Today I went for a walk on the Big Dam bridge to check out the new spur leading toward the Two Rivers Bridge.
The Big Dam Bridge is part of a larger plan to create a system of walking and biking trails from downtown Little Rock all the way to Pinnacle Mountain State Park. These trails are collectively known as the Arkansas River Trails because they are on the banks of the Arkansas River.
I believe the whole project started when a group of doctors raised money to build a one mile walking path in the heart of downtown Little Rock to encourage their patients to get out and move. That trail is part of the Arkansas River Trail and is called the Medical Mile. From there, two unused railroad bridges were turned into walking bridges in the downtown area and next to the Clinton Center. The next big project was the Big Dam Bridge.
The Big Dam Bridge is the longest pedestrian bridge in the country. Josh and I can attest to the fact that it is very popular. During the winter there were hundreds, maybe thousands, of people walking, running and cycling on these bridges. Today, there were not that many people out but I certainly was not alone on the bridge.
When Josh was living here this winter we went on walks on these two bridges every weekend and we would often walk the trail between the two bridges. The walk from Big Dam Bridge to the Two Rivers Bridge is about 2 or 2.5 miles so the round trip was a nice long walk. We noticed that they were building a new spur to the bridge linking the Big Dam Bridge to the trail leading to the Two Rivers Bridge. I didn’t think I’d still be in town when it opened, but since I am I thought I’d check it out.
The spur leads directly to a creaky bridge on the path toward the I-430 and Two Rivers Bridges. Walking on this little bridge is unsettling because it moves when runners or cyclists are on the bridge with you. We also like to joke that the trail is reminiscent of being in a zombi movie. I think it is because much of the trail is actually an old unused road that still has all of the markings but is crumbling on the edges. It is also very quiet and isolated and in the winter all of the trees were bare. (We were watching the Walking Dead at the time and our imaginations may have been on overdrive.) I didn’t take any pictures of that part of the trail today because it was much too hot to tackle the whole 5 mile walk.
And just because I was messing around with the panorama assist feature of my camera (I didn’t know it was even there!), here are a couple of views from the bridge.
Apparently, I need some practice because in the first panorama it looks like the bridge is not connected the whole way! I assure you it is! In another there are two Pinnacle Mountains when in reality there is definitely only one. I guess I need to invest in a tripod!