails as having multiple purposes. They provide recreation and opportunity to get outdoors, but they also provide alternative transportation. So this is project is definitely a quality of life issue.”
Once complete, Clear Creek Trail will extend north from the Scull Creek Trail and Mud Creek Trail connection to pass under the Gregg/Wilkerson Bridge where it will continue north along Mud Creek. The trail will then extend east along Clear Creek just north of the Northwest Arkansas Mall. At Highway 71B, the trail will pass under the existing highway bridges and continue along the south side of Clear Creek to connect to the Lake Fayetteville Trail at the south end of the spillway bridge.
Several bridges and access points are planned including an extension that will connect to the west side of the Northwest Arkansas Mall near JCPenney. Access points are also planned at Wilkerson Street, Ball Street, and near the cell tower behind Dollar General on Main Drive.
While trails are nothing new to Fayetteville residents, Clear Creek Trail will be Johnson’s first.
“This is a great step forward for us,” said Johnson Mayor Buddy Curry. “I don’t think it’s the end.”
A nonprofit group, Johnson Clear Creek Trails, was created to manage the project and will continue trail efforts in Johnson, including securing funds for eventually extending the trail to Arvest Ballpark.
Fayetteville Trails Coordinator Matt Mihalevich said construction of Clear Creek Trail would likely last about a year, and that an in-progress project to close the paved loop around Lake Fayetteville Trail could be completed as early as spring 2013.