Nicole had to work at the Library today so I drove over to Sherwood and met her for lunch. Afterwards while I was driving her back to work, we crossed over a small creek on JFK. I had passed by it many times but never stopped. I was interested because there was a walking trail that ran alongside the creek and I had always wondered where it went. After I dropped Nicole off, I decided to go check it out.
A few weeks ago I went and bought Johnnie Chamberlin’s new guidebook, Trails of Central Arkansas. It’s a great guide book for hiking, biking and canoe trails in Little Rock and central Arkansas. The JFK trail was one of the trails in the book, listed as the 5 Mile Creek Trail. It was just a short connector between JFK and North Hills Blvd, only .7 miles, but I found the trailhead on North Hills, parked in the neighborhood nearby and made my way to the trail.
The first challenge was just crossing the street. Just because you have blinking lights and a sign that says “30 mph. NO TOLERANCE” doesn’t mean people are going to slow down. But I made it across and headed down the trail. It started off really narrow, like only 3 feet or so, but began to widen out.
It was apparently built as a kind of fitness trail, because there were workout stations up and down the whole thing, though many of them were in disrepair. The trail itself had seen better days as well. There were a lot of cracks and eroded spots in the asphalt along the length of the trail.
The trail ran alongside the creek, beneath a heavy canopy, which after a while opened up into an open space for a little bit and then returned under the canopy.
One of the neatest things about this trail was the numerous spurs that shot off from both sides to connect the surrounding neighborhood to the trail. Although most of the trail was pretty secluded, there were a lot of spots where it ran right alongside people’s backyards.
The creek was pretty nice itself. You could tell from the debris that it can flood the trail sometimes and there were a lot of spots where the asphalt had begun to be eroded away. But the neatest thing about 5 Mile creek was the numerous tupelo cypress trees that grew in the channel.
It really was a short hike and at the end, the trail crossed under the bridge at JFK and dead ended at a foot path the lead the rest of the way to the old YMCA facility. It made since now why there was workout equipment along the trail at one time, however like the equipment, the YMCA was in pretty sad shape. It had closed it doors a while back. I peeked in and saw the old fitness equipment and front desk but the building had obviously been empty for a while.
When I turned around to head back, I noticed a sign near the trail head referring to it as the Mary Anne Salmon Walking Trail, which I assumed was the real name for the trail. But shortly after that I passed another sign saying the trail was on private property of the Overbrook Neighborhood Owner’s association. When I got home, I looked it up and saw that it was actually called the Overbrook trail.
But whatever the name was, it was a nice trail, worth taking the time to visit. It was great to see a working neighborhood trail like this connecting a whole neighborhood from one end to the other. There were many houses along the length of the trail and I was hoping to spot somone in their yard to maybe ask them what they thought about having a public trail in their backyards. But I was pretty much the only genius out that day in the 30 something degree weather.
Also, If your interested in another blog about trails around Arkansas, check out Johnnie Chamberlin’s blog. Trails of Arkansas.
Saturday Night, Nicole and I went to the Rev Room, downtown, to listen to Reckless Kelly play. They’re one of my favorite bands! We ran into some old neighbors and friends that used to live below us and our friend Rusty talked us into going over to his place with everyone after the show. I almost wussed out but Nicole convinced me to go. So after the show, we ran home to grab my fiddle and drove over to Rusty’s place in Hillcrest and 3 of us jammed out till around 3 in the morning. Two guitars and a fiddle. I hardly ever stay up that late anymore but it was definitely worth it that night!