Much of the Pfeifer Loop has been underwater lately. Not like a couple of years ago when all the sand moved in but still, mostly underwater. For the last few years we have had a dream of building a trail in the area that would be above most flooding. After working with management (Jeff and Ian) at North Little Rock Parks and Recreation, a partner of Central Arkansas Trail Alliance, we had a plan.
The group, minus a few how had to leave early. Great crew and thanks to all who made it out today.
Over the past couple of weeks we've been busy flagging routes for a trail on the north side of Lake Campbell paralleling Northshore Trail. The terrain is a bit more varied than other parts of Pfeifer Loop trails but the plan is to build something that could be enjoyed by everyone, hikers, trail runners, and mountain bikers.
Getting started at one end.
On March 4th, we started our build. A lot was accomplished in the first two hours before the rain came.
The workers cut trail so fast we had to speed up this video to get as much as possible in. (thanks to John Norris for this video.)
This trail will have great views of Lake Campbell.
Sometimes CATA President, Paul Norris seems a little too happy to be in the woods but we don't mind. (photo by John Norris)
You see the darnedest things when out in the nature. (photo by John Norris)
The trail winds its way under several Bodark trees. (photo by John Norris)
Although we got some rain a few stayed and others came back and even someone passing by on a road bike chipped in and we got most of the first half cut in. There is still some grubbing to be done and just a little dirt work but for the most part the first section is done. We will be hosting more work parties to finish the work we started and then continue on to the next section plus add in some fun alternative lines like the one below. Thanks to everyone who came out to help and thanks to North Little Rock Parks and Recreation for allowing us to create something new in their parks.
Later in the afternoon we took a break as a possible new line was tested. It is similar to the Gravity Cavity at Devil's Den State Park. So what do we call it?
This Sunday morning, a group of trail workers, made up of trail runners, hikers, and mountain bikers, gathered to enjoy some breakfast and a free cup of joe from the good folks at The Meteor Cafe. Plans were made and by 9 am we were headed to Allsopp Park to improve a new trail section begun by Central Arkansas Trail Alliance last year.
The java was appreciated as about 15 volunteers began taking care of various issues with the trail.
A dip in the trail was cleaned up giving hikers, trail runners, and mountain bikers a smooth transition and a little air if you're so inclined.
Some off-camber sections got some sweet bench cutting allowing trail users a more comfortable turn around the hill.
As the morning went on, the sun started peeking out shining it's approval on the work. It turned into a beautiful day in the woods.
Much like most of our trails, Allied Cycle Works bikes, the brand made at HIA Velo in Little Rock are Handmade In Arkansas. This past Tuesday night, CATA members and guests were treated to a tour of one of the most remarkable businesses in the area. Thanks to Barrett and Chris for giving us a tour of the production facility where state-of-the-art carbon bikes are being hand built for clients around the world.
Beer was provided by another local company excelling in handmade product, Flyway Brewing who offered up their recently canned Free Range Brown Ale. We had somewhere around 60 people there for the tours, beers and conversation. Save the date on your calendars for another social at another new spot in February on the second Tuesday of the month.
Update: We received the following note from Chris Bohannon at Allied.
Dear CATA members,
First and foremost, let me thank you for coming and taking a tour of the ALLIED factory. I hope you all were impressed with what this amazing staff is doing here. Equally, I want to let you know how impressed I was with your organization. Being new to Little Rock, it further solidified why I am here and gave me excitement to experience what Little Rock outdoor life has to offer.
By now, everyone should have received their 10% off coupon. If you did not, please let me know. Some of you mentioned to me that you were interested in some of our photo bike frames. They are significantly discounted. If you are still interested, please feel free to email me and we will make sure we get that frame set pulled for you.
Again, thank you so much for having your meeting here and we look forward to being part of your volunteerism and making Little Rock trails a premier experience.
“The line is blown out and it looks sexy as hell!” ~Melanie Norris
The morning of Sunday January 7th was the warmest wake up in days. There were a few women who were very happy to know that the temperatures would not be below freezing all day because they had plans to work in a new, 1/4 mile section of trail at the Boyle Park Mountain Bike Trails. Nine women gathered in the parking lot and began unloading tools, loppers, shovels, pick axes, saws, and rakes. In a couple of hours, a brand new entry trail took shape by the removal of privet, low branches, a few small trees, lots of vines and five bags of garbage. The new trail will allow riders to enter the trail (Grilled) on the east side of the parking lot and crossing the street at the section that is now closed to traffic. There is still work to be done removing a large tree, smoothing out the bumps of fresh new trail, and correcting some off camber sections, but it’s already rideable.
This new entrance will allow trail users to enter and exit the trail directly from the parking area instead of crossing the road . Maps will be available soon.
Following the trail work we headed over to Core Brewery in North Little Rock for well earned beverages and food.
There will be more ladies only work parties, more work parties at Boyle and work parties all around Central Arkansas. Check our calendar for the next fun day creating, fixing or even just enjoying the trail. - Lisa Mullis
The temperature was still in the teens at 9 am Monday morning when Paul, Melanie and I (Joe) showed up at the Jackfork Trailhead. The Jackfork is the main mountain biking trail at Pinnacle Mountain State Park. The trail is known for its rocks and short climbs, a good workout trail.
The goal of the day would be to improve some of the trail by removing rock that was blocking some of the better lines on what is known as the "Bail Trail," an access trail to the main loop that starts at the park visitor center parking lot and takes the higher route in. We only expected to get a few hundred yards. but we made quick work of much of it.
We didn't want to "dumb down" the trail too much just make some clear lines, the work went fast. Melanie had headed out with a backpack blower and covered over half of the entire trail system before we knew it. Paul and I worked crowbars on the larger rocks clearing quickly without removing all of the the rock gardens.
It was pretty cold at first but the work soon had us sweating. After about 4 hours of work we had reached the main loop and decided to call it quits. If you are heading out there soon, don't expect a super groomed trail, there are still plenty of rocks and roots along the way, but you should be able to enjoy a good ride on the bail trail.
If you're interested in helping with more work on the Jackfork or other trails in the area, please like our Facebook page and sign up for our newsletter. If you want to support the work of the Central Arkansas Trail Aliance, please join up.
The last several weeks have left many of our local trails in rough shape with straight line winds that toppled trees all over central Arkansas. While the damage was limited at Camp Robinson, CATA board members received word that much of the Iron Mountain Trails on DeGray Lake were blocked. Fred Phillips, the catalyst who created these destination trails, called asking for some help in clearing the trees. About that time I got a call from Dan Lysk of Chainwheel. Dan said his wife, Addie Teo would be riding the trails soon so we set up a way for her to send me "pin-drops" wherever she found a tree.
Central Arkansas Trail Alliance then put out the word, we would have a Trail Love day to knock out these downed trees and clean up the trails some. We had volunteers from Little Rock, North Little Rock, Hot Springs and Arkadelphia. I contacted Lost 40 Brewery who was nice enough to furnish post trail work recovery beverages.
Thanks to Addie, we knew exactly where 6 trees were and at around 8:30 on Saturday morning we split into several working groups to start clearing. One team took to the Yellow Trail earlier so we were mainly on the Green Trail. We made short work of the known trees and soon reorganized to walk and clear sections we were unsure about.
In the end, we took out at least 10 trees. With over 22 miles of trails and more recent storms, we can't guarantee that the trails are clear but they are certainly better. We moved on after the work to the recovery beverages, some peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and some bike riding.
So get out and enjoy the trails. If you are interested in supporting the work of Central Arkansas Trail Alliance, please join our crew.
Recent improvements in access to Camp Robinson Trails has spurred more interest in night riding in this premier mountain biking area. As Nappy Brown said, "The Night Time is the Right Time."
All participants should review the requirements listed below. Instructions: Complete the form and submit to: email@example.com or deliver to Post Operations. Carry a copy of the completed form during the ride. Please allow 2-3 days for approval of this form. 1. Ride only trails that you are familiar with. All riders should carry a map and ride the trails/route during the daytime prior to riding at night. 2. Carry a primary and a backup light system. 3. Carry a working Cell phone. 4. Use a "buddy system" when riding at night; no one rides alone. 5. Carry a recovery kit consisting with the following items at a minimum: inner tube, inflation device, patch kit. 6. Wear a helmet and eye protection.
7. All participants will need a Camp Robinson Sportsman Pass. (Info Here)
Please keep in mind that when you ride at Camp Robinson, night or day, you represent the mountain bike community as a whole. We know, like Charles Barkley said, “I'm not a role model. Just because I ride a mountain bike, doesn't mean I should raise your kids.” (Okay, so we took some liberty with the quote.) You are stuck with setting the example anyway. Please respect the Camp Robinson Rules, it's their property and we are lucky to have such a perfect place to ride. Don't cut trails or damage trails in any way, a lot of people have done a lot of work over the years to create this awesome facility. Lastly, consider signing up for a CATA work day to give back. It'll make you feel all good inside.
You may have noticed a lot of new trail showing up at Camp Robinson. Besides the weekend trail crews, there have been many smaller crews working on weekdays to improve the trails. Here are some things that you may have noticed this weekend. Enjoy the before and after photos.
Work is continuing on one of the newest trails, Gary's Little Lamb which connects the top of Elevator to Dogwood.
This section of standing water on Buddha near the berms, was repaired with sandbags and a little build up.
A very tough, technical turn at the intersection of Buddha and Bail of Nails has been reworked to improve flow.
Thanks to Bryan and Melissa Shipman for all the above work.
Also, stay tuned for information on improved access to the trails including a better process for purchasing a Sportsman Pass so you can enjoy these trails and help with their maintenance.
The focus of this work party is the private trail for the deckhouse. Upon completion, the installation of this 2 mile trail marks the first collaboration between The Nature Conservancy and mountain bikers.
We will be staying at an exclusive resort home with one of the most amazing views in Northwest Arkansas!!
This is truly a NO BOYS ALLOWED event. Don’t even try it :)
Tentative Schedule: Friday- 3-6pm meet and greet 6pm Dinner-Baked Potato Bar Saturday- 7am Continental Breakfast 830am Safety Meeting 9-Noon-ish Trail Work Noon-ish-Lunch 6pm Dinner-Taco Bar Sunday- 7am Continental Breakfast 830am meeting (if necessary) 9-Noon-ish Trail Work Noon-ish Lunch 2pm Ride at Lake Leatherwood
Accommodations, meals, beverages and tools provided. Space is limited, 16 remaining beds available on first come first served basis.
For sign-up, questions, dietary restrictions and complete location information, please contact Melanie Norris firstname.lastname@example.org
Representatives from the National Interscholastic Cycling Association (NICA) brought high school and junior high school competitive mountain biking to central Arkansas this past weekend. Nick and Haley McCurry along with Steve Schneider, the regional International Mountain Bicycling Association (IMBA) represented were hosted by Central Arkansas Trail Alliance at Boyle park for the first NICA training workshop in the area.
Nick had a chance to speak with local community leaders on what this kind of program can bring to area kids.
After a quick orientation to the program, the group headed out to the field for some drills.
And then it was time to hit the trails.
Here is a short video of the group enjoying the newly built section at Boyle Park.
After a good ride, it was time for lunch and the final wrap up on the day.
If you're interested in the NICA program contact them through their website. They need coaches and participants. IF you would like to keep up with these events, follow CATA on Facebook and Twitter.
Thanks to Bob Black-Ocken for the sound system and photography, Matt Goddard for photography, the Carve Mountain Bike Team for their support and Mike Mitchell for Pizza and Root Beer.