The Community Center will serve as a primary Trail Hub for the Eureka Springs Trails System, a project of the Eureka Springs Parks and Recreation Commission.
In addition to its many festivals and other attractions, Eureka Springs is a mecca for hiking and biking accessed by its large city parks. With intense tourism comes traffic congestion, making it difficult to drive or park during busy visitor weekends in a community of narrow streets and minimal parking spaces. Also, parking is expensive if used on an everyday basis by local residents.
The difficulties in finding parking and the expense incurred if paid parking is used regularly are important factors in finding alternative forms of transportation. Some residents regularly use off-road paths that lie within the city limits, but they are on private property with no legal access.
The Eureka Springs Trails System will provide a comprehensive, well-planned, and supported public network of trails, interconnected by lesser used streets and sidewalks where necessary. It will offer a safe, peaceful, and less costly alternative to travel from one point in the city to another.
The Eureka Springs Trails System will also present additional in-town opportunities for recreation in this tiny community. The history of Eureka Springs began long ago when Native Americans left the imprint of their trails leading to each of the city’s healing springs. Simple, natural trails provide a healthy, alternative mode of travel which is cost-effective, scenic, and which is perfectly consistent with the historic nature of the town. Walking on trails can immerse the traveler in that experience and can foster the formation of a stronger and deeper connection with the natural and historic surroundings and to the community living there. A sense of place is born.
In Eureka Springs, public sentiment toward trail development is very strong. Individuals, trails clubs, bicycle groups, athletic races and events, and letters of support from the schools and major organizations in town have enthusiastically shown that the community embraces and will support an interconnected trails system. They know it is a highly desirable and needed asset to the community.
The Eureka Springs Trails System will serve to enhance the experience for resident and visitors of all ages and the Eureka Springs Community Center Foundation will be integrally involved with its development and promotion.