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Markham Hill Trails

40 acres of old growth forest in the middle of Fayetteville, preserved forever.

In the center of Fayetteville exists a mountain top home to some of the region’s oldest growth forests. It includes beautiful rock outcroppings, natural springs, wildlife, and other natural ecosystems.

To make the purchase of this land both sustainable and profitable, Specialized Real Estate Group chose to donate 40+ acres of premier wooded land to permanent preservation. They have committed to only develop on the top of the hill, which was previously used for agricultural purposes. True to Specialized Real Estate Group’s company values, they will be implementing environmental best practices along the way.

Part of the project includes developing a network of trails to connect the Fayetteville locale to the historic woods, and other connected trail systems of Fayetteville.

I was tasked with creating a friendly, illustrated map to help trail users navigate the area. The map points out important landmarks along the way, and includes a logo referencing the native turtle population. As an added incentive to register, we printed the map on uniquely hand-dyed bandanas for the first 500 trail users. There are now over 1,500 registered trail users and counting as more and more people move to Northwest Arkansas each day!

Services Provided

  • Illustration
  • Logo Design
  • Packaging
  • Photography
Markham Hill Nature Trails yellow handmade bandana

Reference map from 1977.

After a few months of use, we decided to add additional colors and symbols to the map to improve usability and way finding.

Project Outcome

Open to All

Through the development of a new interconnected trail system on this previously private land, locals and visitors to the area now have access to the many natural features Markham Hill has to offer. To date, over 839 people have registered to use the trails, with more registering every day. It was designed and built by Rogue Trails with the advice of an ecologist.

Sustaining Results

As the development on top of the hill proceeds, Specialized Real Estate Group has taken care to work with local environmental groups, biologists, and ecologists to minimize the impact on the surrounding land. From temporarily moving native box turtles so that their habitats are not disturbed, to utilizing materials that minimize water drainage issues, they have gone above and beyond to make this project as sustainable as possible.

“We used a very light touch to build this trail, aiming to disturb the land as little as possible.”

Phil PennyFounder of Rogue Trails
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