Temporary Rerouting of Sections 1-4 of the West Summit Trail at Pinnacle Mountain State Park

For Immediate Release

(ROLAND, Ark.)--To address the wear and erosion caused by the thousands upon thousands of footsteps by hikers who enjoy this trail experience each year, renovation work has been underway on the three-fourths-mile West Summit Trail, one of the most popular trails at Pinnacle Mountain State Park. This is one of park’s two trails that lead to the summit of 1,011-foot Pinnacle Mountain. According to Park Superintendent Ron Salley, “Beginning this Friday, hikers on the West Summit Trail will be rerouted around sections 1-4 of the trail and directed up the park’s emergency access road to meet up with the West Summit Trail higher on the mountain.” He noted that signage will direct hikers along the rerouted section.

Salley said, “The trail will still be accessed from the West Summit Picnic Area off Ark. 300. However, the trail’s current trailhead will be closed temporarily. Hikers will access the trail just to the west of the trailhead where a metal bridge is located. From here, a temporary trail will lead to the park’s Base Trail, a trail that encircles the base of Pinnacle Mountain.” He continued, “Following a portion of the Base Trail, hikers will go west until they reach the park’s emergency access road. At the emergency access road, signage will direct hikers to the temporary alternate route of the West Summit trail, or to the East Summit Trail.”

Salley emphasized, “By following the alternate route, hikers will stay out of harm’s way while personnel from AmeriCorps and the Arkansas State Parks Trail Crew work on the trail between markers 1 and 4.” He noted that the renovation work which has already been completed on the other sections of the West Summit Trail has made it wider with easier to navigate tread and steps.

It is anticipated that this section of the trail work will be completed by early spring. “Even park resources such as trails wear out, and trail renovation work such as this is an integral part of natural resource management,” said Salley.

The trail crews are addressing problems including erosion caused by both hikers’ use and runoff. Since the movement of water causes erosion and exposes tripping hazards, work is being done to done to divert water off the trail. In addition, trail hazards are being corrected and work is being done to the trail’s route to encourage hikers not to stray off the trail.

Salley noted that all the trails in the park, including the West Summit Trail, remain open. The park’s wide variety of trails includes the Base Trail, Ouachita Trail, barrier-free Kingfisher Trail, Rocky Valley Trail, East Quarry Trail, and barrier-free Arkansas Trail. The park also includes two mountain bike trails: the seven-tenths-of-a-mile Rabbit Ridge Mountain Bike Trail and 7.4-mile Jackfork Mountain Bike Trail. The trails vary in length and difficulty. For more information on Arkansas State Parks trails use the online trail search tool at: http://www.arkansasstateparks.com/things-to-do/trails/.

The West Summit Trail was originally constructed in the summer of 1977, one year prior to Pinnacle Mountain State Park’s dedication and official grand opening in 1978. This first trail ascending Pinnacle Mountain started in the current West Summit Picnic Area and was constructed by crews from the Youth Conservation Corps (YCC). The original 1977 trail followed approximately the same route as the current trail until about halfway up the mountain. In the early 1980s, the upper half of the trail was rerouted to where it is today.

Pinnacle Mountain State Park is in Pulaski County just west of Little Rock. It is a day-use park dedicated to environmental education, recreation and preservation. The park is one of the 52 state parks administered by the State Parks Division of the Arkansas Department of Parks and Tourism. Information on Pinnacle Mountain State Park can be found at: http://www.arkansasstateparks.com/pinnaclemountain/.

For more information, contact: Ron Salley, Park Superintendent, Pinnacle Mountain State Park, 11901 Pinnacle Valley Road, Little Rock, AR 72223; phone: 501-868-5806; e-mail: ron.salley@arkansas.gov.

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