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A gorgeous afternoon on Little Rock's Big Dam Bridge

Little Rock’s Big Dam Bridge is a huge draw for runners, walkers, bicyclists and nature enthusiasts


As delegates to our Small Market Meetings Conference enjoyed a fascinating tour of Little Rock’s sights that wrapped up with a reception at the historic Capital Hotel, I took a couple of hours off and went for a walk at this city’s favorite outdoor recreation spot, the Big Dam Bridge.  Opened in 2004, this mammoth bridge crosses the dam on the Arkansas River a few miles northwest of the city.  Another pedestrian bridge across the river in downtown Little Rock was to open the week of the Small Market Meetings Conference.  A 14-mile loop now exists between the two bridges for bicyclists and walkers.

The day I was there, dozens of bicyclists, runners and walkers crossed the bridge in both directions as I walked it.  A track team of maybe 20 young men and women from a nearby university ran across as well.  I followed the trail across the bridge and up into the woods that line this scenic river.

This was my second trip to Big Dam Bridge and this time I had enough time to really get the feel of this Arkansas outdoor icon.  At its zenith, it rises 90 feet above the river and features eight observation points.  Little Rock is a town filled with outdoor enthusiasts and they flock to Big Dam Bridge.  But they enjoy downtown nearly as much.  From my perch in the Peabody Hotel, each morning I could see many joggers and bicyclists getting their time in on the trails that line both sides of the the river in this scenic city.


A 14-mile loop trail connects downtown Little Rock with Big Dam Bridge


I watched as runners and bicyclists disappeared into the Arkansas countryside on this scenic trail


Looking westward on the bridge away from Little Rock, Arkansas’s Ozark Mountains begin to rise in the distance

Mac Lacy

Mac Lacy is president and publisher of The Group Travel Leader Inc. Mac has been traveling and writing professionally ever since a two-month backpacking trip through Europe upon his graduation with a journalism degree from the University of Evansville in 1978.