In the southwest part of Fayetteville, you will find the Kessler Mountain Regional Park which composes 620-acres around the notable Kessler Mountain that reaches 1,856-feet above the sea level. This park operates as a local sports park that has plenty of baseball and soccer fields, almost 400 acre of nature preserve, as well as a famous area for most hikers and mountain bikers with natural surface trails of over 10 miles.
The Park highlights 6 lighted soccer fields, 2 concession/restroom buildings, 4 lighted baseball fields, parking area for 200 vehicles, and a trailhead accessing the Kessler Mountain trails. There are still more additions to the park underway.
The name of the Kessler Mountain was for the family, Kate and Philip Kessler and their daughter, who have purchased thirteen acres in 1866. The Kessler family built a wine cellar and a home and started the first winery of Arkansas. The family have also operated the Wine Hall of the Kessler on Fayetteville’s West Center Street. This family home no longer stands, but its well and stone wine cellar are still in the property.
Kessler Mountain Trails
The Kessler Mountain is the mountain bikers’ favorite spot for over 15 years before the City of Fayetteville’s acquisition. At that time, the volunteers, with the landowner’s permission, constructed an expert-level system of biking trails all through the property. The property’s new trails integrate parts of the original trails. It also provides beginner as well as intermediate level loops intended for the mountain bikers with less experience. Through sustainable and strategic design, the plan was created so that the needs of the users will be addressed. These users include bikers, groups, hikers, trail runners, nature enthusiasts, and those with special needs.
The natural-surface trails of the Kessler Mountain comprise about 13 miles. This trail ranges from Trent Trail, regarded as Easy, Difficult, to Very Difficult trails for mountain bikes. The Cato Springs Trail is a 12-foot-wide solid trail which links to the Razorback Regional Greenway.
Kessler Mountain Nature Preserve
During the year 2014, the city has acquired an additional of 387-acres of unspoiled Ozark Forest which adjoins the Regional Park on the Kessler Mountain as an outdoor recreational area and a nature preserve. This acquisition became possible because of the help of the generous Walton Family Foundation who granted $1.5 million. Along with this, the Fayetteville Natural Heritage Association has agreed to support in developing a part of the funds that remains and build a preservation easement that will aid with the property’s management and protection.
The terrain of the park includes scenic bluffs, rolling hills, and a developed forest which features natural Ozark oaks, redbuds, dogwoods, and hickories. There are 2 intermittent streams which flow all through the property that provides a vital water supply for the wildlife that resides on the area. Today, the land is being preserved as a natural playground for plenty of outdoor recreation as well as a valuable environment that learns and appreciates about the native fauna and flora.
The initial construction of Kessler Mountain Regional Park’s second phase improvements has already started. This construction will include parking, concession/restroom building, 4 new ballfields, and other needed improvements. This construction will take about 15 months and it was funded by the park bond in 2019.
During the construction, the trail that heads to the existing parking area of the baseball field will be closed temporarily. Hence, visitors will have to use the playground’s trail head in accessing the new Fayetteville Traverse Trail that will be providing access to various areas of its mountain. Close to the soccer field’s South East Corner across the park road is also another point of access.
Park and Athletic Facilities
Kessler’s athletic facilities are apt for various special events and tournaments. These facilities include:
- 4 lighted baseball fields
- 6 lighted soccer fields
- 2 concession/restroom buildings
You can see a huge playground at the entrance of the park which was sponsored by the Rotary Club of Fayetteville generously.
The additional facilities that will be added to the construction of Kessler Mountain will include 4 softball fields, baseball fields, new trails and pavilion.
Are you fond of visiting wineries? Tontitown Winery is a remarkable winery in Northwest Arkansas. Get to know more about this in An Overview of the Tontitown Winery.