The newest addition to the state’s Monument Trails system is set to open at Devil’s Den State Park.
A ribbon-cutting is planned for 1 p.m. Thursday, May 6 at the Fossil Flats Trailhead in Camping Area A of the park, according to a release from Arkansas State Parks. The trails will be open for all hikers, mountain bikers, and trail runners following the ceremony.
Devil’s Den is the fourth state park to be included in the Monument Trails project, following Pinnacle Mountain, Hobbs and Mount Nebo. The project aims to feature world-class mountain biking trails for riders of all skill levels, while also showcasing the natural iconic beauty of Arkansas’ state parks. The goal for trail builders is to exemplify the highest quality in craftsmanship, innovation, and sustainability.
“Monument trails are seamlessly woven into the beautiful landscape of Arkansas State Parks to highlight unique terrain, historic landmarks, and scenic vistas,” according to the state’s website. “On these trails, users will connect to a sense of extraordinary place and history while building lasting memories from each visit.”
The work is paid for through a partnership with the nonprofit Arkansas Parks and Recreation Foundation. Major grants from the Walton Family Foundation also helped fund the project.
Thursday’s event will celebrate the opening of 12 new miles of trails at Devil’s Den, which is home to some of the oldest mountain bike-specific trails in the state dating back to the late 1980s. The original Fossil Flats trail was refurbished in 2020 by Rogue Trail Contracting of Rogers.
The new trails, combined with the Fossil Flats trails, bring the Monument Trails total mileage at Devil’s Den to 18 miles.
Rock Solid Contracting of Copper Harbor, Michigan built all 12 miles of the new trails at Devil’s Den. They feature extended cross-country routes along bluff drip lines, behind waterfalls, and through remote areas of the park that were previously inaccessible to park visitors.
The four-mile Devil’s Racetrack trail will connect the campgrounds in the south part of the park with the mountain bike trails in the northern part of the park. It is the longest of the new trails.
The trails were featured this week on Brian Kennedy’s BKXC channel on YouTube, which currently has over 428,000 subscribers. Kennedy travels the world to produce videos that give viewers a look at what it’s like to ride mountain biking trails while providing a brief history of how they came about. Watch the Devil’s Den episode above or on YouTube.
“The expansion of this historic trail system is testament to the park system’s long-term commitment to outdoor recreation and the mountain biking community,” said Stacy Hurst, secretary of the Arkansas Department of Parks, Heritage, and Tourism. “The inclusion of Devil’s Den State Park in the Monument Trails system is the bridge that connects our state’s remarkable history of mountain biking with the future of the sport.”