ARKADELPHIA (AGFC) – The City of Arkadelphia has announced the grand opening and ribbon cutting of the DeSoto Bluff Trail to be held July 30 at 10 a.m. in Arkadelphia.
Arkadelphia City Manager Jimmy Bolt said the city is excited to make the DeSoto Bluff area more accessible to the public while celebrating our natural resources, culture and history. "Our community has long-awaited development of the DeSoto Bluff, and many, many individuals are to thank for their vision and support in seeing this project to completion," Bolt said.
The flat, 2.5-mile trail winds through a secluded natural area, ending at the historic DeSoto Bluff, so named due to accounts that brought Spanish explorer Hernando de Soto to the area in search of famed gold. The Ouachita River lazily winds along nearly 80 feet below the bluff overlook.
The work for the DeSoto Bluff trail was completed with the assistance of an $80,215 grant from the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission Wildlife Observation Trails Pilot Program.
Interpretive signs have been erected along the trail to educate the public regarding the local wildlife, culture, and history of the area. Seven panels erected along the trail side and bluff area provide information about the famed Hunter-Dunbar expedition and local native American cultures, including the Caddo Indians, who once resided in the area. This project was supported in part by a grant from the Arkansas Humanities Council and the Department of Heritage.
From Little Rock, the trail entrance is located approximately 3.8 miles from Exit 78 on Hwy. 7 South/10th Street in Arkadelphia. Turn left at the balloons and trail sign. Overflow parking is located across the street from the trail entrance. Immediately following the ribbon cutting, the public is also invited to attend a reception at the Diamond Lakes Regional Visitors Center.