Bikers could not have had a more beautiful, sunny day for the dedication of the Enders Fault Mountain Bike Trail at Woolly Hollow State Park on National Trails Day. About 30 bikers, some with the whole family, showed up to help dedicate the trail and try it out for the first time.
Dignitaries on hand under the tent gave speeches, telling of the naming of the trail after the area’s active seismic fault line just north of the park. Arkansas State Parks Director Greg Butts, Superintendent of Woolly Hollow State Park Steve Wilson and President of the Central Arkansas Trail Alliance Bruce Alt all talked about the 9.2 mile trail that had been in the planning for five or six years. Wilson said, "We dreamed of this trail." Random Black, the contractor from Legacy Links Golf Course and Recreation Sports Construction was so excited about the project that he was in the woods and on the site every day from the first earth move in the cold month of January this year — not the usual method for a contractor.
Local mountain bikers from the Central Arkansas Off-road Group (COG) were there in numbers to christen the new trail after their President Erik Leamon said, "Our group will volunteer support to help the park staff maintain the trail." Some families rode the trail much earlier than the 10 a.m. dedication ceremony and were on hand for the formalities already back from their first ride, although some were winded and complained of soreness.
Marketing and Revenue Manager Joe Jacobs, dressed in true mountain bike gear, enthusiastically pointed out the good points and places to watch out for on a map of the trail. He described the trail as having two loops, the North Loop of approximately 4.17 miles and a South Loop of about 5.67 miles of mostly smooth tread. Both loops offer a singletrack tread through rolling hills and include short climbs and wonderful views, seasonal creek crossings, and some hillsides. He pointed out, "Once you are up the hill on the South trail, you've got a good time of just fun. The North trail does not have many rocks and it’s fast and flowy." While grinning ear to ear, he said, "It's got a big yippee factor to it!"
A good time was had by all who crowded around to cut the ribbon with a giant pair of scissors made of wood, just before they all took off for the first bike run. The Park hopes to plan races in the future. Hot dogs, cookies and drinks were served after the dedication.
The 438-acre park also offers opportunities for fishing, floating and swimming in the waters of Lake Bennett. Canoes, kayaks, pedal boats, and fishing boats are available for rent. The park includes a free launch ramp. Anglers will need to bring bait and fishing supplies since there are no commercial docks on the lake. Near the swimming beach are a snack bar and bathhouse with hot showers. For campers, Woolly Hollow features 30 Class AAA campsites and 10 Tent Sites without hookups. Other park facilities include a picnic area, standard pavilion, a visitor center and gift shop.
Woolly Hollow State Park is in Faulkner County northeast of Greenbrier just 10 miles at 82 Woolly Hollow Road. Travel north on U.S. 65, then go six miles east on Ark. 285 to the park. The Park is open every day. Call 501-679-2098 for more information.