Leaders Discuss New Regional Trails Plan

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FORT SMITH (KFSM) – Bicyclists and runners in the River Valley could soon benefit as a regional organization is mapping out new trails for the area. Leaders want folks in the Fort Smith area to enjoy the outdoors, have a safe place to exercise, and to be able to easily travel to different cities in the River Valley without having to drive a vehicle. This is all by using a new riding and walking trail that’s in the works.

Leaders will discuss topics on Thursday (Jan.28) by showing the drafts of what planners have come up with. The green dash lines represent the trails that will connect with all of the communities. It’s all from the regional group called Frontier Metropolitan Planning Organization.

After it’s all approved they would like to have trails connecting Fort Smith, to Greenwood, Van Buren, and beyond.

This project has been in the works for about a year. So far, the Fort Smith community has been giving nothing but positive feedback for the new additions. Folks in the River Valley have seen these trails in other areas like Northwest Arkansas and have seen how much and how often they’re used. They’re now patiently waiting for the River Valley’s turn to try out a trail system.

“It’s a big draw for everybody,” said Frontier MPO Director Dianne Morrison. “Many businesses when they come in look for any quality of life whether it would cycling or fitness,” said Morrison.

Leaders said there’s no set price on this project yet. The committee will open the discussions to the public in February so folks in the River Valley can offer ideas as to what they’d like to see on the trails and in other parts of the area.

The meeting will take place starting at 10:30 a.m. inside the Riverfront Events Building near downtown Fort Smith. The meeting is open to the public.