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Improve Visitor Safety and Understanding on Hiking Trails at HOSP

Hot Springs National Park » Improve Visitor Safety and Understanding on Hiking Trails at HOSP » Document List

Hot Springs, AR: Hot Springs National Park will host three public meeting at the Ozark Bathhouse to discuss a future Trail Sign Improvement Project for the 26-mile trail system in the park. The schedule for the public meetings is as follows:

Tuesday, January 24, 2017 - 2 pm to 4 pm & 7 pm to 9 pm
Ozark Bathhouse - 425 Central Avenue

Sunday, January 29, 2017 - 2 pm to 4 pm
Ozark Bathhouse - 425 Central Avenue

These meetings will be an opportunity for the community to learn about and comment on the proposed Trail Sign Improvement Project.

Hot Springs National Park has averaged more than 1.3 million visitors yearly for the past five years and had 1.4 million visitors in 2015. With more hiking trail use, visitor safety and understanding have become a primary focus of the park's managers. There are currently no crosswalks at major road crossings, inadequate signage at trailheads, and directional signs at trail intersections have mostly been damaged or destroyed.

This project will install crosswalks with solar-powered, push-button-activated blinking light crosswalk signs at seven road crossings, twelve trailhead wayside signs, and 53 smaller waysides at trail intersections. All waysides will include maps, "you are here" indicators, interpretive content about the surroundings, and QR codes so visitors can link to additional content on their cellular devices. Additionally, colored metal tree tag "reassurance" markers (1.5 x 3" rectangles; two nails per tag) will be posted at ~10' from the ground along all trails to provide further directional support for hiker safety.

All waysides will conform to NPS sign standards. The 53 smaller waysides will have 2 x 3' panels on cantilever-style bases, and the 12 trailhead waysides will have 4 x 6' panels under a roof structure. Each wayside will have two posts embedded into concrete in the ground, which will require 130 holes to be dug/re-dug for installation. Where possible, existing sign post locations will be re-used to minimize new ground disturbance during wayside exhibit/signage installation.

Invasive species will be removed and native species will be planted at twelve trailheads. Herbicides will not be used on Hot Springs or North Mountain trailheads to protect thermal water resources, and ground disturbance will be required to uproot invasive vegetation at those locations.

Sign posts for crosswalk signs are 2 x 2" and will be driven ~2' into the ground along the roadsides. No holes will be dug for crosswalk signage.

Project funding includes a GS-9 archaeologist (TERM) to survey all areas of work prior to installation of signage and/or invasive species removal and planting of natives, to monitor ground disturbance, and to complete all post-processing collection tasks, including writing a report of findings.

Contact Information
For more information on this Trail Sign Improvement Project contact Natural Resources Program Manager Shelley Todd at (501) 620-6751