Arkansas leaders are applauding recent news of a major federal investment to complete Southeastern Arkansas’ Delta Heritage Trail.
The Delta Heritage Trail State Park is a 960-acre Arkansas state park in Arkansas, Desha, and Phillips counties in Southeastern Arkansas. A rails to trails conversion planned along 73 miles of abandoned Union Pacific right of way, the Delta Heritage Trail currently runs 14 miles from Lexa to Barton.
The U.S. Department of Transportation recently awarded $20,482,208 to the Arkansas Department of Parks, Heritage and Tourism to construct the final 13.4-mile section of the southeast Arkansas trail through its Rebuilding American Infrastructure with Sustainability and Equity (RAISE) Discretionary Grant Program.
“This grant will achieve a goal 30-years in the making. The completion of the Delta Heritage Trail will provide bikers and hikers yet another beautiful view of the Natural State and will highlight the beauty of The Delta. I appreciate the advocacy of our federal delegation in winning this grant. This is another great project to enhance tourism in southeast Arkansas,” said Hutchinson.
Acquisition of the abandoned corridor was aided by the National Trails System Act, and the beginnings of the trail through Delta lowlands was dedicated in 2002.
“At a time when outdoor recreational opportunities are more vital than ever, this grant will enable Arkansas State Parks to complete the construction of the entire 87-mile length of Delta Heritage Trail State Park by 2025. This grant will enable State Parks to leverage the previous commitment from the Walton Family Foundation to generate new recreational and tourism opportunities from Lexa to Arkansas City, making a significant impact on the economy, quality of life and well-being of the Arkansas Delta,” said Secretary of Arkansas Department of Parks, Heritage and Tourism Stacy Hurst.
In July, members of the congressional delegation advocated for RAISE grant funding for the project in a letter to Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg.