The Razorback Greenway, a great place to walk
After coming home from a long vacation out west, Linda and I decided it was high time we both lost some weight and got back into halfway decent shape again. Walking seemed like a good choice to begin our exercise program. We also ride our bikes every now and then but, personally, I prefer to walk. That way I am always having to put one foot in front of the other. With a bike, most of the downhill riding is just coasting.
You know, the older you get, the harder it is to lose weight and the harder it is to do some of the things that were routinely done only a few short years ago. At least that is how I find it, but then, maybe if I was more active more of the time, I wouldn’t lose so much ground to the aging process. I also have to consider the limitations of my heart condition, although my cardiologist does want me to exercise. The main thing is you have to listen to what your body is trying to tell you.
Currently, Linda and I feel pretty good if we get at least 10,000 steps in each day. Sometimes we go a fair amount over and sometimes we don’t quite make it. But for me, 10,000 steps equates to about four miles. That makes for a good base. If I get even more steps in, that’s all the better.
Since we live in the country, we have plenty of places to walk. But we have also been walking on the Razorback Greenway, a 37-mile system of biking/walking trails that begins on the south side of Fayetteville and runs up through the cities of Johnson, Springdale, Lowell, Rogers and Bentonville. If you haven’t been over to check out this wonderful trail system for yourself, this fall might just be the time to do it. I promise you these towns have done a really great job of building a system of trails that rival anything to be found anywhere in the entire country. Besides the main Razorback Greenway, there are many offshoot trails that take in points of interest in each of the towns which are connected by the Greenway. The Razorback Greenway cost more than $38,000,000 with the Walton Foundation kicking in $15,000,000 of matching funds. To say it has been well done is an understatement.
A good place to start learning more about the Razorback Greenway firsthand is to go down to Dickson Street in Fayetteville and get on the trail headed south. This will take you to the very beginning of the trail, which is about 1.8 miles from Dickson Street. It is a nice walk that takes you through a couple of small parks. At the end of the Greenway, another trail leads off to Kessler Mountain Regional Park. This trail is not yet completed, but work is ongoing to get it done.
Kessler Mountain Park (550-plus acres) has a number of soccer fields and baseball diamonds, together with many miles of mountain bike trails up on Kessler Mountain itself. Since we are not into mountain biking, we have not done any of these trails yet; they do look interesting. You need to sign in before you take off since there are more than 600 miles of mountain bike trails wending their way through the rough hills and it is possible to get lost. To get to Kessler Park, just take the Cato Springs exit off of 49 on the south side of Fayetteville. There are plans for paved walking trails in the hills as well.
Another good place to get on the Razorback Greenway is at Lake Fayetteville. The lake has its own trail around it, which is 5.25 miles long. This is a really nice trail for biking or walking. Or, you can stay on the Greenway and head toward the mall. This will take you under Highway 71 Business and up the hill beside the mall, although it is in a heavily wooded area and you would never know you were in an urban setting. This is probably some of the prettiest scenery of the entire trail system, but then, we haven’t seen all of the Greenway yet.
One place Linda and I enjoy walking on the Greenway is at Pinnacle Hills. We usually park at a bicycle shop whose name presently eludes me. It is located next to the Toyota dealership in Rogers. From Rainbow Curve, just turn right at Krispy Kreme and it is not far to the Toyota dealership. Take a left just as if you are going to the dealership and, immediately on the left, is the bike shop. The Greenway runs directly behind the shop. If you head south on the trail, it will lead you to Cross Church and from there under Interstate 49 and around Pinnacle Hills Mall. At the church, there is a side trail which leads around a small lake. This is a nice walk. If you walk around the lake and back to the bike shop, it is around four miles — about what we like to do at one time.
Linda and I hope to walk all 37 miles of the Razorback Greenway during this fall season. Hopefully, we will see some of you along the trail as well. Happy hiking!
Sam Byrnes is a Gentryarea resident and weekly contributor to the Eagle Observer. He may be contacted by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Opinions expressed are those of the author.