Walking trail envisioned from Beaver to Eureka Springs

Monday, April 25, 2005
Officials from the town of Beaver met with Corps of Engineers personnel April 11 to consider expanding Beaver's walking trail to a loop around the perimeter of the RV park and the town and linking up with a proposed trail going to Black Bass Lake in Eureka Springs via the old railroad trestle bridge in the park. Looking toward the bridge are, from left, Beaver Mayor Chad Hipps, Attorney Bill Hill, Corps of Engineers Table Rock and Beaver lakes realty specialist Karen Neisler and Corps Chief of Natural Resources Greg Oller. Kathryn Lucariello / Carroll County News

BEAVER ---- If the town of Beaver can get U.S. Army Corps of Engineers approval, it may be able to expand its walking trail to a system skirting the town and connecting it to Eureka Springs.

Greg Oller, Corps Chief of Natural Resources and Karen Neisler, realty specialist for Table Rock and Beaver lakes, paid a visit to town officials April 11 to discuss the idea.

Beaver attorney Bill Hill explained the vision. The proposed trail would go around the perimeter of the RV park, use an existing roads such as Thomas and Lazy L lanes to connect across Highway 187 and join up with an existing trail that currently ends in a backyard. The other end of that trail connects to the existing walking trail along the old railroad bed.

From there, the existing walking trail would rejoin the park trail to make one continuous loop. Then it could cross the lake, using the old trestle bridge.

"We'd like to have a park trail that goes across the trestle bridge and joins up with the Leatherwood trail to Eureka Springs," Hill said. "The Corps owns the steel trestle bridge. The trail would follow to the Lake Leatherwood/Eureka Springs/Black Bass Lake trails being proposed."

Phase 2 of the master plan for that project is being funded in part by a $10,000 grant from the state's General Improvement Fund to the Community Development Partnership.

"Our trail would go seven miles from here to there. We'd need your help to get across the bridge," he told Corps visitors.

He said Beaver would also need Corps permission to make a rustic trail around the perimeter of the park and the town because it would be on the Corps' take line of Table Rock Lake.

The trail would be lawnmower width and would simply be cleared of brush.

Hill said the town does not have the financial resources or employees to make such a trail, and would need Corps help.

Oller suggested the state highway department might donate mulch from tree trimming. He also had words of caution, though.

"We've found in the past you can stir up a hornet's nest with adjacent landowners," he said. "That's what killed a project in Kimberling City.

"As far as the trail itself, it would probably be fairly easy for us to grant permission. We would want to check on environmental documentation."

He said a fairly simple environmental assessment could be done.

"If I can leave you with anything, it's to garner support from your adjacent landowners."

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