Craighead Forest Park bike/pedestrian trail moves forward

Craighead Forest Park bike/pedestrian trail moves forward

JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) - A major project at Jonesboro's biggest recreation area is picking up the pace. A proposed bike and pedestrian trail is something that's been sorely needed at Craighead Forest Park for years and now it appears the days are numbered for cars to share the road with those doing their workout.

Drawing every walk of life, Craighead Forest Park park is rarely without a fisherman or a family but many head to the park for exercise.

"I like to bike out here because it's exactly three miles," Danny Glenn told Region 8 News. "It's hilly so you get a little extra work out and the trees shade the road on a sunny day."

Marvin Hinton's reasoning for exercising at Craighead Forest Park is simple.

"Well, it's beautiful out here, can't you see?" Hinton said.

Hinton and Glenn regularly walk the outside loop at the park. Glenn admitted he was walking off a long bike ride from earlier this week.

"Sixty seven miles. It was my birthday ride, I turned 67 this past week so I was gonna ride a mile for every year of age," Glenn said. "I'm trying to walk off the soreness today."

For those like Hinton and Glenn who walk the outside loop, traffic is a concern.

When asked if they ever had close encounters with speeding vehicles, both men quickly answered yes.

"When the speed limit was 15 they'd drive 25. Now it's up and they drive even faster," Hinton said.

While they take it all in stride, walking against traffic to make themselves move visible to drivers, the city is working on a solution so they won't have to anymore.

A 3.2 mile bike and pedestrian trail is in the works that will run parallel to the road.

At a city council meeting Tuesday night, aldermen approved a resolution to enter into a contract for engineering services on the trail.

"The more of those things they can do, the better for everybody," Glenn said. "It'll be safer, especially for people with children, you see a lot of people pushing strollers and stuff like that."

"It'd definitely give people peace of mind when they're out here for sure," college student Caleb Moss told Region 8 News. Moss regularly rucks the outside loop of Craighead Forest.

While Moss said he's never had a close call with a vehicle, he knows it's a possibility.

"Because of all the hills and everything in the area, people can be careless coming over the hills not expecting to see a person," Moss said.

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