A small group of cyclists dressed in brightly colored gear created a festive atmosphere Friday as Mercy celebrated 2.75 miles of new public multi-use trails just east of Mercy Hospital Northwest Arkansas in Rogers.
The new Mercy Heritage Trails are the first mountain bike trails that can be accessed directly from the Razorback Greenway. The trails are also accessible from Bergant Terrace east of Mercy Hospital and from Mercy Trailhead south of the hospital on South Rife Medical Lane near Pinnacle Promenade.
“This project that has been in the works for a long time, going back to 2018. It’s been exciting and rewarding to collaborate with our donors, the city of Rogers and NWA Trailblazers on this wonderful addition to the area’s amazing trails system,” said Dr. Steve Goss, president of Mercy Clinic. “Especially in these times, it’s great to be able to get outside and enjoy fresh air and exercise, and we believe our co-workers and community will benefit from these trails for years to come.”
Gifts received by the Walton Family Foundation and the George Merwin Family Estate through the Mercy Health Foundation funded this trail project.
“The Mercy Heritage Trails will provide access to the restorative benefits of nature and recreation at a time when the outdoors are playing a significant part in our overall wellbeing,” said Jeremy Pate, Walton Family Foundation senior program officer. “This effort also highlights what’s possible when nonprofits, government and philanthropy work together to support projects that improve the community.”
NWA Trailblazers Executive Director Erin Rushing said that while there were many challenges during construction, from bad weather to disruptions due to COVID-19, the end result is phenomenal. The trails offer a great place for beginning and intermediate mountain bikers, especially children, to get started, he said.
The 2.75 miles of trails were named by Mercy co-workers to reflect themes from Mercy history dating back to its founding in 1827. The three trails include the half-mile Sisters’ Trail, three-quarter-mile Lantern Loop and 1.4-mile Catherine’s Crossing.
Click here to see OZ Trails’ video of the Mercy Heritage Trails.