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  1. #1
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    Spring trip to Sylamo?

    I'm thinking about a drive to Sylamo at the end of March this year.

    I know that nobody can accurately predict the weather that far in advance, but you residents of N. Arkansas could give me an idea about general conditions. For instance, anyone planning a trip to S. Wisconsin in March might as well leave their bikes at home, because it's too warm and muddy for anything like a fun ride, even if there is no rain for a week. (Freezing cold makes a lot of the mud problem go away).

    What are the general conditions like around there in late March? I'll watch the day-to-day weather from here.

    Thanks,

    Walt

  2. #2
    Baron of Gray Matter
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    By mid-March most of the state is warming up and it should be a good time for a ride on the Syllamo Trail. We've had mocho drought conditions lately like many other states. But we've had some rain (and a little snow) lately so who really knows.

    And the new section (15 miles) is reported to be open. And most trailheads have toilets now I think.

    I plan to do it on a SS when the weather warms up a bit.

    Visit bikearkansas.com for more info. The person (Rick S.) most responsible for the trail is good about answering questions about this trail. I think there is a post about Syllamo Trail on bikearkansas.com now.
    "Oh Dear, I've been redorkulated."
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  3. #3
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    Thanks Homer

    I rode to Sylamo twice last year, but not quite so early. Have to say the trip at the end of June was a scorcher! Got lucky with an afternoon drizzle at Sylamo, and I got up at 4:30AM to beat the sun at Womble. I was sorry to see that the drought had done so much damage.

    Is the new section marked by green? I tried that loop and it was wonderful.

    Thanks for the link.

    Walt

  4. #4
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    Wisconsinites must think alike.. I am planning to visit the Ozarks during the first week of March, but also have Tennessee and the Dakotas (if unseasonably warm) on the backburner just in case the weather isn't cooperating in Arkansas. I have never been there, so it should be fun.

  5. #5
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    Good to have alternatives

    Quote Originally Posted by RedMosquito
    Wisconsinites must think alike.. I am planning to visit the Ozarks during the first week of March, but also have Tennessee and the Dakotas (if unseasonably warm) on the backburner just in case the weather isn't cooperating in Arkansas. I have never been there, so it should be fun.
    You've never been to Sylamo? You have a real treat in store. Here's some advice you didn't ask for ;^) Start training now or you'll get yer butt whipped. There are single climbs at Sylamo that are 600 ft of vertical or more, and the entire trail is very rocky. All 3 times I've ridden there with other people, they have had to cut the ride short to make it back. That makes me sad because I can go for longer.

    I don't know if you checked the links that Homer provided, but they have completed the new yellow loop, and are up to 55 miles of trail! The on-line maps I've found show only the red and blue. I took a chance that I wouldn't get lost on the the green trail last summer, and it was really nice.

    My buddies and I are also considering Asheville NC as an alternate destination. It's only about an hour longer than the drive to Syllamo.

    I rode at Cave Run Lake in Kentucky a few years ago and have been itching to get back. I saw photographic evidence that some of the trails have been trashed by horses, but there were some very narrow singletrack trails up higher in the hills that would be pretty narrow for a horse. Cave Run is also close to the Appalachian(?) trail, parts of which are open to bicyclists.

    I've never been to Tennessee, the trail reviews sound pretty good in places. I think it's somewhat like Kentucky, the best trails tend toward the east end of the state in the mountains.

    If you do go to Arkansas, see if you can hit the Berryman in Missouri. It's a little out of the way, but well worth the trip. Chubb outside of St. Louis is worth a stop if you're in the area. Of course, if you have the time the Womble in Arkansas is a great ride.

    Completely different topic: I'm co-trail manager at Blue Mound, and we have just received the OK to cut another 3+ miles of trail. We're about 1 mile into the new area, come on over and try it out this summer. The new area has considerably more vertical than the original, if fewer rocks.

    Walt

  6. #6
    Baron of Gray Matter
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    If you do the Womble you might as well do Little Blakely and Cedar Glades. Cedar Glades is in/almost in the city limits of Hot Springs and is a very fun twisty trail. Little Blakely is next to Lake Ouachita (wash-i-taw), and has 3-4 loops I think, haven't been there in a while. And in between Syllamo and Womble are the CARP trails (carpclub.com, 40+ miles of singletrack) in North Little Rock.
    "Oh Dear, I've been redorkulated."
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  7. #7
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    Walt,

    Thanks for the advice. Excellent work on Blue Mound by the way, every time I visit more and more trail is built, and it is all primo. The addition of South Park adds some steeps, while the new Pleasure Valley adds some vertical, the whole system makes a great, varied loop.

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