August, 2020  

Inspiring Rides – Cycling and Walking Routes Featuring Fayetteville’s Public Art

Seated in the Ozark Mountains and home to the University of Arkansas, Fayetteville is known as a prominent academic center. Fayetteville’s innovative personality and artistic expression can be found flowing from the University’s campus and into the streets - in the form of public art.

Public art embellishes nearly every nook in town – adorning walls, beautifying utility boxes, and decorating our stormwater drains. Recent art festivals including the Green Candy Art Action in 2017 and this year's Sprayetteville Street Art Festival have only increased the amount of public art to see in Fayetteville.

Appreciating Fayetteville’s public art – featuring dozens of murals, sculptures, and art installations – is as easy as taking a walk, bicycle ride, or unlocking a dockless e-scooter or e-bike stationed along our city streets and trails. Whether seeking inspiration or just a cool photo opportunity, keep reading for a selection of walkable and ridable routes perfect to spend an hour, or few, taking in Fayetteville’s public art scene.

Walkable Public Art Tour – 1.9 miles, mellow, elevation +164 feet

Ideal for staying on foot, this under two-mile tour features 13 photo-worthy murals and 2 different sculptures. From the front doors of the Experience Fayetteville’s Visitors Center, the route follows a figure-eight through the Historic Downtown Square – passing 7 different public art locations. After heading west down Center Street, the route turns north up a portion of the NWA Razorback Greenway to Dickson Street and Fayetteville’s vibrant entertainment district. After taking in a few more murals on your way “up” Dickson Street (heading east), the route turns back south along Block Avenue and climbs up to the square.

If the crave to snack didn’t strike you along Dickson, you’ll find curbside eats available on the square like West Mountain Brewing Company - a Fayetteville tradition with a wide selection of craft brews and Northwest Arkansas’ oldest brewery. For a more family-friendly environment dine at Tiny Tim’s Pizza right next door!

Must see: In the alleyway across from Cheers at the OPO flies ‘Athena’, a collaborative mural by local artists Octavio Logo and Eugene Sargent. Painted in a distorted perspective with a technique called anamorphosis, the Athena mural is intended to be admired from a specific viewpoint to see the intended image.

See route details https://ridewithgps.com/routes/33748040

Public Art Tour 2 Mile

 

Bicycle Friendly Public Art Tour – 4.5 miles, mellow, elevation +257 feet

Following bicycle-friendly streets and trails (e-scooters ARE allowed on city trails too), this under 5-mile route offers a larger tour of the public art scene in Fayetteville. The tour begins with a few short loops around the square, passing the colorful murals that decorate Fayetteville’s downtown. From the square, the route points north and east through historic neighborhoods with over a hundred architecturally significant homes from the mid-19th century. Turning west, the tour travels through Wilson Park at the center of the city. From the park, the route heads south towards Fayetteville’s entertainment district by following the Razorback Greenway. After crossing Maple Street, a small path on the trails left side exits down to West Lafayette Street. The route then drops to Dickson Street where multicolored murals cover several business walls.  Heading east up Spring Street, a final turn puts you on North Block Avenue where the art of Matt Miller towers over the street and completes the tour – 14 murals and 2 sculptures in total.

If food is in your future, look no farther than Hugo’s – a Fayetteville favorite serving famous burgers from the basement of 25 ½ N. Block Avenue since 1977.

Must see: As Fayetteville’s oldest public park, Wilson Park features gorgeous gardens, a spring-fed pond, and the popular “Castle” – an imagination inspiring sculpture completed in 1981 by artist Frank Williams. Fayetteville artist Eugene Sargent has added additional elements to the Castle over the years including flowering benches, a 45-foot earthworm (doubling as a retaining wall), and a 14-foot long skink that now rests atop an original stone wall.

See route details https://ridewithgps.com/routes/33745230

 

Public Art Tour 5 Mile

 

For more family-friendly and longer trail options, here is another article featuring additional routes to make an afternoon or day out of the NWA Razorback Greenway and Fayetteville’s extensive network of trails.

Due to COVID-19, the City of Fayetteville and the state of Arkansas passed a mask ordinance. We ask that you please bring along an appropriate face covering for use when entering all public, indoor businesses or when outdoor activities do not allow for proper social distancing.

*Experience Fayetteville has partnered with Ride with GPS for all our route development needs. Featuring unique Points of Interest (POI) and turn by turn navigation, mobile users will want to download the free Ride with GPS app here. For cyclists with personal bike computers, a variety of route files can be downloaded through the desktop version.

Cycling Coordinator

Cycling Coordinator