Trail users in south Fayetteville have likely noticed the new trailhead intersection that will soon lead to Kessler Mountain Regional Park.
While there’s still plenty of work remaining, a small section of the new Cato Springs Trail is visible from its connection point on Town Branch Trail.
The 2.7-mile stretch of trail will begin at Town Branch Trail near Greathouse Park, and follow the Cato Springs Branch while utilizing a series of crossings, underpasses, bridges and a tunnel as it heads southwest to the base of Kessler Mountain.
The work has so far come in several phases, with city crews responsible for about 1.7 miles of pathway. Private contractors are in charge of another mile of trail, including a tunnel under Razorback Road and a bridge following the overpass at the Fulbright Expressway.
Funding help for the project comes from a $150,000 grant from the Walton Family Foundation for design costs as part of a plan to extend the 37-mile Razorback Greenway to the new regional park. The foundation followed that grant with $2 million in matching funds for construction of the new trail. The remaining $2 million needed came from the city’s trail development capital improvement program.
Matt Mihalevich, the city’s trails coordinator, said if all goes according to plan, the new trail will be open late this year or early 2018.
We set out on foot last month to snap some photos headed south from Town Branch Trail. Below is what we came back with. There has been more progress since these photos were taken.