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  1. #1
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    Womble Campgrounds

    Hey all, planning a trip to Womble and need some help. I did a search for possible camping spots on the Womble but only came up with one that is not day use (Rocky Shoals). Rocky Shoals appeared to be cabins that will be way too big for 2 people, do they have tent camping? I've stayed at the fishing village before, but I would like to stay somewhere midway on the trail so I can do an out and back east, then west the next day and ride all 35ish miles of it. Can any of you suggest a campground? Amenities would be nice as my girlfriend is riding with me (scored! I finally have me a mtn bike capable woman after the third trial and success!).

  2. #2
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    Do a google search for Mt Ida Arkansas camping and you will come up with a few in the area. If you are wanting to stay where you can ride to the trail rather than transport your bike via vehicle then I think you are going to limited to Hwy 27 fishing village or High Shoals Cabins. Admittedly I haven't ridden the Womble yet and I only live about 45 minutes from Hwy 27 village However, I've only been riding for a few months. I am familiar with the area though. Staying somewhere in the "middle of the trail" is going to be the issue. You've basically got Mt. Ida on one end and Mena on the other and forest in between. I plan on riding it myself this fall when the weather is milder and I can stand to ride all day without dehydrating. Others have stated there are shuttle opportunities if you don't want to do out and back. Apparently you can prearrange it through the people at Hwy 27 or the folks at High Shoals might do something similar for you. Hope I helped some, good luck and have fun.

  3. #3
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    Have you considered biking the LOViT? If you camped at Tompkins Bend, you'd have 40 miles of primo riding right from your camp site and a restaurant meal when you return. A couple of loop rides are here - http://www.singletracks.com/bike-tra...section-1.html
    Your girlfriend will enjoy this trail way more than the Womble if she is anything like my wife. :-)

    Sent from my Nexus 7 using Tapatalk 4
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  4. #4
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    Thanks for the link. I've read about LOViT, but never rode it before. I will definitely keep that in mind for a different trip, if we don't modify the current trip in planning.

  5. #5
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    I ride sections of the LoVit quite often doing out and backs. It's not real technical but its fairly scenic running along the banks of Lake Ouachita and some of the climbs are pretty challenging. Plus, it's only minutes from my house. You could camp at Tompkins Bend and have trail access right out of your tent door or if you guys decide you want a cabin instead they are available too. In addition, other amenities are close by if that matters to you at all. This week would have been awesome camping weather. I rode yesterday evening and it was 70 degrees at 6:00pm, man it was great!

  6. #6
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    Sounds great! Wow, 70 at six!? We have had a great summer this year compared to the two previous.

    Does LOViT go near Crystal Springs? We camped there 2 years ago but didn't have bikes with us.

  7. #7
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    Yes, they have added a few more miles to it. It actually now runs from Denby Bay to Brady Mountain. You can literally cross the road from the Crystal campground and jump right on the trail. However, I will say that section of trail is not near as fun in my opinion as the west end. If you ride from the campground to the west it runs through the woods for a couple of miles but then it comes out onto Forest Rd 47. It runs with the road for a while then dumps back off into the woods, then back out on the road and so on. It gets a little complicated to follow the trail at times. It might be better if you rode it from west to east going toward Brady Mountain but I haven't tried that stretch yet. I do know if you ride it that way you can expect some pretty good climbs because you will go over Little Bear and Big Bear Mountain.

    I prefer the area from Denby to Mountain Harbor. You can do an out and back from Tompkins to Denby or Tompkins to Mountain Harbor Rd and get in about 10 miles either way. Plus if you just want a quick fast 3.5 to 4 miles you can start at Homestead Trailhead and ride clockwise. You will cross over the road right by the Tompkins campground, jump back on the trail and ride back to where you started. Homestead Trailhead is on the road leading to Tompkins Bend campground maybe 1.5 miles from the campground gate. Homestead Trail is just a short connector trail off the LoVit but it makes for a nice little quick loop ride.

    I rode the LoVit this evening from Tompkins to Mountain Harbor and back. The trail itself is in good shape right now in spite of the rain we've had lately. The only issue is there were about three big trees across the trail that were apparently blown down during our last set of storms. Hopefully they will have them cleaned up pretty quickly though.

    Another fun ride around here is Iron Mountain at Lake Degray. The trails are very well kept and easy to get to. There is about 9 miles of color coded trails and another section they use for the Exterra race each year. The colored trails are mostly hardpack and some rock. No super steep climbs and all the trails are connected so you can ride one, two, or all three in one continuous ride. I like riding the red trail to the blue, get back on the red and ride back to the trailhead in a clockwise pattern. I was out there two weeks ago and the trails were in excellent shape. The rain doesn't affect them much at all because the soil has a lot of sand base and gravel/rock. You can ride them just a few hours after a rain and be good. The Exterra section is more technical and I believe about 10 miles. It connects to the green trail. Its got more rocky sections, a few drops, several banked turns and a couple of steep hill climbs. If you get on the green trail at the trail head just follow along until you see the Exterra signs stapled to the trees and follow the arrows. You will ride it in a counter clockwise fashion. I wouldn't suggest riding it clockwise unless you want to do a bunch of climbing. I've only ridden it once but it was fun. There's camping very near to the trails too. There is a campground near Iron Mountain Lodge, not sure what it is officially called though. You could also stay a Lake Degray State Park but it would be a short ride via car to get to the bike trails. Hope I helped ya. If you have any questions feel free to ask.

  8. #8
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    Where can you camp if youre riding iron mtn? thanks!!

  9. #9
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    There's a COE campground just off of Skyline Drive which is the road that leads to the trail head. I don't know the official name of it but I'll see if I can find it and post it up.

  10. #10
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    thanks, it looks like we are camping at the womble , then hitting iron mtn on the way home. thanks for the reply!

  11. #11
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    It looks like the official name for the campground is actually Iron Mountain. Here is a link Facility Details - IRON MOUNTAIN, AR - Recreation.gov

    When you the leave Mt Ida go east to Hot Springs and get on Hwy 7 South. When you get to Lake Degray you will drive over the earthen dam. Continue a couple of miles up the road and your turn, "Skyline" will be on the right. Follow it until you cross over the spillway. The trailhead is a couple of miles up the road on the left past the spillway and the turn off to the campground is just about a 1/2 mile before that on the right. I ride there pretty often on the weekends. I was there this last Sunday evening and the trails were in excellent shape. If you see a dude on a blue Felt with a white Manitou fork say hey. Hope you have some great rides. Give us a report when you get done. I'm planning on hitting the Womble pretty soon myself, just waiting on the weather to cool down a little more as I'm not a fan of the heat and I want to be able to drive over there and ride all day.

  12. #12
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    I have rode two years in a row now in the area and will vouch that the Womble, LOVIT and Iron Mountain are all fantastic. Iron Mountain being the easiest of the three. The section of Womble I did---fishing village to some other highway...was no harder than LOVIT. 1st year riding LOVIT I did Denby May to Mountain HArbor and then took the highway from Joplin back to the car. This year I drove up to the scenic over look (Hickory Mountain) and road down to Crystal springs. Yup on the forest rd the trail meanders in and out a few handsful of times it seems.

    Also IMO an even more fantastic trail than all those is the Cedar Glades out past downtown HotSprings. Now there is a trail with megaflow....ALL of it. Cant recommend it enough.

  13. #13
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    Rode Iron Mountain this evening. It was in great shape as usual and the weather was fantastic. I was going to ride LoVit but a buddy of mine who had not ridden trails in years decided to go so I thought he would enjoy Iron Mountain more until his gets his climbing legs back. I think it was a good call as he seemed to have had a good time. Now that the weather in getting right I see the Womble in my near future.

  14. #14
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    Might be too late, but here is some info...

    I have car camped at River Bluff a couple of times. Just has vault toliets, but good camps sites. Check with the Ranger station, this site might be closed due to flooding issues.
    http://www.fs.usda.gov/recarea/ouach...10725&actid=29

    If RB is closed... This is 5 miles from the 298HWY Trailhead. We stayed here/left our car for an overnight Womble/Ouachita bikepacking trip.
    OUACHITA RIVER HAVEN RESORT - Vacation Cabins, Fishing, Camping, Canoes, Ouachita Mountains

    Kev

  15. #15
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    there is camping right on the womble, literally 40 feet away, but dont know the name. it is in the National Forest.

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