Photos: Todd Gill, Fayetteville Flyer
Three more mountain bike trails are now open to the public at Centennial Park in Fayetteville.
The new trails can be accessed from the 2-mile, beginner-level loop called “Learner’s Permit” that leads up the mountain from a small parking lot at the top of Mountain Ranch Road south of Persimmon Street near Interstate 49.
Each of the new trails – called “Junk Drawer,” “Basket Case” and “Fayetteville Traverse” – are designated as blue-level, intermediate trails, meaning they are more difficult than the green-level “Learner’s Permit” trail that opened in June.
All together, the trails create a nearly four-mile loop off the southern slope of Millsap Mountain.
Because of their intermediate rating, the three new trails include some challenging gap-jump features, but they each include an alternate route around the jumps, so riders don’t need to have technical jumping skills to enjoy the new trails. Bypassing the jumps is easy – just ride around them!
Hikers and runners are welcome to use the trails, but are encouraged to use great caution, as bikers may appear quickly and at high speeds. Beginning bikers, young children, and hikers or runners who are not accustomed to longer trail lengths are encouraged to continue using the “Learner’s Permit” trail.
Construction throughout the park is ongoing, and trails are at varying stages of completion. As the work continues, park visitors should use caution and expect adjustments as trails become established with increased usage. Refer to park maps for information on closed sections and areas of caution and avoid active construction areas. Construction is also ongoing at the south end of Centennial Park where a primary access road is being built.
The cycling-focused Centennial Park sits atop Millsap Mountain and includes 228 acres that the city bought in 2018 using a grant and loan from the Walton Family Foundation. It will include mountain bike, cyclocross and trail running facilities, as well as a variety of other features. In all, about 11 miles of trail are planned at the park.
The park was selected to be the site of the 2022 Cyclocross World Championships. It will be just the second time the United States has ever hosted the event, which was first held in 1950 in Paris, France.