NORTHWOODS TRAILS – HOT SPRINGS’ WORLD-CLASS MOUNTAIN BIKE TRAILS
Northwoods Trails is a multi-use trail system located on 2,000 acres of city property less than two miles from Bathhouse Row in Downtown Hot Springs. The land that is now home to our world-class mountain biking trails is also home to the oldest water treatment plant in Hot Springs. The Lakeside water plant is well over 100 years old and still pulls water from Lake Rix, located just north of the property, to treat and pump out to the city, providing drinking water to the Uptown/Park Avenue Community. The trails are built around three pristine lakes that were also once used as reservoirs for the city. The Lakeside Water Plant Property is no stranger to outdoor recreation. For many years, Hot Springs residents would enjoy beautiful summer days on the lake. Picnics and weddings were held. In the early '90s, Attila the Hun Cross Country Mountain Bike Race called this property home and used trails built by local volunteers. Then after that unforgettable day, September 11, 2001, when our nation was attacked, the leadership of Hot Springs felt the area should be closed to the public to protect our drinking water source from being polluted by an act of terrorism. Eventually, the lower three lakes located on the property were taken offline and no longer used to supply the city. Once this occurred, the city’s Park & Trails Department began to rally for the property to once again be used for recreational purposes, enhancing the quality of life for the residents of Hot Springs. This dream became a reality with funding from the City of Hot Springs Advertising & Promotion Commission and the Walton Family Foundation.
With 50/50 funding from the two organizations of $1.3 million, we built Phase 1 of Northwoods Trails. We now have 16.5 miles of world-class mountain biking trails. The trails have a little something for everyone, from beginner green trails to intermediate blue trails and even advanced black diamond trails. You’ll find cross-country trails of all three levels, as well as more modern flow trails in each level of riding, beginner (green), intermediate (blue), and advanced (black diamond). The majority of the trails are also foot-friendly, welcoming hikers and trail runners. Trail users can take in beautiful lake views as well as plants and wildlife, or they can catch some air, riding their bikes downhill over features such as tabletops, step-ups, step-downs, or even gap jumps! The trails continue into county property by connecting to 10 miles of trails in Cedar Glades Park. Outdoor enthusiasts have access to 26.5 miles of trail just minutes from Historic Downtown Hot Springs.
The Northwoods Trails sees visitors from all over the country and world. In the park’s less than two years of existence, it has become home to a growing community of local mountain bikers, trail runners, and hikers.
The Northwoods Trails is a multi-phase trail project with hopes of building somewhere in the ballpark of 20 more miles of trail in the system. Build it, and they will come. Even better, build it, and they will stay.