The Arkansas River Trail (also known as the Millennium Trail) is a pedestrian and cycling trail that connects downtown Little Rock to Pinnacle Mountain on the southern shore and downtown North Little Rock and Cook’s Landing on the northern shore. The Big Dam Bridge and the new Clinton Presidential Park Bridge create a 14-mile pedestrian loop on the River Trail. This loop also includes the Junction bridge, but it is an elevated bridge which makes it less than ideal for cyclists. The trail will eventually connect to the 225-mile Ouachita Wilderness Trail in Pinnacle Mountain State Park.
The River Trail is made possible by four bridges, the Junction Bridge in downtown Little Rock, Clinton Presidential Park Bridge near the Clinton Library, the Two Rivers Bridge which connects River Mountain Park and Two Rivers Park and the Big Dam Bridge which connects the Arkansas River Trail in Little Rock to the Arkansas River Trail in North Little Rock.
These bridges are open 24 hours a day and accessible to pedestrians, cyclists and skaters. There was a bit of a controversy with horses, so livestock is banned from the bridges, but pets are welcome as long as you clean up after them. Amenities for disposal of wastes and benches for sitting are available on most of the bridges.
Attractions Along the Trail
The loop passes through downtown Little Rock and North Little Rock. It takes you through some of the major city parks, like Burns Park in North Little Rock and Murray Park in Little Rock. The Junction Bridge is an elevated bridge and a perfect place for tourist visiting Riverfront Park to get some views of the Arkansas River. Taking the trail to Two Rivers Park takes you through a 1000-acre park with wooded wetlands and open fields.
Eventually, Pinnacle Mountain State Park will be connected.
Wildlife and Nature
The River Trail is great for birders. You can see everything from scissortail flycatchers to bald eagles on the River Trail. The trail winds through some well populated areas, but it also goes into some brushy, natural areas, especially in Two Rivers Park. The bridges are bad places for wildlife watching, because they are normally full of pedestrians, but I have seen a bald eagle from the Big Dam bridge, so it’s possible to see wildlife even from the bridges.
The Medical Mile
The Medical Mile is a unique section of the Arkansas River Trail located in Riverfront Park. Two dozen physicians with the state’s largest cardiology clinic supported this part of the trail. The Medical Mile is the nation’s first outdoor linear health museum, and was a rare collaboration between physicians and trail planners.
The Medical Mile is designed to inspire people to make healthy choices and includes a wellness promenade with art depicting the importance of nutrition, smoking cessation, dental care and exercise. There is a 1,300 foot mural wall and the entry complex reminds people that body, mind and spirit are all connected.
It’s located in the busiest part of the River Trail, in downtown Little Rock’s Riverfront Park. Over two million people visit the area each year.