Public input sought on historic trail designation in Fayetteville

The Butterfield Wayside Plaza is an interpretive marker along Lake Fayetteville Trail commemorating a remnant of the Butterfield Overland Trail route in North Fayetteville.

Todd Gill, Fayetteville Flyer

The National Park Service will hold a public input session regarding the suitability and feasibility of designating the Butterfield Overland Trail as a national historic trail from 10 a.m. until noon on Wednesday, April 11 in room 326 of Fayetteville City Hall.

Butterfield Wayside Plaza marker

Todd Gill, Fayetteville Flyer

The stagecoach trail, which passed through Arkansas in two routes, was a conduit for the U.S. mail from 1857 to 1861.

The main route from St. Louis to San Francisco entered Arkansas and passed through Pea Ridge Battlefield Park, Rogers, Springdale, Fayetteville, Van Buren and Fort Smith. A second route originated in Memphis and continued through Arkansas at Des Arc, Cabot, Conway, Russellville, Dardanelle, and Lavaca before joining the main route in Fort Smith.

Tuesday’s meeting is one of a series of sessions being held in states along the trail’s original routes.

The meetings are intended to gather public comments to be included in a special resource study authorized under the Omnibus Public Lands Management Act signed by President Barack Obama on March 30, 2009. It was ordered to determine what appropriate measures might be taken to preserve the stagecoach route, up to and possibly including designation as a national trail.

Butterfield Overland Trail

National Park Service

Those unable to attend the meeting may send written public comments to Gretchen Ward at [email protected] or to Butterfield Special Resource Study; Gretchen Ward; P.O. Box 728, Santa Fe, NM, 87504 by May 18.

The National Park Service invites everyone with an interest in the trail and its history to attend one or more of the public meetings.

Upcoming meetings

April 11 – Fayetteville, Arkansas
City Administration Building, Room #326
113 West Mountain Street
10 a.m. to noon

April 11 – Fort Smith, Arkansas
Riverfront Park Events Building
West Room
121 Riverfront Drive
5:30 to 7:30 p.m.

April 12 – Atoka, Oklahoma
Atoka Community Building
909 West Liberty Road
(Highway 3 West)
3 to 5 p.m.

April 13 – Abilene, Texas
Frontier Texas!
625 North First S
6 to 8 p.m.

Past meeting locations include cities in Arizona, California, New Mexico and Texas.