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Ozarks...O So Good

We try to tell stories on this blog, so here’s the story of your next vacation.

Come to Arkansas and do like us...ride over 60 unique miles of Arkansas singletrack in a week's time, and try your darndest find a foot of that trail that's not worth the rubber on your tires. Technical trails that whimper along limestone spines, milk gallon-size rocks jutting out of deciduous forest litter forcing you into an unwelcome game of Gopher, long-distance rolling contour singletrack accessible just far enough from civilization to make you double check your food supply. Why don’t more people think of Arkansas as one of the best mountain biking destinations in the US?

Not to mention successful advocacy, a reason why the trails even exist, and why we found ourselves at Devil's Den State Park this past weekend. Arkansas is home to some killer advocacy groups, notably the Ozark Off Road Cyclists (OORC) out of Fayetteville and Friends at Slaughter Pen Trail (FAST) out of Bentonville. These organizations are leading the way to develop Northwest Arkansas trails as community assets and tourist attractions. And the people are nice to us, and will very likely be nice to you too. In scientific terms, Arkansas has the highest concentration of nice people and sweet singletrack in the country. Look it up.

We got to work with OORC for the second time in two years, last time at Slaughter Pen. They have had ups and downs like every organization, but their key to success mirrors any other good organization’s best practices: capitalizing on incredible opportunity with a reasoned approach, growing partnerships, developing members, and keeping the focus on fun.

We’re already plotting our next vacation to Arkansas, the draw being the sum of the people, the trails and the landscape. We’d hit up IMBA Epics like The Womble and the Syllamo, but also revisit some of our new favorites like Bentonville’s Slaughter Pen system, Bella Vista’s Blowing Springs, Lake Fayetteville, Mt. Kessler trails and Devil’s Den’s Fossil Flats, trails at Eureka Springs’ Lake Leatherwood, not to mention the 30+ miles in the Buffalo River Headwaters, set to open to the public this summer.

Any other great ones to check out?

Thanks to Devil’s Den State Park, OORC, Fayetteville Adventure Subaru, Friends of Devil’s Den State Park, Mount Kessler Greenways for a flawless Trail Care Crew visit. We will be back!

 

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Comments

You haven't even seen the

You haven't even seen the Ouachita Trail, LOVit, and a local favorite Little Blakely!

Thanks for visiting

It's always good to visit with IMBA and you two are great representatives. You listed some great trails in your post and you haven't even scratched the surface yet so do make plans to visit again. Here's my story on the workshop. http://www.arkansasoutside.com/everybody-likes-a-little-trail/ Thanks again.

arkansas trails

thanks for the thumbs up regarding our trails. i've ridden a fair amount in AZ, CO and Utah and can assure readers nationwide that Aransas trails stack up well. even the trails in and around little rock are very good. some of the smaller towns don't have much bike infrastructure in terms of bike shops and micro-breweries but there's trails aplenty. we have two IMBA Epic trails plus at least another 300 miles of trail throughout the state. little rock alone has the following:
Camp Robinson: approx 30mi of great, not good, but great trial
Burns Park: 15-20mi of great trail
Jackfork Trail: a technical masterpiece
Boyle Park: 8mi of mixed effort trails perfect for any level
Alsopp Park: difficult but great place for a quick hard workout.

the trails listed above are all within 20min of downtown little rock, amazing.

in short, arkansas ought to be a mountain bike destination but right now its off the radar of most serious enthusiasts. in some way i cheer that but also think arkansas deserves even more recognition. folks, there are great trails here. come ride!

LR

"don't have much bike infrastructure in terms of bike shops and micro-breweries but there's trails aplenty"

You can just stop at the local exxon (doublebee's) and pick up a 12-pack of your favorite domestic light brew for a post ride drink. Or if in Little Rock, you can go to Vino's, Bosco's, or Diamond Bear for some locally brewed beers.

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