Excitement for the grand opening on May 2 of the Northwest Arkansas Razorback Regional Greenway is palpable, almost like a University of Arkansas football game day. Hundreds of people are expected to turn out and take part in the many activities planned on and along the route, which touches six cities and provides recreational and transportation opportunities for a half million residents of the area.
The Greenway is a 36-mile-long, shared-use trail that extends from the Bella Vista Trail in Bentonville to the Frisco Trail in Fayetteville. The paved trail contains impressive bridges, follows along several creeks, runs through farmland and wooded areas, and connects to other trails, lakes, and parks. While the greenway offers plenty of scenic beauty, it also links dozens of popular community destinations, including six downtown areas, arts and entertainment venues, restaurants, historic sites, playgrounds, and residential communities.
Whether you like to bike, walk, or run on the Greenway, there are numerous activities to take part in during the grand opening. Plus, the Ozark Regional Transit and the Arkansas & Missouri Railroad are offering free transportation along the Greenway throughout the day. Hop on the bus or the train for a ride to various activities. Bikes are even allowed on both modes of transportation.
The main festivities, consisting of the ribbon cutting and speeches, take place at noon at the Shiloh Square in Springdale. Downtown Springdale will also have bike demonstrations, family-friendly rides, a bike rodeo, food vendors, a taco competition, and hikes.
At 7 a.m., the first official end-to-end Greenway ride takes place starting at Bella Vista Lake. Ride the whole 36 miles and you receive a commemorative t-shirt. Throughout the day, shorter rides also take place at central locations of each city located on the Greenway.
Fayetteville’s kick-off starts at 9:45 a.m. at Dickson Street Crossing, where you can also catch the train to downtown Springdale. Ozark Regional Transit offers bus rides to Springdale from Mercy Medical Center in Rogers, or bike the trail with a group beginning at 9:30 a.m. at the Mercy Trailhead. Bentonville’s kick-off is at 9 a.m. at its downtown activity center, located at 215 SW A St.
Mountain bikers as well as road cyclists can enjoy various rides. The Ozark Off-Road Cyclists will lead a beginner-friendly mountain bike ride around Rogers’ Lake Atalanta at 9 a.m. and then ride up to the Rogers Depot before riding the train to the main festivities in Springdale.
History walks take place all along the route at 2 p.m. and 3 p.m. Join Master Gardeners for horticulture walks too. The walks are all about one mile in length, except for Fayetteville’s, which is about two miles. The Shiloh Museum in Springdale offers a concert from 1 p.m. to 2 p.m.