At Chaffee Crossing, three public trail systems are about to be connected after years of planning. Bikers, runners and walkers are already all over them.
Many people have worked a long time to make it happen, but a significant link soon will be completed in a great convergence of three public walking and biking trails. The newly completed Chaffee Crossing Trail (CCT) will soon connect with 8-plus miles of the Ben Geren Park Trail system, which provides a link to the two miles of the Massard Road Trail.
The two-plus miles of the CCT open a whole new world to those living in neighborhoods such as Highland Crossing, Haven, Residents and Providence. A myriad of destinations will be accessible via safe, separated paved trails.
Residents will be able to hop on a nearby section of the CCT to walk/bike for an appointment at a Mercy Clinic, to have a coffee at The Hub, or dine at one of several eateries located from Chaffee Crossing to the intersection of Massard and Rogers Avenue.
For a morning workout, combine the trio of paved trail systems for an enjoyable 14 plus-mile jaunt, winding through wooded hillsides filled with deer and other wildlife, along the shoreline of scenic Torraine Lake, or across a ridgetop offering expansive views across the valley below.
Families can walk/bicycle to the Nature Center, Ben Geren Disc Golf Course, Parrot Island Waterpark, or connect with nature on a portion of the 15 miles of natural-surface trails within Ben Geren Park.
The routes also open local businesses as destinations from neighborhoods bordering Ben Geren and Massard Road Trails. Residents of Huntington Chase, Reata, the Woods, Cisterna Villa and Stone Brook can use the network of trails to reach the Chaffee Crossing historic and warehouse districts to toast the end of their day at a local brewery or winery. Even more restaurants and other attractions are developing now in that area.
Students of the Arkansas Colleges of Health Education who live in on-campus housing have the option to keep their motorized vehicles parked and use only the CCT for local travel.
A report released in early 2018, commissioned by the Walton Family Foundation, showed that a typical Northwest Arkansas home, excluding homes sold in Fayetteville, located a quarter-mile from a shared‐use paved trail sells for $6,300 more than a home one mile from a shared-use paved trail and $14,800 more than a home two miles from a shared-use paved trail. Other communities across the country also report higher property values for homes located near trails.
Rod Coleman, chairman of ERC Holdings LLC, valued the importance of trails enough to pay to construct a spur trail to connect The Hub and Providence addition to the CCT.
“Trails, both off road and on path, are tremendous ways to elevate the quality of life in any area,” Coleman said.
Connectivity is the key. With the completion of additional planned phases of the CCT, trails will just get better. All three of these trails are open for the enjoyment of everyone. By entering at one of the many parking areas along the network, everyone can enjoy the benefits of these growing trail systems.
– By Bob Robinson