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Find the top rated cross country skiing trails in Batesville, whether you're looking for an easy short cross country skiing trail or a long cross country skiing trail, you'll find what you're looking for. Click on a cross country skiing trail below to find trail descriptions, trail maps, photos, and reviews.
Gem in the rough! Rail to trail close to Jonesboro, AR. Park at the Bank at SW Case and SW Texas to ride entire trail. Ride West 2 blocks then turn right and over tracks; start there or up another block. This trail is also on Google Maps, 13 miles round trip. Ride 5 miles to gravel then 1/4 mile to cross highway and finish the last mile. Be sure to stop by the Beatles memorial on Abbey Road in Walnut Ridge for a photo then enjoy a coffee at the Dark Side Shoppe.
Good News: Very nice, well maintained trail with lots of greenery, birds, so forth, adequate parking. The trail arcs north off the right of way and over to Walnut.
Bad News: Its too short. Only a half mile one-way.
This trail has major potential. The trail starts off on the old right of way on the Missouri and North Arkansas railroad that folded not long after WWII. The Heber Springs USGS quadrangle shows the right of way. There is very little to show there was once a rail line that ran all the way from Helena to Neosho, Mo. There is still a lot of the old right of way that runs from the current trail that runs south/east and remains undeveloped with houses, etc. You can see some of the old right of way as it parallels the Little Red River for several miles. This could make a really nice lengthy trail.
For Northeast Arkansas not bad at all. Let's go bad news first. The first 1 1/2 miles from the trailhead on the airport end is terrible. Skip it. Part of it is a jungle and another part of it has never been paved. Good news, from the point where Lawrence County Road 430 crosses the trail all the way to the Hoxie end trailhead is pretty nice. Again I'm not going to knock it because we have very few choices when it comes to non motorized vehicle trails in Northeast Arkansas. I was there on a Monday around noon and only saw one of person using the trail and he was walking on the Hoxie end. Flat easy ride, peaceful, and shaded in sections. Trail crosses one major street and a few quiet neighborhood streets. The useable part of the trail on a round trip ride is about 10 miles. As far as parking goes, I'd probably park at the Ridge Mall close to McDonald's and walk my bike across the street to the trail.
There's no designated parking except one handicapped space at the south end of the trail. The clerk at the convience store (intersection of BNSF tacks and 67B) let me park on the north side of the store. Go west on the street parallel to the tracks, cross over, go right at the next street, and pick up the trail. This section of the trail isn't too bad. Goes though the older residential areas.
When you pass the chevy dealership on the east side of the trail, and the trail leaves Walnut Ridge,it craps out. The trail seems to have been poorly paved with potholes and cracks with grass. After the trail banks due east, there is an unpaved section about 200 yards long. The path is loose ballast and hard to ride even with a mountain type tread. After the trail crosses US67 it's paved to the airport road but is narrow with hanging trees and bushes.
On the return trip I croosed 67 but rode the shoulder southbound, took a right on county road 430 then caught the trail.
Generally, its a flat easy ride sans the section already described. All kinds of field birds. I can imagine during the summer the mosquitos are thick. I drove from Searcy to check out this trail and probably won't go back.
We drove all the way to the Walnut Ridge Airport and discovered the trailhead there was blocked with an iron gate, and padlocked cyclone fencing prohibited any entry. Folks at the airport terminal told me the trail was only paved for about a mile at the 'airport end', due to a bridge not yet being constructed.
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