Trailblazers is a nonprofit formed in 2021 through the merger of NWA Trailblazers, an organization that has developed 300+ miles of multi-use trails, including the OZ Trails network, and BikeNWA, a bicycle advocacy and education-focused organization that has led the region in advocating for active transportation. Our core areas of work include Trail Development and Consulting and Community Outreach and Advocacy.
Our mission is to lead the development of an innovative regional recreation and transportation movement that places trails, cycling, and active transportation infrastructure at the core of an inclusive, vibrant, and healthy culture.
The convergence of NWA Trailblazers and BikeNWA into Trailblazers establishes a single organization that upholds the goal of creating a world-class recreational and active transportation infrastructure network, while strengthening our focus on diversity, equity, and inclusion. Under a single organizational roof, our holistic approach to developing a robust, accessible trail, cycling, and active transportation network is strengthened, as is our capacity to generate positive impact.
NWA Trailblazers was founded in 1996 as the Bentonville/Bella Vista Trailblazers Inc., a 501(c)3 nonprofit that developed cycling and pedestrian infrastructure that connected communities and moved people, with a focus on helping the Northwest Arkansas community by developing multi-use hard and soft-surface trails for cycling, running, and walking. Later, the organization rebranded as NWA Trailblazers and for over two decades has designed and developed a first-class trail system known as Oz Trails, including more than 300 miles of multi-use trails.
BikeNWA was founded in 1999 as the Bicycle Coalition of the Ozarks, a 501(c)3 nonprofit. The organization was the first nonprofit in Northwest Arkansas to advocate for active transportation infrastructure. The founder, Laura Kelly, successfully brought the region's first paved trails and bike lanes to Fayetteville. The organization rebranded in 2016 with a mission was to educate, inspire, and activate the Northwest Arkansas community to support the creation of a world-class network of active transportation infrastructure for all ages and abilities, with a primary focus was on communities along the Razorback Greenway corridor. The organization worked to encourage residents of Northwest Arkansas to ride bikes for both recreation and transportation purposes.