First mountain bike trail opens at Fayetteville’s Centennial Park

A mountain biker exits Centennial Park near Mountain Ranch Road on July 7 / Photo: Todd Gill, Fayetteville Flyer

The first of nine new mountain bike trails is now open to the public at Centennial Park in Fayetteville.

The 2-mile, beginner-level loop is called “Learner’s Permit” and is accessible from a small parking lot at the top of Mountain Ranch Road south of Persimmon Street near Interstate 49.

The cycling-focused Centennial Park sits atop Millsap Mountain and includes 228 acres that the city bought in 2018 using a grant and loan from the Walton Family Foundation. It will include mountain bike, cyclocross and trail running facilities, as well as a variety of other features. In all, about 11 miles of trail are planned at the park.

Trail Head sign pointing towards Mountain Ranch Road / Photo: Todd Gill, Fayetteville Flyer

The mountaintop was the site of a professional cyclocross race last October, and will host the 2020 Pan-American Cyclocross Championships, scheduled for Nov. 7-8, 2020.

It was also selected as the site of the Cyclocross World Championships in 2022. It will be just the second time the United States has ever hosted the event, which was first held in 1950 in Paris, France.

Rock Solid Trail Contracting have been constructing trails since last year, while Crossland Heavy Contractors began work on the park’s main entry drive off Old Farmington Road in May.

As more trails become available for use, users are urged to review trail descriptions and associated skill levels. Some downhill trails are for bicycle use only and are designated with signage as one-way traffic only.

Construction is ongoing at the south end of the park, so the primary access road will remain closed for public safety reasons until further notice.

Photo: Todd Gill, Fayetteville Flyer