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  1. #1
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    Bentonville AR trip plan/ideas

    Hey everyone,
    I'm planning a mtb trip out to Bentonville in September and am looking for some advice. I've never been to the area so I'm looking to ride as much as I can without overdoing it.


    Sat Sept 14 12 hour drive from CO to AR
    Sun Sept 15 Ride Slaughter Pen
    Mon Sept 16 Ride Colar
    Tues Sept 17 Off - ideas for non mtb things?
    Wed Sept 16 Ride Blowing Springs and back 40
    Thurs Sept 18 Ride Lake Leatherwood
    Fri Sept 19 Ride Slaughter Pen, easy day, prep for heading home
    Sat Sept 20 12 hour drive from AR to CO


    Anyone have any feedback on riding these areas? Seem doable for a week long trip? Any tips on restaurants, bars, breweries, or places that are a must visit? We'll have our own car and will be staying in an AirBNB near Crystal Bridges.
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    A few quick questions:

    1) Do you like to session stuff or do you like to cover ground or both?
    2) Are you wanting to mainly stay within riding distance of Bentonville, or are you willing to drive a bit (Leatherwood on itinerary indicates driving is good).
    3) What sort of stuff do you like to do while off the bike?

    Some thoughts:

    * If you're not into sessioning and you don't mind covering ground, I think you could fit Slaughter Pen and Coler into a single day (albeit, hitting highlights and missing out entirely on some trails). If you're wanting to session some runs, jumps and features, then breaking them up is good.

    * I would try to get Fitzgerald in, which is in Springdale. It's also near the Runway Bike Park and Pump Track, which is worth checking out.

    * Also, it's likely that significant portions of 11Under will be open by then (50 miles across the interstate from Back40), and it's possible that the new Buffalo River trail system (as yet unnamed) at Buffalo Outdoor Center will be open, which will be epic and worth checking out.

    * You could easily do two days in Eureka Springs: one at Leatherwood and one at Passion Play. Passion Play is well worth checking out, as the trail building is spectacular and the locale... weird. Eureka is also a fun place to visit, and it's worth it (in my opinion) to spend a night there... but you've already paid for the AirBNB and getting single night lodgings in Eureka can be a pain (but there are lots of cheap hotels there)

    * Day off ideas: Zipline in Eureka Springs, Crystal Bridges Museum in Bentonville, fishing and/or canoeing on the King's River outside of Eureka Springs, paddle board or kayak on Beaver Lake.


    * We have home football games both of those weekends in Fayetteville. Probably won't affect the traffic and restaurant situation too bad in the region, but be aware.

    More than happy to give restaurant, bar, brewery ideas as time approaches. I'm sure others will weigh in.

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    Quote Originally Posted by provin1327 View Post
    [FONT="]Hey everyone,[/FONT]
    [FONT="]I'm planning a mtb trip out to Bentonville in September and am looking for some advice. I've never been to the area so I'm looking to ride as much as I can without overdoing it.[/FONT]
    [FONT="]
    [/FONT]

    [FONT="]Sat Sept 14 12 hour drive from CO to AR[/FONT]
    [FONT="]Sun Sept 15 Ride Slaughter Pen[/FONT]
    [FONT="]Mon Sept 16 Ride Colar[/FONT]
    [FONT="]Tues Sept 17 Off - ideas for non mtb things?[/FONT]
    [FONT="]Wed Sept 16 Ride Blowing Springs and back 40[/FONT]
    [FONT="]Thurs Sept 18 Ride Lake Leatherwood[/FONT]
    [FONT="]Fri Sept 19 Ride Slaughter Pen, easy day, prep for heading home[/FONT]
    [FONT="]Sat Sept 20 12 hour drive from AR to CO[/FONT]
    [FONT="]
    [/FONT]

    Anyone have any feedback on riding these areas? Seem doable for a week long trip? Any tips on restaurants, bars, breweries, or places that are a must visit? We'll have our own car and will be staying in an AirBNB near Crystal Bridges.
    Yeah Hogfly crushed it with that info. What do you like? What are you looking for? What are you wanting to stay away from? The variety and options here are amazing.

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    This is all reasonably new and getting rave reviews.

    https://mtbparks.com/Mountain-Bike-P...vity-Park.html

    Also the, as mentioned, if the Buffalo outdoor center is open, it is supposed to be a MUST SEE. There is really so much. Kessler is in Fayetteville, but is fantastic as well.

    Keep in your back pocket, the trails do not drain well. Hobbs or Runway bike park are your best bet for immediate post rain bike options.

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    If available I'd definitely swap the 11 Under in place of the Back 40. Passion Play is as advertised. It's my favorite place to ride in the entire state. Also, the new Monument Trails at Hobbs looks to be really good. We've kind of hit a good problem to have point. There are too many good areas to be able to definitively say what one should and should not hit on even a week long trip.

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    At the risk of becoming redundant, I'll second what others have said, specifically about Fitzgerald in Springdale, and the new trails at Hobbs. These are two of our very best, one is super techy and the other super flow.

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    Quote Originally Posted by provin1327 View Post
    Hey everyone,
    I'm planning a mtb trip out to Bentonville in September and am looking for some advice. I've never been to the area so I'm looking to ride as much as I can without overdoing it.


    Sat Sept 14 12 hour drive from CO to AR
    Sun Sept 15 Ride Slaughter Pen
    Mon Sept 16 Ride Colar
    Tues Sept 17 Off - ideas for non mtb things?
    Wed Sept 16 Ride Blowing Springs and back 40
    Thurs Sept 18 Ride Lake Leatherwood
    Fri Sept 19 Ride Slaughter Pen, easy day, prep for heading home
    Sat Sept 20 12 hour drive from AR to CO


    Anyone have any feedback on riding these areas? Seem doable for a week long trip? Any tips on restaurants, bars, breweries, or places that are a must visit? We'll have our own car and will be staying in an AirBNB near Crystal Bridges.
    Also, what sort of riding are you looking for? That could skew the responses.

    I forgot this in my original post. For food and brews you definitely need to hit the 8th Street Market, The Holler, Bike Rack Brewing Company and Yeyos are all favorites and it's an easy bike ride from Crystal Bridges. Hawk Moth and Ozark Beer Company in Rogers are two amazing breweries. Onyx Coffee is a can't miss coffee shop. Pedalers Pub has great wood fired pizza and is a neat place.

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    Wow, tons of info already, thanks! To answer a few questions:

    1) As far as sessioning versus covering ground, I'd prefer to cover more ground than session one spot or one line. I was already thinking about hitting both Slaughter Pen and Colar in one day, seems easily do-able.

    2) We are willing to drive but would prefer to stay close. With Lake Leatherneck being about an hour away that drive seems easy so that's why it's on the list.

    3) While off the bike we like to drink beer! We're not real touristy and this is a bike trip, but, with that being said zip lines, kayaks, paddleboards, Crystal Bridges museum all sound good for non-bike activities which we will definitely need a day or two of.

    Where can I get more info about Fitzgerald, Hobbs Buffalo Outdoor Center, and 11Under? It looks like the very first of the "Monument trails" project just opened up at Hobbs? What the heck is this "Great Passion Play" place? A bike park? A religious Disney land? I checked out their website and I need to know more. Wow there seems to be TON of trails and riding around Bentonville. I could spend 3 months there!

    It would probably help to know my riding style. I live in Boulder Colorado and ride trails in the Denver/Front range area. I ride more on the "aggressive trail" side of things with a 2019 YT Jeffsy 150mm/150mm. Not quite a 180mm enduro sled but I definitely like technical rocks and fast trails. Jumping is always fun too but I'm no dirt jumping pro. I will be with a rider that is not quite as expert as I am so I wouldn't shy away from intermediate or blue/black trails although ratings differ so much from one area to another that a green trail in Colorado might be a blue or blue black in Bentonville or vice versa.

    What I am NOT looking for is cross country type trails, long climbs, hours of pedaling over fairly flat terrain. I'd prefer to go up to get down.

    How is bike theft or crime in the area? I'd love to pedal to the breweries and restaurants that have been listed and am fine locking up the bikes with a solid U lock but I am usually very very touchy about doing that.
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    With the riding preferences you describe, you should definitely focus on Fitzgerald, Coler, and the Eureka downhill trails. Also might like Passion Play out in Eureka, and parts of Slaughter Pen. The Back 40 is almost exactly what you're not looking for - long xc miles, with some exceptions (the ledges). And they do have some newish jump runs out there, one is called Taylor Homestead.

    You can get more information at oztrailsnwa.com ....

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    Looks like I should swap Back 40 with the Monument Trails at Hobbs, might be more my style. Does anyone know how the 11 Under trails will compare to the Back 40? Looks like there is a chance some of them may be open by then.
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    [/I]
    Quote Originally Posted by provin1327 View Post
    Looks like I should swap Back 40 with the Monument Trails at Hobbs, might be more my style. Does anyone know how the 11 Under trails will compare to the Back 40? Looks like there is a chance some of them may be open by then.
    I'd hate for anyone visiting to straight out skip the Back 40. It does have some awesome runs like Flo Ride, and the Ledges really is a short but can't miss trail if you like challenging techy stuff. On the Back 40, if you ride up you'll get to come down, and you can really let it rip out there. There are some rocky sections, and little jumps scattered along the way. But yeah, a lot of it is XC oriented.

    For that matter, you could probably say the same thing about the Monument trails. They are in a prettier location though.

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    Quote Originally Posted by provin1327 View Post
    Looks like I should swap Back 40 with the Monument Trails at Hobbs, might be more my style. Does anyone know how the 11 Under trails will compare to the Back 40? Looks like there is a chance some of them may be open by then.
    11Under is similar to Back40 with a bit more technical terrain from what I can tell.

    I don't want to complicate matters more, but I think the Buffalo Outdoor Center trails will be open around September 1st (was supposed to be August, but builders told me that it keeps getting pushed back due to the insane amount of rain we've had). If you want to go up to get down, it's definitely worth it.

    It's pushing a bit, though, as it will be around a 90 minute drive to get there. But... it's the freaking Buffalo River, which, if you aren't aware is amazeballs epic beautiful.

    The new stuff at Hobbs is definitely a ton of fun. Not a lot of huge technical jumps or anything but there is floooow for days.

    I'm not sure how locked in you all are for your AirBNB, but I might seriously consider doing a night or two in Eureka Springs. This would let you hit Leatherwood, Passion Play (both in Eureka) and the Buffalo Trails (an hour out). You could also float, fish or hike areas in the Buffalo or Eureka on your days off. From what you describe liking, I think you'll really enjoy the Passion Play.

    As for what it is: the property hosts the Great Passion Play which is a live, open-air reenactment of the final days of Christ. At one time, that was a large tourist draw. Now... not so much. So they've diversified, and they built a ton of trails out there which are open to the public. Tony Boone helped design them and Jagged Axe (of Glorietta, NW fame) built them. Alex from Jagged Axe lives on property, so there is continuous awesome trailbuilding happening. It's well worth checking out.

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    Quote Originally Posted by provin1327 View Post
    What I am NOT looking for is cross country type trails, long climbs, hours of pedaling over fairly flat terrain. I'd prefer to go up to get down.
    To clarify, the B40 loop has 2,800 feet of elevation in 22 miles according to Strava... so it's not flat. You do climb, and you do get down.

    Not sure how that compares to what you like/what you ride in CO... I know the longest straight climb I've ever encountered is the dirt road to the top of Horsetooth Rez in Ft. Collins (Soderberg Lot to Carey Springs).

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    Quote Originally Posted by S​​usspect View Post
    To clarify, the B40 loop has 2,800 feet of elevation in 22 miles according to Strava... so it's not flat. You do climb, and you do get down.

    Not sure how that compares to what you like/what you ride in CO... I know the longest straight climb I've ever encountered is the dirt road to the top of Horsetooth Rez in Ft. Collins (Soderberg Lot to Carey Springs).
    Hah, you mean Towers road. Oh I am very familiar with Towers, such a brutal climb! A local Fort Collins rider did 23 laps of Towers in 24 hours to raise money for a fundraiser, crazy, I can hardly do two laps.

    Thanks to you all again for this information. I'm thinking we'll combine Slaughter Pen and Colar into one day and for sure squeeze in Fitzgerald and/or Hobbs. Sounds like there is so much amazing building out there. I'm surprised that IMBA still calls Boulder home because mountain bikes have no seat at the table here in Boulder or in Colorado. I can't wait to ride in an area where mountain biking seems to be at the top of the totem pole!
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    Quote Originally Posted by provin1327 View Post
    Wow, tons of info already, thanks! To answer a few questions:

    1) As far as sessioning versus covering ground, I'd prefer to cover more ground than session one spot or one line. I was already thinking about hitting both Slaughter Pen and Colar in one day, seems easily do-able.

    2) We are willing to drive but would prefer to stay close. With Lake Leatherneck being about an hour away that drive seems easy so that's why it's on the list.

    3) While off the bike we like to drink beer! We're not real touristy and this is a bike trip, but, with that being said zip lines, kayaks, paddleboards, Crystal Bridges museum all sound good for non-bike activities which we will definitely need a day or two of.

    Where can I get more info about Fitzgerald, Hobbs Buffalo Outdoor Center, and 11Under? It looks like the very first of the "Monument trails" project just opened up at Hobbs? What the heck is this "Great Passion Play" place? A bike park? A religious Disney land? I checked out their website and I need to know more. Wow there seems to be TON of trails and riding around Bentonville. I could spend 3 months there!

    It would probably help to know my riding style. I live in Boulder Colorado and ride trails in the Denver/Front range area. I ride more on the "aggressive trail" side of things with a 2019 YT Jeffsy 150mm/150mm. Not quite a 180mm enduro sled but I definitely like technical rocks and fast trails. Jumping is always fun too but I'm no dirt jumping pro. I will be with a rider that is not quite as expert as I am so I wouldn't shy away from intermediate or blue/black trails although ratings differ so much from one area to another that a green trail in Colorado might be a blue or blue black in Bentonville or vice versa.

    What I am NOT looking for is cross country type trails, long climbs, hours of pedaling over fairly flat terrain. I'd prefer to go up to get down.

    How is bike theft or crime in the area? I'd love to pedal to the breweries and restaurants that have been listed and am fine locking up the bikes with a solid U lock but I am usually very very touchy about doing that.
    Slaughter Pen, Coler, Blowing Springs, Fitzgerald, Kessler, Lake Leatherwood, and Passion Play seem to be more suited to you.

    The Back 40 is great but it's definitely more in the XC realm in my opinion. There are some fun descents and I love it for knocking out some miles and having fun but it's not all mountain type riding, a 120/120 trail bike would be perfect for it.

    The Great Passion Play is both of the questions you asked about it. It probably has the steepest and most technical trails in the area, everything is either bypassable or rideable for the most part, in my opinion it's a must hit. Most of this video is of the Passion Play but leaves out several of the trails, Deliverance, Holy Roller and a few others.

    https://youtu.be/-GKyFElYMPE

    Crime is very low here. I hate to say you won't experience it because anything can happen but it's not shocking to see $50k worth of bikes on a bike rack outside of a popular place on a nice day, most without locks fwiw.

    Happy to answer any other questions or provide more detail.

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    I'm going to come back in and make another plea for Passion Play. We rode out there with a builder yesterday, and he showed us some of the new stuff they're making as well as some older stuff we'd never hit before. Holy moly.

    I'm not sure what Passion Play needs to do to convince more people to hit those trails. Maybe they need shuttles, I'm not sure... but dang. People are missing out if they're sleeping on that area. The new trail we hit called Gnarmageddon is the steepest shit I've ever ridden and has some amazing drops and rock gardens on it. Also has a new north shore cliff drop/roll that is pretty awesome.

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    Quote Originally Posted by hogfly View Post
    I'm going to come back in and make another plea for Passion Play. We rode out there with a builder yesterday, and he showed us some of the new stuff they're making as well as some older stuff we'd never hit before. Holy moly.

    I'm not sure what Passion Play needs to do to convince more people to hit those trails. Maybe they need shuttles, I'm not sure... but dang. People are missing out if they're sleeping on that area. The new trail we hit called Gnarmageddon is the steepest shit I've ever ridden and has some amazing drops and rock gardens on it. Also has a new north shore cliff drop/roll that is pretty awesome.
    Yeah, I don't know why people won't believe me about it. It's amazing, but the good stuff takes forever to dry. I'm also pretty sure they're trying to figure some shuttles out.

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    If you're used to riding the Front Range, my suggestions for here would be:


    1. Hobbs
    2. Slaughter Pen
    3. Coler
    4. Passion Play


    IMHO Fitzgerald is pretty bland and limited, also takes forever to dry.
    Leatherwood and Back 40 are XC heavy.


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    Quote Originally Posted by RazorbackMTB View Post
    If you're used to riding the Front Range, my suggestions for here would be:


    1. Hobbs
    2. Slaughter Pen
    3. Coler
    4. Passion Play


    IMHO Fitzgerald is pretty bland and limited, also takes forever to dry.
    Leatherwood and Back 40 are XC heavy.


    Hit New Province Brewing if you get the chance.
    Leatherwood is XC heavy? Wut?


    Fitz is bland? Wut?

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    Quote Originally Posted by hogfly View Post
    Leatherwood is XC heavy? Wut?

    Fitz is bland? Wut?
    lol calm down. It's ok for others to have an opinion that's different from yours. This guy rides in CO. Fitz is certainly bland and one-dimensional compared other trails in the world. Other than Best Trail Ever, it's all green, and super short. Up-down, rinse repeat. Not to mention it's not co-located with anything else. At least in Bentonville you can bounce to other trailheads if you get bored.
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    Quote Originally Posted by RazorbackMTB View Post
    IMHO Fitzgerald is pretty bland and limited,.
    This might be the most ridiculous take I've ever read on here. Have you even ridden the stuff that's north of Dodd? 🤫

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    Quote Originally Posted by RazorbackMTB View Post
    lol calm down. It's ok for others to have an opinion that's different from yours. This guy rides in CO. Fitz is certainly bland and one-dimensional compared other trails in the world. Other than Best Trail Ever, it's all green, and super short. Up-down, rinse repeat. Not to mention it's not co-located with anything else. At least in Bentonville you can bounce to other trailheads if you get bored.
    Coyote Cave is black and not that short. Bridge is Out has the biggest jump in the State at this point (besides maybe Rapture at Leatherwood) and Barking Iron also has great jump lines. Butterfield also has nice rock jumps on it. I don't know... I've just never heard anyone think of Fitzgerald as "bland." The rockwork alone is unique enough to want to go check it out.

    And what's up with the Leatherwood is mostly XC? Not being combative, just genuinely curious, since it's the one designated, shuttle-accessed downhill area in the state at this point?

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    Quote Originally Posted by hogfly View Post
    Coyote Cave is black and not that short. Bridge is Out has the biggest jump in the State at this point (besides maybe Rapture at Leatherwood) and Barking Iron also has great jump lines. Butterfield also has nice rock jumps on it. I don't know... I've just never heard anyone think of Fitzgerald as "bland." The rockwork alone is unique enough to want to go check it out.

    And what's up with the Leatherwood is mostly XC? Not being combative, just genuinely curious, since it's the one designated, shuttle-accessed downhill area in the state at this point?
    Bridge is Out is the novel reason to go there, but you can get better, longer, and more miles of jump and flow at the other sites I listed. That was the point of my suggestions, to maximize riding fun with a limited amount of time. I've had to do the same thing on all of my trips. Sure the rock work at Fitz is nice, but it's not unique to just Fitz. Using precious time to drive to Springdale just for a few good lines and rock work might not be the best choice from an efficiency standpoint. But maybe the guy loves rock work, different strokes for different folks. I was just throwing another opinion out there, I think you (and some other poster that freaked out) took the word "bland" as a personal insult and instantly needed to defend your suggestions.

    My comments on Leatherwood were about the non-DH trails, the original Leatherwood trails are XC thru and thru. But yeah the shuttled downhill area can be fun, especially to first-timers.
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    Quote Originally Posted by RazorbackMTB View Post
    I think you (and some other poster that freaked out) took the word "bland" as a personal insult and instantly needed to defend your suggestions.
    You misunderstand. Nobody is freaked out, nobody has anything to defend. It's just that your description, or at least choice of words like "bland", is so off base that someone is going to say something.

    And for the record, Fitzgerald has about 4 miles of black and 2 miles of blue above Dodd, more blue and green below. CW/CCW will give very different rides.

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    Quote Originally Posted by RazorbackMTB View Post
    If you're used to riding the Front Range, my suggestions for here would be:


    1. Hobbs
    2. Slaughter Pen
    3. Coler
    4. Passion Play


    IMHO Fitzgerald is pretty bland and limited, also takes forever to dry.
    Leatherwood and Back 40 are XC heavy.


    Hit New Province Brewing if you get the chance.
    You have some weird, weird, takes in this thread. Leatherwood, even the old stuff, more XC than Hobbs being just one of a few.

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    Quote Originally Posted by S​​usspect View Post
    You misunderstand. Nobody is freaked out, nobody has anything to defend. It's just that your description, or at least choice of words like "bland", is so off base that someone is going to say something.

    And for the record, Fitzgerald has about 4 miles of black and 2 miles of blue above Dodd, more blue and green below. CW/CCW will give very different rides.
    You quoted my post and called my take "the most ridiculous..." We are talking about something subjective, trails. So yeah I would call that "freaking out."

    If I had said I think chocolate ice cream is bland, would you have said my take was the most ridiculous, simply because my taste is different than yours? You got emotional at my use of the word "bland."

    People's opinions of trails normally come down to experience and personal taste. Perhaps you have not experienced many trails outside of Arkansas, and there's nothing wrong with that. Maybe I'm jaded and have a different level of expectations. I've ridden some amazing trails around the world. You mention 4 miles of black, like that is significant, but 4 miles is paltry if I want to have a 3 hour session. I mean, you're the same guy that uses the trail conditions Facebook page to complain that there isn't a parking lot right next to the new Hobbs trail, whining about 16 miles being a "big boy" ride. So forgive me if it's hard to take your fervent praise of Fitz as anything other than overt homerism.

    This thread asked for suggestions based on a limited timeline. Everyone is allowed to give their opinions, it's not a competition and there's no "right" answer. I didn't quote anyone in my post, or get confrontational, just simply gave my 2 cents. I admire the zealots and their pride for certain trails, but please understand NWA is not mountain biking mecca. There are squillions and squillions of miles of epic trail in the world, try to be a little less small-minded as to think your tastes and trail opinions are the law of the land. Different riders, styles, goals, all just trying to have fun.
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    Quote Originally Posted by tuckerjt07 View Post
    You have some weird, weird, takes in this thread. Leatherwood, even the old stuff, more XC than Hobbs being just one of a few.

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    Thanks! I've raced both more than once and Leatherwood is 10x the XC course that Hobbs is. My opinion, of course
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    Quote Originally Posted by RazorbackMTB View Post
    Maybe I'm jaded... You mention 4 miles of black, like that is significant, but 4 miles is paltry... you're the same guy that uses the trail conditions Facebook page...
    Ok. You do sound a little bored or something, yeah. Almost like "why come to Arkansas at all, it's kinda meh".

    The reason I mention the trail lengths of blue/black at Fitz is only to counter the disinformation in your comment that "other than best trail ever, it's all green". Some people that read this have never been there, let's keep it accurate.

    And I see you've done some research on me (??) finding a Facebook post where I'm discussing trail access... of which the point was that the limited access will cause issues for people with kids (had a friend out there with a group of kids last weekend) or beginners (have a co-worker who wants to ride karst loop, but isn't ready for 16 miles). It's not about me. I've ridden it, I'm fine.

    Here's the real issue, your comments on these local trails sound like you don't know what you're talking about. As others have pointed out. And they keep coming. How is it that "leatherwood is 10x the XC course that Hobbs is"... when every single review of the Hobbs race course is that it's 100% XC? You might be an awesome mountain biker, but you're not much of a tour guide.

    Anyway, my apologies to the OP. As you can see, we have a mixed bag out here.

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    Quote Originally Posted by RazorbackMTB View Post
    Thanks! I've raced both more than once and Leatherwood is 10x the XC course that Hobbs is. My opinion, of course
    The fact that a national enduro series ran three stages down your "XC" trails would counter that statement. I don't prescribe to the "it's my opinion so I can't be wrong" fallacy so that dog don't hunt.

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    Quote Originally Posted by tuckerjt07 View Post
    The fact that a national enduro series ran three stages down your "XC" trails would counter that statement. I don't prescribe to the "it's my opinion so I can't be wrong" fallacy so that dog don't hunt.

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    In his defense, I think he's referring to the original Leatherwood trails going around the lake along with Miner's Rock prior to the downhill trails being developed (although there's been one downhill trail there for a long time). I still wouldn't say that they're more XC than Hobbs, which is about as XC as it gets (new trails excluded... although they're pretty XC as well, just more interesting than the old stuff).

    I have a weird feeling that he just might not like Rock Solid's work (dislikes Fitzgerald and left off the Leatherwood downhills in his consideration of quality of that area).

    Anyway, everyone is entitled to their opinion, but to the OP: you can take RazorbackMTB's word for it, or you can listen to Pat Smage, Brian Lopes, Jeff Lenosky, and Kenny Balaey... all of whom have raved about the trails and building at Fiztgerald.

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    Quote Originally Posted by hogfly View Post
    In his defense, I think he's referring to the original Leatherwood trails going around the lake along with Miner's Rock prior to the downhill trails being developed (although there's been one downhill trail there for a long time). I still wouldn't say that they're more XC than Hobbs, which is about as XC as it gets (new trails excluded... although they're pretty XC as well, just more interesting than the old stuff).

    I have a weird feeling that he just might not like Rock Solid's work (dislikes Fitzgerald and left off the Leatherwood downhills in his consideration of quality of that area).

    Anyway, everyone is entitled to their opinion, but to the OP: you can take RazorbackMTB's word for it, or you can listen to Pat Smage, Brian Lopes, Jeff Lenosky, and Kenny Balaey... all of whom have raved about the trails and building at Fiztgerald.
    And there were three stages that were ran down parts of the original loop. Two of which were some of the visiting developmental team riders favorites of the day. Neither of which is anywhere close to as XC as Hobbs is. Frankly I try to ride at Hobbs as little as possible, the old stuff, because it's so blah. Leatherwood is not like that at all.

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    Quote Originally Posted by tuckerjt07 View Post
    And there were three stages that were ran down parts of the original loop. Two of which were some of the visiting developmental team riders favorites of the day. Neither of which is anywhere close to as XC as Hobbs is. Frankly I try to ride at Hobbs as little as possible, the old stuff, because it's so blah. Leatherwood is not like that at all.

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    Hah. I guess that's totally true that quite a bit of the enduro was on old trails, not on the new downhill.

    Maybe Hobbs needs to host an Enduro, since it's less XC than Leatherwood!

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    Quote Originally Posted by hogfly View Post
    Hah. I guess that's totally true that quite a bit of the enduro was on old trails, not on the new downhill.

    Maybe Hobbs needs to host an Enduro, since it's less XC than Leatherwood!
    Count me out.

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    Quote Originally Posted by S​​usspect View Post
    Ok. You do sound a little bored or something, yeah. Almost like "why come to Arkansas at all, it's kinda meh".

    The reason I mention the trail lengths of blue/black at Fitz is only to counter the disinformation in your comment that "other than best trail ever, it's all green". Some people that read this have never been there, let's keep it accurate.

    Here's the real issue, your comments on these local trails sound like you don't know what you're talking about. As others have pointed out. And they keep coming. How is it that "leatherwood is 10x the XC course that Hobbs is"... when every single review of the Hobbs race course is that it's 100% XC? You might be an awesome mountain biker, but you're not much of a tour guide.
    This.

    If you make a trip to NWA and don't hit Fitzgerald, that'd just be a shame. If Best Trail Ever and Coyote Cave don't leave a smile on your face, I don't know what would. That dude's negative opinion is a minority one...by a lot. Also, that precious driving time that was mentioned is a non issue. Its literally like 15 miles from Bentonville.

    Spending 2 days in Eureka is great advice. Cool little town (similar to Manitou Springs in Co Springs if you're familiar) and killer riding (leatherwood and passion play).

    I'd skip Hobbs altogether based on your stated riding preferences. Beautiful area, but pure XC.

    Leatherwood, Passion Play, Coler, Fitzgerald...all must rides.

    SlaughterPen has some really fun stuff as well, but doesn't need a second day of riding. I'd recommend parking on the square and ride down All American to get into the SP trail system. Solid way to start a SP/Bentonville day for sure. Doing it that way, you'll get a pretty good sense of what the town is about. That'd be a pretty good way to start your trip off.

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    Also: as far as colocation with Fitzgerald... you can always check out Runway bike park home to the largest pump track in North America and site of the 2018 Red Bull World Pump Track Championships, which is about a mile away.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Qu!mby View Post
    This.

    If you make a trip to NWA and don't hit Fitzgerald, that'd just be a shame. If Best Trail Ever and Coyote Cave don't leave a smile on your face, I don't know what would. That dude's negative opinion is a minority one...by a lot. Also, that precious driving time that was mentioned is a non issue. Its literally like 15 miles from Bentonville.

    Spending 2 days in Eureka is great advice. Cool little town (similar to Manitou Springs in Co Springs if you're familiar) and killer riding (leatherwood and passion play).

    I'd skip Hobbs altogether based on your stated riding preferences. Beautiful area, but pure XC.

    Leatherwood, Passion Play, Coler, Fitzgerald...all must rides.

    SlaughterPen has some really fun stuff as well, but doesn't need a second day of riding. I'd recommend parking on the square and ride down All American to get into the SP trail system. Solid way to start a SP/Bentonville day for sure. Doing it that way, you'll get a pretty good sense of what the town is about. That'd be a pretty good way to start your trip off.
    Excellent suggestion for starting off the trip. My current preferred Slaughter Pen route if starting at All American:

    All American->Climb return to BooBoo and ChooChoo. Session those. Climb Black Apple to A street. Run Leopard Loop once if desired, otherwise head up A to Red Barn and Ozone. If desired session Ozone, return on Black Apple to Ozone/Red Barn trailhead.. Session Red Barn and/or Barn Burner then take Tristan's and Greenway to SP 1. Hit whatever in SP1 (Last Stand flow is fun. SP1 Downhill may be open soon). Then take Urban to Angus to top of Boneyard to hit that area. Then down to bottom of Boneyard. Then across street to Schroen Train. Hit that a time or two. Then return up All American to car. I think that gives a "greatest hits" of SP and can be done in a half of a day easily.

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    Quote Originally Posted by hogfly View Post
    Excellent suggestion for starting off the trip. My current preferred Slaughter Pen route if starting at All American:

    All American->Climb return to BooBoo and ChooChoo. Session those. Climb Black Apple to A street. Run Leopard Loop once if desired, otherwise head up A to Red Barn and Ozone. If desired session Ozone, return on Black Apple to Ozone/Red Barn trailhead.. Session Red Barn and/or Barn Burner then take Tristan's and Greenway to SP 1. Hit whatever in SP1 (Last Stand flow is fun. SP1 Downhill may be open soon). Then take Urban to Angus to top of Boneyard to hit that area. Then down to bottom of Boneyard. Then across street to Schroen Train. Hit that a time or two. Then return up All American to car. I think that gives a "greatest hits" of SP and can be done in a half of a day easily.
    OK, I live in NWA and I need to hire you to map out my biking days!!!

    Starting and ending in downtown Bentonville and doing SP is a must IMHO! Breakfast at buttered biscuit (not technically downtown), coffee at Onyx, park and start at All American. Ride and finish at Peddlers Pub or somewhere. A really great day!

    There is so much to do here. Eureka is killing it with some of their new stuff. I haven't been yet but I have heard the new Hobbs stuff is a must! We love Coler! So fun. I am also a big fan of Kessler in Fayetteville. It is a bit of a hike (40 mins from Bentonville) but there is some cool stuff there too!

    The trails here don't drain well, except Hobbs probably, and it isn't really etiquette to ride them when they are wet. Back up plans of Hobbs and Runway Park are probably important!

    If you can ride and like the big stuff, Fitzgerald has some ridiculous stuff. You will think you are lost if you follow GPS as you are in a neighborhood. Some of the parts aren't in great shape as it drains poorly but catch it on the right day and there is some crazy stuff stuff there.

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    Quote Originally Posted by nwa bike dad View Post
    OK, I live in NWA and I need to hire you to map out my biking days!!!
    I know you have groms as well. You'll become an expert at planning out the most "fun" route as well with the easiest climbing. The problem with our area is the little shits get spoiled because they're climbing up gradual greenway and getting to session killer purpose-built trail. So when you take them somewhere that has serious climbing, they're shocked at the idea of climbing for an hour to descend for 10 minutes.

    I still just try to keep it fun as possible, and I'm slowly seeing the grit and endurance build. But yeah... planning routes that have a large fun:climb ratio is important, so you get good at it.

    I wish that trailforks had an easy way to build routes that didn't involve actually having to ride those routes, because I have a ton of great routes for younger families. The Metfield Pump Track and Rago/Mulligan area also has some great stuff for youngsters.

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    Quote Originally Posted by hogfly View Post
    I wish that trailforks had an easy way to build routes that didn't involve actually having to ride those routes, because I have a ton of great routes for younger families. The Metfield Pump Track and Rago/Mulligan area also has some great stuff for youngsters.
    https://www.trailforks.com/contribute/route/ it totally does man just click through your route...

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    Quote Originally Posted by hogfly View Post
    I know you have groms as well. You'll become an expert at planning out the most "fun" route as well with the easiest climbing. The problem with our area is the little shits get spoiled because they're climbing up gradual greenway and getting to session killer purpose-built trail. So when you take them somewhere that has serious climbing, they're shocked at the idea of climbing for an hour to descend for 10 minutes.

    I still just try to keep it fun as possible, and I'm slowly seeing the grit and endurance build. But yeah... planning routes that have a large fun:climb ratio is important, so you get good at it.

    I wish that trailforks had an easy way to build routes that didn't involve actually having to ride those routes, because I have a ton of great routes for younger families. The Metfield Pump Track and Rago/Mulligan area also has some great stuff for youngsters.
    You are absolutely spot on! Love to hear your thoughts on top places for kids to ride, with this being the parameters!

    1. Preference is jumps, flow, berms, fun
    2. Smallest climb exertion to dh fun ration
    3. Opportunity to work on differing skills

    I am sure that sounds high maintenance but he is 8 and that seems to be the 8 year old preference. It sucks what the Railyard has become! Our go to's (Runway pump track, Gregory park, railyard) are starting to get a little old. We go all the time. Love to hear about some pump track, skills lines, practice drops, dirt jump parks that maybe out there!

    We have heard about the SP jump park but there is little to no info out there on it! It looks to have some practice drops and dirt jumps!

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    Quote Originally Posted by nwa bike dad View Post
    You are absolutely spot on! Love to hear your thoughts on top places for kids to ride, with this being the parameters!

    1. Preference is jumps, flow, berms, fun
    2. Smallest climb exertion to dh fun ration
    3. Opportunity to work on differing skills

    I am sure that sounds high maintenance but he is 8 and that seems to be the 8 year old preference. It sucks what the Railyard has become! Our go to's (Runway pump track, Gregory park, railyard) are starting to get a little old. We go all the time. Love to hear about some pump track, skills lines, practice drops, dirt jump parks that maybe out there!

    We have heard about the SP jump park but there is little to no info out there on it! It looks to have some practice drops and dirt jumps!
    Tiger Trail / Leopard Loop is really good by Lincoln Junior High. If they're used to Gregory, it might seem a little small, but it's where we went constantly before Gregory was built (we can ride to Gregory from our house in about 3 minutes).

    Metfield Pump Track area in Bella Vista is great. It has the pump track and a little skills line. When they're ready for 6 miles, there's a great loop there, especially now that they've built up the Rago and Mulligan jump lines. Basically start at Metfield and take Rago heading east and south toward Back 40 don't cross across to take Rago toward Summit School). Rago has a ton of jumps and features of varying skill levels along it now. Then get on B40 heading CCW. This let's you hit Stanhope Hill, which is a lot of fun. Take that all the way to Mulligan, which you'll take back to Metfield, and it now has some fun jumps and flow on it going that direction, too.

    Fireline at Coler is great for learning to jump as well (though once they get good at jumping, it's very easy to overshoot the jumps). If you bail out of Fireline after about the first 4 jumps or so, there's a really easy return back to the top that lets you session it a bunch. The climb to the Hub will suck for the kids, but once you're up there, you can session Fireline and a ton before going back to the base.

    Speaking of Coler: Family Flow and Thunderdome by the South Hub are both a lot of fun. There's an access road that provides easy return on both of those as well.

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    Quote Originally Posted by hogfly View Post
    Tiger Trail / Leopard Loop is really good by Lincoln Junior High. If they're used to Gregory, it might seem a little small, but it's where we went constantly before Gregory was built (we can ride to Gregory from our house in about 3 minutes).

    Metfield Pump Track area in Bella Vista is great. It has the pump track and a little skills line. When they're ready for 6 miles, there's a great loop there, especially now that they've built up the Rago and Mulligan jump lines. Basically start at Metfield and take Rago heading east and south toward Back 40 don't cross across to take Rago toward Summit School). Rago has a ton of jumps and features of varying skill levels along it now. Then get on B40 heading CCW. This let's you hit Stanhope Hill, which is a lot of fun. Take that all the way to Mulligan, which you'll take back to Metfield, and it now has some fun jumps and flow on it going that direction, too.

    Fireline at Coler is great for learning to jump as well (though once they get good at jumping, it's very easy to overshoot the jumps). If you bail out of Fireline after about the first 4 jumps or so, there's a really easy return back to the top that lets you session it a bunch. The climb to the Hub will suck for the kids, but once you're up there, you can session Fireline and a ton before going back to the base.

    Speaking of Coler: Family Flow and Thunderdome by the South Hub are both a lot of fun. There's an access road that provides easy return on both of those as well.
    Thanks! Fireline is one of the best for younger kids who can jump. Most of the stuff is tabletops so if a kid can't clear everything he's fine. We ride that a ton. The first climb is ok the 2nd is a bit of drama and the by the 3rd time I am trying to give me kid to random passer-byers! Haha

    We will try the Bella Vista stuff. Heard Red Barn (Maybe I got that wrong) is good. We have done Thunderdome and have Family Flow. On video is looks a bit boring but we have heard it is better live.

    As an aside we are in the process of building a bit of funding for a proper dirt jump park on private property. Give me a shout if you have interest.

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    dupe...

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    Red Barn is a lot of fun.

    We are definitely interested in a proper DJ park. One of our young shredders (@rawmtbshred on instagram who is 15 and absolutely rips. Follow him if you don't already) has one at his house that we can access. The problem is the freaking rain here. It really needs to be built indoors. The good news is that, judging by Gary's posts, there might be some Walton momentum to make a Woodward type situation happen down here. I also know someone else, outside the Walton org in commercial real estate, who is interested in buying a building for this to happen.

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    Well this thread really got hijacked.

    My trip is next weekend and I am stoked! The final trip plan looks like this:

    Sat Sept 14: 7.5 hour drive from Oakley Kansas to Bentonville AR
    Sun Sept 15: Ride Slaughter Pen and Colar
    Mon Sept 16: Ride Hobbs Monument Trails
    Tues Sept 17: Off day - Canoe somewhere? Crystal Bridges Museum?
    Wed Sept 16: Ride Fitzgerald
    Thurs Sept 18: Ride Lake Leatherwood DH Park
    Fri Sept 19: Ride Blowing Springs, possibly the 11Under trail system. Easy day, prep for heading home
    Sat Sept 20: 12 hour drive from AR to CO


    Thanks for all the advice here. Really wish I had more than a week but I am sure I will be back again (maybe relocating permanently to Bentonville if the trails are as good as you all say and the stars align!)

    How has the weather been out there? I think it's going to be hotter than I expected for mid September.
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    Quote Originally Posted by provin1327 View Post
    How has the weather been out there? I think it's going to be hotter than I expected for mid September.
    It may be September up in Kansas, but it's still August down in AR.

    Nice trip you're planning though, and trails have been dry, running great. Might even cool off a bit by the time you get here!

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    Quote Originally Posted by provin1327 View Post
    Well this thread really got hijacked.

    My trip is next weekend and I am stoked! The final trip plan looks like this:

    Sat Sept 14: 7.5 hour drive from Oakley Kansas to Bentonville AR
    Sun Sept 15: Ride Slaughter Pen and Colar
    Mon Sept 16: Ride Hobbs Monument Trails
    Tues Sept 17: Off day - Canoe somewhere? Crystal Bridges Museum?
    Wed Sept 16: Ride Fitzgerald
    Thurs Sept 18: Ride Lake Leatherwood DH Park
    Fri Sept 19: Ride Blowing Springs, possibly the 11Under trail system. Easy day, prep for heading home
    Sat Sept 20: 12 hour drive from AR to CO


    Thanks for all the advice here. Really wish I had more than a week but I am sure I will be back again (maybe relocating permanently to Bentonville if the trails are as good as you all say and the stars align!)

    How has the weather been out there? I think it's going to be hotter than I expected for mid September.
    The Back 40 for All event is on the 14th. The Little Sugar, formerly 11 Under, still aren't open to the public and will probably not be passable due to the major damage we took from a recent storm.

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    Quote Originally Posted by provin1327 View Post
    Well this thread really got hijacked.

    My trip is next weekend and I am stoked! The final trip plan looks like this:

    Sat Sept 14: 7.5 hour drive from Oakley Kansas to Bentonville AR
    Sun Sept 15: Ride Slaughter Pen and Colar
    Mon Sept 16: Ride Hobbs Monument Trails
    Tues Sept 17: Off day - Canoe somewhere? Crystal Bridges Museum?
    Wed Sept 16: Ride Fitzgerald
    Thurs Sept 18: Ride Lake Leatherwood DH Park
    Fri Sept 19: Ride Blowing Springs, possibly the 11Under trail system. Easy day, prep for heading home
    Sat Sept 20: 12 hour drive from AR to CO


    Thanks for all the advice here. Really wish I had more than a week but I am sure I will be back again (maybe relocating permanently to Bentonville if the trails are as good as you all say and the stars align!)

    How has the weather been out there? I think it's going to be hotter than I expected for mid September.
    Also on Fitzgerald: I would plan on a little more that day (unless you're only wanting to ride for a few hours). You can also hit the nearby Runway Bike Park skills course. If you want to make it an even longer day of riding, you could hit Kessler in Fayetteville since you'll be down to the South on that day.

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    Got back from the trip a few days ago and the Bentonville area is definitely fun! We ended up riding Back 40 instead of Fitzgerald and was able to tack on Passion Play after a morning at Eureka Springs bike park.

    Besides the Eureka Springs bike park my favorite trail was Timberjack at Hobbs although we only scratched the surface of the other areas we rode. The Slaughter Pen area and Colar were great too, you guys have some crazy jumps and features out there. I mean every single trail has jumps, drops, and rock rolls on it, even the green trails in the Back 40.

    I was surprised with the soil as I did not expect it to be mostly rock, limestone slabs, and gravely.

    It's so great to be in an area where mountain biking is a top priority. Great signage, tons of trails, easy accessibility, and community. People who live in Bentonville are so nice and chatty. Being from Colorado it took some getting used to not having lengthy trails that go straight up then straight down but the trails out there are built so well that you can work them for speed and lap everything over and over again.

    I also couldn't believe how much access to outdoor recreation you guys have out there. Kayaking, fishing, wakeboarding, mountain biking, hiking, hunting, fishing, rock climbing and all of it basically year round.

    Oh, and your beer, yea your beer is good Thanks to everyone for the recommendations. I will definitely be planning another trip sometime next year.
    Last edited by provin1327; 09-26-2019 at 12:38 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by provin1327 View Post
    Got back from the trip a few days ago and the Bentonville area is definitely fun! We ended up riding Back 40 instead of Fitzgerald and was able to tack on Passion Play after a morning at Eureka Springs bike park.

    Besides the Eureka Springs bike park my favorite trail was Timberjack at Hobbs although we only scratched the surface of the other areas we rode. The Slaughter Pen area and Colar were great too, you guys have some crazy jumps and features out there. I mean every single trail has jumps, drops, and rock rolls on it, even the green trails in the Back 40.

    I was surprised with the soil as I did not expect it to be mostly rock, limestone slabs, and gravely.

    It's so great to be in an area where mountain biking is a top priority. Great signage, tons of trails, easy accessibility, and community. People who live in Bentonville are so nice and chatty. Being from Colorado it took some getting used to not having lengthy trails that go straight up then straight down but the trails out there are build so well that you can work them for speed and lap everything over and over again.

    I also couldn't believe how much access to outdoor recreation you guys have out there. Kayaking, fishing, wakeboarding, mountain biking, hiking, hunting, fishing, rock climbing and all of it basically year round.

    Oh, and your beer, yea your beer is good Thanks to everyone for the recommendations. I will definitely be planning another trip sometime next year.
    Glad to hear you enjoyed it. There will probably be 50-70 miles of new trail by the time you make it back next year.

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    Awesome man! Glad to hear that you had a good time. Other than having some unseasonably hot weather, you hit it at a good time. Glad you got to check out Passion Play, though I will say that it's a place that rewards having a guide, as there are more and more secret/new lines out there.

    The area is definitely a bit of an outdoor paradise, though I do miss the winter sports when I lived out in Colorado. That being said, I don't miss the crowds that I often had to battle at trailheads and parks in Colorado. I'm sure we'll eventually have that problem, though, as more and more people are attracted to the area for the outdoors. That's a good problem to have as a state, though!

    I'll confess that I'm shocked to here a Coloradoan compliment our beer, as you all are so damned good in that category. That being said, we are getting some really good breweries around here. I'm assuming you probably hit Bike Rack more than anywhere? New Province and Crisis are probably my current favorites, though Bike Rack and Ozark are also both excellent.

    Anyway, tell all your friends! We're open year round, and the Winter months might provide some of the best riding, if you all get sick of sliding down the hill on sticks and want to get back on two wheels.

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    Quote Originally Posted by hogfly View Post
    Awesome man! Glad to hear that you had a good time. Other than having some unseasonably hot weather, you hit it at a good time. Glad you got to check out Passion Play, though I will say that it's a place that rewards having a guide, as there are more and more secret/new lines out there.

    The area is definitely a bit of an outdoor paradise, though I do miss the winter sports when I lived out in Colorado. That being said, I don't miss the crowds that I often had to battle at trailheads and parks in Colorado. I'm sure we'll eventually have that problem, though, as more and more people are attracted to the area for the outdoors. That's a good problem to have as a state, though!

    I'll confess that I'm shocked to here a Coloradoan compliment our beer, as you all are so damned good in that category. That being said, we are getting some really good breweries around here. I'm assuming you probably hit Bike Rack more than anywhere? New Province and Crisis are probably my current favorites, though Bike Rack and Ozark are also both excellent.

    Anyway, tell all your friends! We're open year round, and the Winter months might provide some of the best riding, if you all get sick of sliding down the hill on sticks and want to get back on two wheels.
    Yea I gave up on winter sports in Colorado years ago. Was great as a kid but now things are too expensive and too crowded.

    I too was surprised by the beer but good beer starts with good water which you all must have, probably due to all of the limestone in the area. We only went to one brewery and that was Bike Rack. Their beer was good but the best stuff I had was from Lost 40, their cream ale was awesome! I tried a few from Bentonville Brewing as well but Lost 40 was my favorite. Brought home a 6 pack of their cream stout.
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  53. #53
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    Quote Originally Posted by provin1327 View Post
    Yea I gave up on winter sports in Colorado years ago. Was great as a kid but now things are too expensive and too crowded.

    I too was surprised by the beer but good beer starts with good water which you all must have, probably due to all of the limestone in the area. We only went to one brewery and that was Bike Rack. Their beer was good but the best stuff I had was from Lost 40, their cream ale was awesome! I tried a few from Bentonville Brewing as well but Lost 40 was my favorite. Brought home a 6 pack of their cream stout.
    Lost40 is excellent. They're out of Little Rock, so I don't really consider them "local" anymore as we have so many breweries in the immediate area, now.

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    How does the soil/trails handle rain in the greater Bentonville area?

    I'm headed there this weekend and unfortunately the forecast is calling for rain on Friday. I'm hoping the area didn't get it's name from being all bentonite clay and can't be ridden for 2-3 days after it rains.

    Are there certain trails in the area that handle the rain better than others?

    Thanks!

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    I've ridden there after a night of rain (not too heavy), and most trails seems to drain nicely. The exception would be, of course, the 'manufactured' flow trails like you'll find at Coler Mountain Bike Preserve. They need to dry out to prevent damage.

    BTW, Bentonville/Benton County is named after a politician from Missouri.
    You didn't quit riding because you're old, you're old because you quit riding.

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    Quote Originally Posted by fredcook View Post
    I've ridden there after a night of rain (not too heavy), and most trails seems to drain nicely. The exception would be, of course, the 'manufactured' flow trails like you'll find at Coler Mountain Bike Preserve. They need to dry out to prevent damage.

    BTW, Bentonville/Benton County is named after a politician from Missouri.
    Thanks for the info and trivia nugget.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Stahr_Nut View Post
    How does the soil/trails handle rain in the greater Bentonville area?

    I'm headed there this weekend and unfortunately the forecast is calling for rain on Friday. I'm hoping the area didn't get it's name from being all bentonite clay and can't be ridden for 2-3 days after it rains.

    Are there certain trails in the area that handle the rain better than others?

    Thanks!
    This is the one weekend I'd reschedule if I could, unless you're riding the Epic. Epic Rides will be in town and be putting on a 900 person race which will be taking place on all of the well draining trails leaving you with basically only Hobbs to ride.

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    Quote Originally Posted by tuckerjt07 View Post
    This is the one weekend I'd reschedule if I could, unless you're riding the Epic. Epic Rides will be in town and be putting on a 900 person race which will be taking place on all of the well draining trails leaving you with basically only Hobbs to ride.

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    Yep we're aware of the race. We considered doing it but given its length and none of us are the type who could throttle back and not bury ourselves for the rest of our trip we ultimately chose not to.

    As of right now our plan is on Friday to ride would will essentially be the race course and then while the race is happening on Saturday head to Hobbs or Lake Leatherwood and then on Sunday ride whichever one we don't do Saturday. Then do a yet TBD ride Monday morning and hit the road Monday afternoon for a stop at Brown County on the way home Tuesday.

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    The pros ride the same course on Sunday. Itís just Amateurs on Saturday.


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    I'd just worry that with all the rain we just had and thr the rain we are scheduled to get that Hobbs and Blowing Springs/Back 40 will be the only rideable trails.

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    Quote Originally Posted by tuckerjt07 View Post
    I'd just worry that with all the rain we just had and thr the rain we are scheduled to get that Hobbs and Blowing Springs/Back 40 will be the only rideable trails.

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    Got it. Thanks for the intel.

    I just looked at the forecast again.....over an inch of rain Thursday night...ugh.

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    The good news is that even after the 6"-9" we got in a few hours Sunday things were rideable, other than washouts and down trees, on Monday. Hobbs could be ridden in a downpour with no worries.

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    This is a pretty good thread. Question for the hive....i found this AFTER booking my house in Bella Vista.

    We have the following time to ride:
    Day 1 land and ride back 40
    Day 2
    Day 3
    Day 4 AM only

    Looks like we can ride a bit in Bella Vista in the back 40 for day 1. The trails that interest me the most, based on this thread, are Passion Play and Leatherwood kind of stuff. Were XC 100% from Northeast PA, good with Techie Rocky stuff bring the climbs and descents no problem, cover more ground people visiting in July. Jump lines look awesome but not for us.

    Anything else not mentioned in the area to MUST do for the XC all day wheels on the ground kind of crew?

    THANKS!
    Can we ride to Passion/Leatherwood from Bella Vista? OR is it a drive? I know we can ride anywhere but please advise on duration/easy spin?

  64. #64
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    Gotta drive. Quite a bike ride if you went from Bella Vista to Eureka Springs. Plus Eureka Springs is a cool little town. Worth a few hours of sightseeing if you have the time.

    Coler is right there close and so is Slaughter pen. All accessable via the greenway, well Coler is a bit west but you can ride to it. Lots of downhillish stuff in those areas.

    Back 40 is a slog. Fun ride but nothing terribly memorable except ledges. Plenty of climbing on that one. Obviously you don't have to ride all of it but I would recommend counter clockwise. That way if you ride ledges(and you should) it'll be mostly downhill. Lots of bailouts too as it is really urban, so if you get tight on time you can just jump out to a road and ride back to the trailhead.

    I was there weekend before last and just kind of messed around around slaughter pen and got 15 miles and 1200 feet of climb and really wasn't trying.

    The downhill in SPH is fun. Lots of xc style trails there and even at Coler. but it is mostly downhill oriented. Remember in that area with the exception of Lake Leatherwood, it is pay to play. Gotta pedal to the top.

    Really there is something for everybody. I want to get out and get to Hobbs. They have a couple of dh type runs that are pretty new and some more xc oriented stuff too.

  65. #65
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    Quote Originally Posted by jomissa View Post
    This is a pretty good thread. Question for the hive....i found this AFTER booking my house in Bella Vista.

    We have the following time to ride:
    Day 1 land and ride back 40
    Day 2
    Day 3
    Day 4 AM only

    Looks like we can ride a bit in Bella Vista in the back 40 for day 1. The trails that interest me the most, based on this thread, are Passion Play and Leatherwood kind of stuff. Were XC 100% from Northeast PA, good with Techie Rocky stuff bring the climbs and descents no problem, cover more ground people visiting in July. Jump lines look awesome but not for us.

    Anything else not mentioned in the area to MUST do for the XC all day wheels on the ground kind of crew?

    THANKS!
    Can we ride to Passion/Leatherwood from Bella Vista? OR is it a drive? I know we can ride anywhere but please advise on duration/easy spin?
    If you're more into XC and pedaling long miles, you've already got Back40 on your itinerary. You're going to love Little Sugar, as it's like the Back40 but way, way more fun with more features and better descents. There are like 9 miles (or maybe a little more) officially opened, but there's already a ton more of trail developed. It's just not posted up to Trailforks as of yet. Good news is that it's also in Bella Vista.

    Hobbs is going to be another area you'll want to hit for a longish day in the saddle. The new Monument Trails let you get close to 20 miles if you do all the options. Then you have another 15 or so miles you could do on the old stuff at Hobbs (old school XC singletrack. Not a lot of flow or features, but great for pedaling).

    Slaughter Pen and Coler are going to give you lots of miles, but it's a trail network, so it might feel a little disjointed if you're wanting to just zone out and pedal a bunch. You'll be making a lot of decisions on which trail crossing to take and such. The good news is that you can probably pedal all of it, more or less, in a day. You might just be repeating some trails and such to access others.

    It's interesting that Leatherwood appeals to you, as it's known mainly for its downhills and shuttle system. There are some good XC trails out there as well, though. Passion Play is going to have some awesome stuff and definitely let you get some miles.

    The Buffalo Headwaters would have your best backcountry XC experience, but it's also remote, without cell access, and confusing if you don't know the area.

  66. #66
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    leatherwood....just learning so i may be misplaced in my thinking there.

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    Best stuff at Leatherwood is best ridden with a full face and big bike. I've ridden the DH greens and blues with an XC bike in full lycra, but it's asking alot of the bike and my skills....

    If you like pedaling and a little bit of chunk, doing Back 40/Blowing Springs and Little Sugar are going to check the boxes pretty well and be ride able from anywhere Bella Vista. 100-150 ft of climbing per mile, comfortable on XC or trail bikes.
    -DC, just some XC Bum from FL in NW Arkansas

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    Quote Originally Posted by pinkpowa View Post
    Best stuff at Leatherwood is best ridden with a full face and big bike. I've ridden the DH greens and blues with an XC bike in full lycra, but it's asking alot of the bike and my skills....

    If you like pedaling and a little bit of chunk, doing Back 40/Blowing Springs and Little Sugar are going to check the boxes pretty well and be ride able from anywhere Bella Vista. 100-150 ft of climbing per mile, comfortable on XC or trail bikes.
    Little Sugar can get into the 200-250 range depending on what you ride out there.

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    thats it.....no full face. love me some lycra.

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    Instead of starting a new thread, figured I'd just post in here.

    Heading to Bentonville March 15-20th for the Professional Trail Builders Conference. Have all day Monday the 16th to ride so thinking of hitting Eureka that day. Then sticking around town during the week after conference sessions. Hopefully the weather will be decent.

    I'll just be cleared to ride at that time from a complex hernia surgery so my fitness is lackluster and I haven't been riding. But I'm a trials and moto guy by heart so love technical riding and used to race motos and mtb enduros. Bringing my Ibis HD5. Would love to meet up with anybody while I'm there!

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    Quote Originally Posted by -Chainslap- View Post
    Instead of starting a new thread, figured I'd just post in here.

    Heading to Bentonville March 15-20th for the Professional Trail Builders Conference. Have all day Monday the 16th to ride so thinking of hitting Eureka that day. Then sticking around town during the week after conference sessions. Hopefully the weather will be decent.

    I'll just be cleared to ride at that time from a complex hernia surgery so my fitness is lackluster and I haven't been riding. But I'm a trials and moto guy by heart so love technical riding and used to race motos and mtb enduros. Bringing my Ibis HD5. Would love to meet up with anybody while I'm there!
    Eureka is a good plan, as you may end up seeing quite a bit of the stuff around Bentonville as part of the PTBC.

    Leatherwood (in Eureka) has shuttles, so that would take care of your lack of conditioning. If you talk to Denton at Adventure Mountain Outfitters and finagle some others to go with you, he'll shuttle you at Passion Play as well.

  72. #72
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    Quote Originally Posted by hogfly View Post
    Eureka is a good plan, as you may end up seeing quite a bit of the stuff around Bentonville as part of the PTBC.

    Leatherwood (in Eureka) has shuttles, so that would take care of your lack of conditioning. If you talk to Denton at Adventure Mountain Outfitters and finagle some others to go with you, he'll shuttle you at Passion Play as well.
    Thanks! I actually visited Bentonville last year but wasn't able to ride unfortunately. Went to Eureka Springs and walked some of the trails. Pretty phenomenal the amount of investment that has gone on in the area. I'll check out Adventure Mtn Outfitters.

  73. #73
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    Booked my Bentonville trip from 5/12-5/19 and now i'm thinking about the bike travel logistics. I'd rather ship a bike ahead to a local shop and ship it back to myself vs. dealing with the bike at the airport. Any recommendations?
    The glass is twice as large as it needs to be

  74. #74
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    Quote Originally Posted by andy f View Post
    Booked my Bentonville trip from 5/12-5/19 and now i'm thinking about the bike travel logistics. I'd rather ship a bike ahead to a local shop and ship it back to myself vs. dealing with the bike at the airport. Any recommendations?
    Assuming you're staying in Bentonville:

    If you're in downtown Bentonville, it will be hard to beat the convenience of Phat Tire (Santa Cruz, Yeti, Trek, Salsa) on the square. Mojo (Ibis, Intense, Jamis, Orbea, Evil, GT) is the other full service shop, and they're also fairly close to the square (and very close to Coler and Slaughter Pen Phase 1).
    Last edited by hogfly; 02-26-2020 at 10:19 AM.

  75. #75
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    Quote Originally Posted by andy f View Post
    Booked my Bentonville trip from 5/12-5/19 and now i'm thinking about the bike travel logistics. I'd rather ship a bike ahead to a local shop and ship it back to myself vs. dealing with the bike at the airport. Any recommendations?
    I'd definitely recommend stopping by Mojo, even if you don't ship there. Great group of guys with a wealth of knowledge about the local trails and current conditions.

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  76. #76
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    Thanks. The Mojo website has a cool vibe.

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    Quote Originally Posted by andy f View Post
    Thanks. The Mojo website has a cool vibe.
    Yeah and it doesn't even show pictures of the new shop which is a magnitudes cooler place.

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    these shops rent? good lineup of brands!

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    Quote Originally Posted by jomissa View Post
    these shops rent? good lineup of brands!
    They do. I believe Mojo's rentals are Orbea and Jamis. Phat Tire does Trek and maybe Santa Cruz rentals. You also have the Hub which does Transition rentals. Then High Roller (in Rogers about 10 minutes away) does Pivot and Specialized.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jomissa View Post
    these shops rent? good lineup of brands!
    Yep Mojo just turned over their rental fleet.

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