Sunday, August 12, 2012

Emerald Park and River Trail News

Update 2/3/15: Big News on Emerald Park and Big Rock Quarry can be found here.

Emerald Park and the River Trail both receive lots of coverage on this blog and in Trails of Central Arkansas.  Emerald Park has some great trails and some of the most incredible scenery Arkansas has to offer, which is why its waterfalls are included on the cover of my book.  The River Trail is one of the best and smartest things the governments of central Arkansas have ever done.  It helps attract businesses and people back into our urban core and improves residents' quality of life.

For these reasons it is shocking that the city of North Little Rock would consider marring this priceless view and recreational resource by selling greenspace to a private developer.  Parkland is rarely recovered from developed land, so cities should be careful about selling their openspace to developers.  Anyone who has biked the entire River Trail knows that the North Little Rock side is vastly superior to the Little Rock side due to the large parks and natural areas on that side as well as the fact that you have to compete with traffic for a large section of the Little Rock side.  This plan would hurt the North Little Rock section of the trail in both these categories by removing greenspace from a section of the trail and increasing vehicular traffic to River Road and the park area.

If you live in North Little Rock, let your elected officials know how you feel about selling greenspace to private developers or attend the City Council meeting this Monday (August 13, 2012) where the sale and development plans will be discussed.

Here are some other sites with information on the proposed sale:

And a Facebook page:

The development proposal has been pulled from the agenda for the next city council meeting.  I don't know if that means the plan is dead or just in hibernation.  If you live in North Little Rock you should push to have that area officially zoned as parkland so this type of plan won't pop-up again.

Do we really want to ruin this?

Emerald Park Cliffs Arkansas River

Emerald Park Waterfalls Cliffs Arkansas River Little Rock

Emerald Park Cliffs Arkansas River Little Rock


  1. The pictures that were taken that are pictured above are beautiful! I walked the river trail today and i wanted to go up to the top of quarry but i couldnt figure out how to get up there. Do you know how i can do that?

    1. There are great maps and directions in my Trails of Central Arkansas book! Now that I've made the requisite book plug (starving grad student here) I can also tell you that you can reach the trails on top via two dirt trails off of the River Trail or you can drive up to a parking area near Pulaski Tech or another, newer one, by Ft. Roots. The link below shows the parking lot by Pulaski Tech. You can see the dirt trail switchbacks too.,-92.300722&num=1&t=h&z=17