New trails opening Thursday, May 6, offer access to more areas of the park to hikers, mountain bikers, and trail runners
(WEST FORK, Ark.) – Arkansas State Parks will dedicate the latest expansion of the Monument Trails system with 12 miles of new trails at Devil’s Den State Park in West Fork, Arkansas. With support from the Walton Family Foundation, these trails, combined with the newly refurbished Fossil Flats trails, bring Monument Trails’ total mileage at Devil’s Den to 18 miles. Monument Trails are world-class mountain biking destinations that showcase the natural iconic beauty of the parks they are within while exemplifying the highest quality in craftsmanship, innovation, and sustainability.
A ribbon-cutting will be held at 1 p.m. on Thursday, May 6, 2021, at the Fossil Flats Trailhead in Camping Area A of the park. Speakers will include Arkansas State Parks Division Director Grady Spann, Devil’s Den Superintendent Monte Fuller, Arkansas Parks, and Recreation Foundation Executive Director Suzanne Grobmyer, and Walton Family Foundation Senior Program Manager Gary Vernon. The trails will be open for all hikers, mountain bikers, and trail runners to enjoy following the ceremony.
Devil’s Den State Park is home to some of the oldest mountain bike-specific trails in the state dating back to the construction of the Fossil Flats Trail in the late 1980s. Fossil Flats was refurbished in 2020 by Rogue Trail Contracting of Rogers, Arkansas, as part of the collaboration between the Arkansas Parks and Recreation Foundation and Arkansas State Parks to create the Monument Trails system.
“The expansion of this historic trail system is testament to the park system’s long-term commitment to outdoor recreation and the mountain biking community,” said Stacy Hurst, secretary of the Arkansas Department of Parks, Heritage, and Tourism. “The inclusion of Devil’s Den State Park in the Monument Trails system is the bridge that connects our state’s remarkable history of mountain biking with the future of the sport.”
Arkansas State Parks Director Grady Spann added, “Much like the Monument Trails at Mount Nebo State Park, the rock work that defines these world-class trails is reminiscent of the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) construction that created the first facilities in these parks.”
Rock Solid Contracting of Copper Harbor, Michigan, is responsible for constructing all 12 miles of new trails that feature extended cross-country routes along bluff drip lines, behind waterfalls, and through remote areas of the park that were previously inaccessible to park visitors. There are also two downhill lines named for a couple of CCC workers, Orville and Sparky.
The Devil’s Racetrack will connect the campgrounds in the south part of the park with the mountain bike trails in the northern part of the park, which, at almost four miles, is the longest of the new trails. Borrowing from other CCC terminology, We Can Take It, Dollar-A-Day, Goldbrick, and All You Can Eat round out the rest of the new trails.
“The Civilian Conservation Corps is responsible for much of the Arkansas State Park system we have come to love and know today and our Foundation, through its mission, aims to build on their legacy,” said Suzanne Grobmyer, executive director of Arkansas Parks and Recreation Foundation. “Devil’s Den State Park is one of those places where we are meeting that mission in this moment, and we are proud that our work here captures the spirit of that history while looking forward to the future.”
Devil’s Den State Park joins other Monument Trail sites at Hobbs State Park-Conservation Area, Mount Nebo State Park, and Pinnacle Mountain State Park. Bike/Hike-in campsites and a bridge on Devil’s Racetrack over the Yellow Rock trail are being planned. Information on all the Monument Trails can be found at MonumentTrails.com.
Devil’s Den currently offers 17 cabins with kitchens and fireplaces and 6 camper cabins, 135 campsites (44 Class AAA, 24 Class D [no hookups], eight hike-in [tent only], and 42 sites with hookups in the horse camp that includes a bathhouse and access to the horse trails). The park’s cafe is open seasonally, the pool is open in the summer, and group camp, standard pavilion, playground, store, and a meeting room are on-site. Reservations can be made at the state parks website.
About Monument Trails
The Monument Trails are destination trail systems at Arkansas State Parks acting as access points for greater outdoor adventures. Monument Trails are world-class mountain biking destinations that showcase the natural iconic beauty of the parks they are within while exemplifying the highest quality in craftsmanship, innovation, and sustainability. These multi-use trails offer enduring outdoor experiences to trail riders of all skill levels, connecting them to a sense of place and history while providing a modern approach with visually unexpected architectural features and art. Learn more at MonumentTrails.com.
About Arkansas State Parks
Arkansas State Parks is a division of the Arkansas Department of Parks, Heritage, and Tourism. Arkansas state parks and museums cover 54,400 acres of forest, wetlands, fish and wildlife habitat, outdoor recreation facilities, and unique historic and cultural resources. The system includes 1,100 buildings (including 183 historic structures), six National Historic Landmarks, a National Natural Landmark, 16 sites on the National Register of Historic Places, and War Memorial Stadium.
The state parks have 1,800 campsites, 1,050 picnic sites, 208 cabins, five lodges, and 415 miles of trails. Eight million visitors annually come from all regions of the country. Park staffs provide over 42,000 education programs, activities, and special events to more than 700,000 participants each year.
Established in 1923, Arkansas State Parks preserve special places for future generations, provide quality recreation and education opportunities, enhance the state’s economy through tourism, and provide leadership in resource conservation. Connect with us on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and visit ArkansasStateParks.com and ArkansasStateParks.com/media to learn more about everything we have to offer.
About Arkansas Parks and Recreation Foundation
The Arkansas Parks and Recreation Foundation is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization dedicated to enhancing parks and recreational opportunities throughout Arkansas. Outdoor recreation is a way of life in Arkansas, and the Foundation was established to support, protect, enhance, and add value to the places that provide exceptional recreational experiences across the Natural State. The spirit of the organization is about improving our quality of life while paying tribute to the legacy of the Civilian Conservation Corps, which laid the groundwork for the modern tenets of conservation.