We quickly reached Compton Gardens after heading north on A St. Where the paved trail forks, we took the Art Trail to the right. This trail is short, but has some interesting sights and another plus for the botanically oriented like myself, the trees and shrubs are labeled. This trail currently dead-ends at the southern entrance to the museum, so we turned around and backtracked to the Crystal Bridges Trail. After turning right on the trail, we followed it through the woods for a while, stopping at the construction viewing platform and some of the sculptures along the path. One slightly shocking thing I noticed, is that there is a dirt path paralleling the paved trail that is not just used by, but is actually intended for mountain bikers. Pretty cool for a trail named after a museum!
After the museum area, the paved trail passes a wastewater treatment plant and runs along a road. Where the trail borders the road, it is separated by a concrete barrier. Way to go Bentonville. As I made clear in another blog entry, this is the only way to make a bike lane on a road truly safe.
For the next mile or two, the paved trail is surround by tons of mountain biking trails and courses. We stopped for a break near the northern most marker on the map below to watch lots of mountain bikers whiz around a fun looking course.
From there we followed the trail west then south past a new-looking dog park with a restroom and parking area. We then followed the Blue Route, which simply followed some roads back to the square. Had we known that, we might have just taken the trail back.
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