Today we hear from Misty Murphy, Northwest Arkansas Council Regional Trails Coordinator. Misty is Northwest Arkansas’ first regional trails coordinator and works with local governments, trail advocates, and other stakeholders to develop a work plan to highlight the trail system’s most beneficial attributes for runners, walkers, hikers and cyclists. The Razorback Greenway stretches from Bella Vista to Fayetteville, and several of the region’s cities use it as the backbone of the larger trail system.

We have an opportunity to transform Northwest Arkansas into a regional destination for fitness enthusiasts and a haven for local pedestrians who enjoy an urban nature walk. I am excited to help facilitate development and make the system even more accessible to more people. With Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, University of Arkansas athletics, Arvest Ballpark, our region’s stunning outdoor settings and now the Razorback Greenway, we’re constantly giving more people reasons to live here and visit here.

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 Razorback Greenway Trail System  

Source: On The Ground by Alta Planning

This Saturday, May 2, marks a big day for trails in Northwest Arkansas. After more than a decade of planning and more than five years of construction, the Razorback Regional Greenway will officially open in its entirety on Saturday. This regional trail warrants a regional celebration, and activities will take place up and down the 36 miles of trail throughout the day. The hub of events is at Shiloh Square in downtown Springdale with a ribbon cutting at noon.

Other events include individual city kick-offs in Fayetteville, Rogers and Bentonville, guided bike rides, free train and bus transportation along the trail route, history walks and garden walks. You can find additional details on events at and even check in that you’re coming on the Grand Opening event page hosted by Northwest Arkansas Trails on Facebook.


 Event Schedule for Grand Opening

The Illinois River Watershed Partnership will be participating in the Grand Opening of the Razorback Regional Greenway by having an informational booth setup at the Rogers Mercy Trailhead and Shiloh Square in Springdale. Goody bags will be handed out to the first 50 visitors at the Shiloh Square IRWP booth. A guided waterways trail ride from Shiloh Square to Lake Springdale will follow the noon dedication.

IRWP is excited to partner with the Regional Planning Commission to promote the Regional Razorback Greenway and provide funding for green infrastructure along five major trailheads within the watershed. Grant funding, provided by U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and Arkansas Natural Resources Commission, will help cities to implement green infrastructure elements such as bioswales, rain gardens, pervious pathways, tree wells and establish trees for riparian and waterway health.

The Mercy Tailhead, located in Rogers, Ark., was the first green infrastructure to be completed. Following will be the Amazeum Museum, Bentonville, Lake Springdale Trailhead, Gordon Long Park Trailhead, Fayetteville, and the Carol E. Van Scyoc Trailhead in Johnson, Ark. Green infrastructure is an alternative way to build surfaces, pathways and incorporate rain-capturing elements to reduce non-point source pollution.


Many trails cross or run along urban creeks and streams in the Illinois River Watershed.

Source: NWA Online