JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) - Craighead Forest Park is ready for more visitors now. The first phase of the walking and bike trail is complete.
Director of Jonesboro Parks and Recreation Wixson Huffstetler said people are already using it.
"We have six workout stations in place," Huffstetler said. "We've got benches and trash receptacles for rest areas. The bridge is done finally. It's beautiful. It's 300 feet long. So, this is a great asset to this park out here."
Huffstetler said the workout stations on the trail are the result of a grant.
"There are four pieces of work out equipment at each station," Huffstetler said. "They have anywhere from elliptical to leg press to bench press to stress bars to agility equipment. We were fortunate enough to get a grant from the Blue and You Foundation through Blue Cross, Blue Shield and they paid for all the equipment. So, I've actually had the equipment for two years now in storage waiting to build this."
Each workout station is unique and designed specifically for outdoor use.
"It's not heavy weights and stuff," Huffstetler said. "What's cool about each workout station is it has its own sign that shows you what part of the body it works out and how to do each station. So, they really put a lot of thought into designing this stuff when they developed this project."
Huffstetler said the county is lucky to have a park like Craighead Forest.
"Craighead Forest Park is a hidden jewel for us," Huffstetler said. "We're very fortunate to have a park this size that's not state owned or nationally owned. There's just so much to do for your families if you come out here. It's also a safe avenue to be able to run, walk, or ride a bicycle."
Huffstetler said the trail was designed for convenience and safety.
"There are signs on the road that walkers and runners have to use this trail," Huffstetler said. "The whole purpose of this was to separate the pedestrian traffic from the vehicle traffic. There are so many vehicles that come through here each day. It's just not safe. So, when you get to this point in the park you will have to use the trail."
The first phase of the trail is a little over a mile, beginning at access five and stopping at access two.
Phase two will start at access five and go to the park's entrance.
Wixson said they hope to begin construction of phase two after Labor Day.
"Phase three will be next year," Huffstetler said. "We'll have to build a new road on the north end of the park because the existing road will turn into the trail. So, we'll come in and build a new road next year in next year's budget to finish out this project. We'll have a new huge roundabout at the entrance. So that'll change the entrance up a little bit."
The trail is 12 feet wide, meeting the standard for both pedestrian and bicycle on it.
No vehicles, four wheelers or motorcycles are allowed on the trail.
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