Little Rock Area Running Routes
The following are some of the favorite locations for club members to run. If you have a favorite running route that you don't see here, let us know and we'll share it with the rest of the Club.
Arkansas River Trail-Two Rivers Park
The crown jewel of running routes in Central Arkansas is definitely the Arkansas River Trail System. An ongoing project, there are currently paved trail/marked road routes along both sides of the Arkansas River. The main loop of the River Trail is nearly 16 miles and bookended by the Big Dam Bridge in the west and the Clinton Park Bridge in the east. The only significant gap is on the Little Rock side along Cantrell Road in front of the Dillard's Corporate Offices. Efforts are underway to Close the Loop.
On the north side of the river, the main River Trail loop connects to paved trails in the Burns Park Soccer Complex. Runners can also tackle a big hill up to the Fort Roots VA complex from River Park. Great views of the river and the city of Little Rock await, along with the paved Highland Trail within Emerald Park, above the old Big Rock Quarry. Further paved spurs off the main line await runners in the Cooks Landing area just prior to the Big Dam Bridge. The North Little Rock side of the River Trail also offers easy access to two areas of unpaved trail: the Boy Scout Trail in Burns Park and the Pfeiffer Loop (1.8 miles around) in Cooks Landing.
On the south side of the river, the River Trail continues west past the Big Dam Bridge to reach the Two Rivers Bridge. This area serves as a point of entry to the River Trail system for many runners living in west Little Rock. Crossing over the bridge will take runners into Two Rivers Park. It is approximately 1.5 miles of paved trail from the bridge into the main area of the park. There, you will find another 3 miles worth of paved trail, or can exit the park and head west on County Farm Road, which is equipped with wide bike lanes. An eventual right turn onto Pinnacle Valley Road will take you all the way to Pinnacle Mountain State Park.
The suburb of Maumelle has an extensive system of paved trails in the town's parks and neighborhoods. Lake Willastein is a good starting point with a two mile trail looping around the lake and numerous side trails branching out into town. In all, Maumelle has over 20 miles of exclusive trail. Plans are also underway to link the Maumelle Trail System to the Arkansas River Trail via a dedicated bike/running trail along Crystal Hill Road.
South MidTown Little Rock
The Coleman Creek Greenway Trail now travels the length of the UALR campus from 19th street in the north to Asher Ave in the south. Aproximately 1.25 miles in length, the UALR portion of the Coleman Creek Trail is proposed to be the middle portion of a larger trail that eventually spans from the Fourche Creek area in south Little Rock to War Memorial Park in the north.
In addition to the Coleman Creek Trail, just south of the UALR campus there is currently over a half mile of paved trail along Mabelvale Pike, travling south to 49th Street to reach the Geyer Springs area.
One half-mile east of the UALR Campus (through the runable Broadmoor neighborhood) awaits Boyle Park. Boyle Park contains over 3 miles of paved trail mostly hugging either side of Rock Creek (though the city does not maintain Boyle Park trail as well as the River Trail so watch out for the occasional crack and/or sinkhole). In addition to paved trail, Boyle Park also features off road single track dirt path for mountain biking, hiking and trail running. Divided in three main sections across the park, the dirt and rock paths total about 5 miles resulting in an impressive combined paved and non-paved trail mileage within Boyle Park.
At the north end of the Boyle Park, the paved trail extends along Rock Creek to the Westpark Business Park, terminating next to the FedEx Shipping Center. Another 1/2 mile to the northwest via Westpark Dr, 12th Street and Rodney Parham Rd links to another section of south MidTown Little Rock trails at Kanis Park.
Kanis Park - Interstate 630 Trails
While the paved running trail within Kanis Park does not amount to much, the park itself serves as a hub linking Boyle Park with two sections of trail along Interstate 630. In the northeast portion of the park, the trail will take runners across Rodney Parham Road to a paved trail along the northern side of Interstate 630. This trail follows the freeway for nearly a mile to the east until arriving at the Park Avenue Commercial Hub.
Exiting Kanis Park on the northwest edge of the park, paved trail passes under I-630 and forks into two directions: continuing northwest parallel to Rock Creek, the trail soon exits onto Cunningham Lake Road which itself continues to Markham Street between John Barrow and Rodney Parham. Conversely, take a loop at the fork and trail heads west along Interstate 630 to end at the backside of Henderson Middle School on John Barrow Road. Thus, with the linkage at Kanis Park there is currently paved trail along I-630 from John Barrow all the way to University Ave. Hopefully with future plans to widen I-630 being discussed, this trail can be maintained and improved upon to allow pedestrians and non-motor vehicles a viable west-east commuting path through the middle of the city.
West Little Rock
Rock Creek Trail
Separate from the trails along Rock Creek within Boyle and Kanis Parks is the Rock Creek Trail in west Little Rock - part paved, part crushed gravel (easily runnable thoughout). At 1.75 miles in length, the Rock Creek Trail offers a short, shaded respite from the roads west of I-430 as it travels from the Bowman Curve Shopping Center to Pride Valley Dr (near Parkway Village along Chenal Parkway). The grand plan is that this short section of trail can eventually be extended east along Rock Creek to connect to the trails in Kanis and Boyle Parks, as well as continue west to Wildwood Park and then out way out west to the Section 13 park off Garrison Road. Check out an LRRC Blog Post from September 2015 for more information on possible future plans.
Chenal Valley Drive
A popular spot for runners in west Little Rock is the Chenal Valley Drive loop. Chenal Valley Dr circles the Chenal Country Club and features bike lanes thoughout. For the portion of the loop along Chenal Parkway, there is a sidewalk so runners can avoid the road. This route features several major climbs so it can be a good spot for getting in hill work. Convenient spurs off the main loop include taking Wildwood Lane/Denny Road to Wildwood Park, or heading east on Champagnolle Dr to connect with Rahling Road and the Chenal Promenade.
More to Come
This page is under construction - just like sections of the trail! - check back soon for more updates on local running routes.
USATF Running Route Database
The link below will take you to a database of Arkansas Running Routes created by local runners. Find a route in your area, or use the map making tools to create a route of your own.