Sherwood changes Enchanted Forest Trail of Lights entrance after neighbors voice concern

Local News
January 01 2022 12:00 am

SHERWOOD, Ark. – We may all be focused on Halloween, but the city of Sherwood is looking forward to another holiday.

The city just announced the start date for the annual Enchanted Forest Trail of Lights with some important changes. Traffic patterns this year will be switched to a new entrance on Dee Jay Hudson Drive, the street over from the usual Bear Paw Road route the city has used in the past.

This comes a year after neighbors along Bear Paw complained about the endless traffic blocking street entrances and backing up onto Arkansas 107.

For three years, Dory Aceves has had to drive down Bear Paw road to get home, the only way to access the entrance to her neighborhood. She’s experienced the rush of cars during Trail of Lights season and has had to adjust her schedule to avoid getting blocked out.

“We just always plan on, before 6 p.m., make sure you’re home,” Aceves explained.

The traffic nightmare of years past prompted an outcry, with those who live along the route asking the city to step in and change how cars line up. An alternate route for neighbors was set up, but forest visitors would use it as a way to cut the line heading into the light show; even with added patrols directing traffic, it seemed as though nothing could be done.

After weeks of complaints, the city says they felt the frustration of its citizens and made a change. Friday, they announced a new entrance to the Trail of Lights, one that starts on Dee Jay Hudson Drive on the other side of Sylvan Hills High School, away from neighborhoods. The change will take most of the traffic away from Bear Paw, clearing up the blockages and allowing neighbors to come and go as they please.

Aceves says she was thrilled when she heard the news.

“I think that will be a lot easier,” she said. “This year they weren’t a step further so that was, it’s really exciting.”

The trail will kick off on Nov. 19 and last through Dec. 30. Folks can start their holiday journey at 6 p.m. and the last cars will be let in just before 9:30.

The City of Sherwood adds there will be eleven added displays this year using donated funds from 2020.

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