The City of Fayetteville purchased Kessler Mountain, an approximately 387-acre forest, for public use. The City commissioned Progressive Trails Design LLC, a local trails design, planning, and construction company, partnered with Alta Planning and Design and Ozark Ecological Restoration Incorporated, to prepare a master plan for recreational trail use at Kessler Mountain. In addition to the recreational trail planning, the major emphasis for the plan will be environmental protection for the 387 acres.
Why is it important?
Kessler Mountain was identified by multiple organizations and individuals as a premier natural area of the region and the state that needed to be preserved and available for public recreation. The nature preserve, coupled with a developed recreation area, will provide the people of Fayetteville and surrounding areas unparalleled experience in outdoor recreation, education, observation and appreciation. Citizens are already enjoying the almost seven miles of nature trail accessible from a new trailhead located at the adjacent Regional Park, which is currently under first phase development. To further ensure protection of this unique resource, a conservation easement with the Northwest Arkansas Land Trust will be entered into.
What is the current status?
The final draft of the master plan has been adopted by the Fayetteville Parks and Recreation Advisory Board and approved by the City Council on May 3, 2016. It is currently available for public view and accessible on this webpage. The next step will be an effort to implement the plan. Parks and Recreation staff will be working to seek private property access and construction funding, establish improved access to the trails, repair existing problem areas, and begin construction on new trails.