Whether you’re making your first trip to Fayetteville or you’re a lifelong native of the area, there is no better way to get a true picture of the vibrant and beautiful community than to carve out a few hours to take in the local trail system. The southernmost section of the Razorback Greenway, a 37.6 mile shared-use trail that traverses some of the prettiest countryside in Northwest Arkansas, runs through the heart of Fayetteville and alongside an array of unique stops that will turn a 10-mile local ride into a fantastic all-day adventure.
To take in the full experience we suggest starting at Lake Fayetteville, located on the far north border of town. Lake Fayetteville is an urban water oasis surrounded by 458 acres of natural beauty—and even the opportunity to rent kayaks or fish for a while. In addition to the 2.17 mile Lake Fayetteville Trail section of the Razorback Greenway that runs right next to the lake, there is an extra 4.3 mile hard surface trail that encircles the water and leads directly past the gorgeous Botanical Gardens of the Ozarks.
At the south end of the Lake Fayetteville Trail is Veteran’s Memorial Park, a 40-acre green space with fishing, hiking, horseshoe pits, playgrounds and sand volleyball courts. This is a good place to take a quick bathroom break, with public restrooms available.
If you want to keep moving, the Lake Fayetteville Trail ties into a 1.6-mile section of the Greenway called Clear Creek Trail. This beautiful stretch goes directly through a forested area behind the Northwest Arkansas Mall. If your plans include shopping, there’s a small connecting leg of the trail that goes right up to the mall. Take your time along this section, and be sure to stop for a few photo ops on the bridge.
Clear Creek Trail then connects to the Scull Creek Trail portion of the Greenway, 4.29 miles that run through the midsection of Fayetteville. Consider a quick stop at Gordon Long Park, a small green space with a pretty walking trail, creek, playground and great spots for a picnic.
Scull Creek Trail will take you right by two worthwhile stops for rest and refreshment. Nomads Trailside at 1863 N Pluto Drive is a great indoor/outdoor place where it’s not unusual to find more bikes than cars, attracting people in search of creative, locally-inspired food and drinks ranging from healthy to decadent. Also nearby is a favorite haunt of many a Fayetteville resident, Fossil Cove Brewing Co. at 1946 N Birch Avenue. Fossil Cove brews on site and hosts a steady crowd of craft beer fans in their tasting room and at ultra-casual picnic tables inside and on the dog-friendly patio.
If you’re interested in continuing a tasting tour of great local brews, a stop at Columbus House Brewery & Tap Room at 701 W North Street is a must. This friendly little three-barrel brewhouse has been turning out excellent craft beers since 2015. While you’re there, a stroll across the parking lot will take you to none other than Fayetteville’s Funky Yardsale at 693 W North Street, where you’ll find 10,000 square feet of flea market booths well worth your browsing time. (We hope you bring a backpack to squirrel away a few kitschy treasures.)
At this point, you near the end of Scull Creek Trail and will connect to the 2.34-mile Frisco Trail section of the Greenway. A very short detour just a couple of blocks to the east on Prospect Street will take you to the north side of Wilson Park, Fayetteville’s much-loved first and oldest park. Comprised of almost 23 acres in the midst of one of the city’s most beautiful neighborhoods, Wilson Park even has its own must-see “Castle” located over a spring and surrounded by beautiful gardens. If you happen to have a hammock, there’s no better place in town to stretch out and gaze into the trees for a little while.
Back on the Frisco Trail, you’ll find yourself cruising right into the midst of Fayetteville’s downtown and entertainment district. Options for food and beverages are many, but in the immediate vicinity just yards from the trail are a few great places where you can’t go wrong:
- Doomsday Coffee – 436 W Watson Street
- Hammontree’s Grilled Cheese – 326 N West Avenue #8
- Arsaga’s at the Depot – 548 W Dickson Street
- Rolando’s Nuevo Latino Restaurante – 509 W Spring Street
- Prelude Breakfast Bar – 509 W Spring Street #210
- Cork & Keg – 509 W Spring Street
Assuming you’re fully refreshed from a little dalliance along Dickson Street, you might benefit from a really great stretch at Trailside Yoga & Beyond at 600 W Center Street. You’ll need to plan ahead by booking a class in advance, but options are available for all levels Monday through Saturday.
Frisco Trail then continues south through Frisco Park, another section of urban woods that leads out of downtown and straight into south Fayetteville. Right along the trail you’ll find Prairie St. Bar & Tap at 495 W Prairie Street, a cozy, family-friendly pub with adjoining food truck fare. Just a short distance farther, we recommend the very popular Wood Stone Craft Pizza at 557 S School Avenue, where ingredients are locally sourced and deliciously prepared in a scratch kitchen.
Though you may be feeling a bit tired and carrying a full, happy belly from all your stops along the way, the Frisco Trail section continues just a bit farther as it heads southeast and ties into the Walker Park Trail that encircles Walker Park. This vibrant park boasts a splashpad during the summer months, a skateboard park, racquetball/handball courts and sand volleyball courts, as well as three pavilions and public restrooms.
If you choose to finish the final stretch of the Razorback Greenway, the Frisco Trail leaves Walker Park and continues slightly south where the Town Branch Trail ties into the terminal point. As a spur trail of the Razorback Greenway, the Town Branch Trail continues southwest to the Cato Springs Trail, a new 2.5-mile connection to Kessler Mountain Regional Park and 11+ miles of natural surface trails popular with hikers, mountain bikers, trail runners and dog walkers.
Every section of the Razorback Greenway has a very unique feel and offers a special view of Fayetteville only seen when traveling by bike or on foot. We hope you’ll take the opportunity to slow down a little and see this diverse, energetic town, picking your favorite resting spots along the way. If you want to bike the trails and don’t have your own available, we invite you to look into Fayetteville’s VeoRide Bikeshare program to easily rent a pedal or e-bike.