Syllamo Trip in April- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Syllamo Trip in April

    Hey guys.

    I'm looking to take a spring break vaca with the family (14 and 16 YO kids) and Syllamo looks to be the place for us. I like the fact that there are multiple loops right next to a campground. For reference, we went to Tsali last year and had a riot. We'll be escaping the cold of Wisonsin.

    Before fully committing, I just wanted to get some inside info on the conditions at that time of year:
    1) Is there a reasonable chance of decent weather and dry trails in the 3rd week of April? I know...no guarantees, but I'm not forgetting the annual monsoon season or something am I?
    2) Is the campground ok (scenic and quiet)? We'll be caming and it looks like they don't take reservations. Anything I should know about the campground?
    3) The trails: "fast and flowy" with good scenery is the trail description that suits the four of us. Tsali was the perfect level. Just want to make sure Syllamo isn't solid rock gardens or something.
    4) Other stuff to do in the area: looks like there are some kind of cavern tours...anything else I'm missing?
    5) Bugs and stuff ok at that time of year? I read a caution about poison ivy (or maybe it was oak?) overgrowing the trail during the summer...I assume April is early enough?

    Thanks,

    George
    Last edited by steadite; 02-16-2011 at 07:25 AM.
    whatever...

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by steadite
    Hey guys.

    I'm looking to take a spring break vaca with the family (14 and 16 YO kids) and Syllamo looks to be the place for us. I like the fact that there are multiple loops right next to a campground. For reference, we went to Tsali last year and had a riot. We'll be escaping the cold of Wisonsin.

    Before fully committing, I just wanted to get some inside info on the conditions at that time of year:
    1) Is there a reasonable chance of decent weather and dry trails in the 3rd week of April? I know...no guarantees, but I'm not forgetting the annual monsoon season or something am I?
    2) Is the campground ok? We'll be caming and it looks like they don't take reservations. Anything I should know about the campground?
    3) The trails: "fast and flowy" is the trail description that suits the four of us. Tsali was the perfect level. Just want to make sure Syllamo isn't solid rock gardens or something.
    4) Other stuff to do in the area: looks like there are some kind of cavern tours...anything else I'm missing?
    5) Bugs and stuff ok at that time of year? I read a caution about poison ivy (or maybe it was oak?) overgrowing the trail during the summer...I assume April is early enough?

    Thanks,

    George
    I live in Memphis and do most of my singletrack training at Syllamo-

    1) It will likely be warm, but the weather can be a little feisty in the rain/storm department. Take rain gear just in case. Traffic on the trail is diluted enough that if you ride responsibly, you can go out when it's wet. The rocks will be insanely slick, though.
    2) The campground is very nice. If you like fishing, you can fish for trout in Sylamore Creek next to the campground. There is a gated forest road that gives you the best trail access from there. You can climb up to where the Yellow trail crosses it and get on there, or you can pass the Yellow trail and continue up to Green Mountain Rd, where most of the other trailheads are located.
    3) It's generally fast and flowy, but punctuated with short, steep climbs and rock gardens. If you don't ride rock gardens well, you'll still have a good time, but you'll do some short hike-a-bikes on all trails except for the Red one. Once again, if it's wet, the rocks will be icy slick.
    4) I've heard the cavern tour is great, though I've never been. There's some great catfish eatin' to be had close by, and be sure to hunt down Tommy's Famous Pizzeria in Mountain View before you leave.
    5) Bring bug spray, or else you'll be anemic before dawn. The trail will start to grown in on itself in the logged/storm damaged areas (you should still be good until around June), so it's easy to pick up ticks & chiggers if you aren't prepared.

    Syllamo is an awesome place! Enjoy!
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  3. #3
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    Syllamo used to be my first weekend bike getaway of the year and it was usually in April. The trails were usually dry at this time of year but on one trip it had rained heavy for about 4 days prior and I didn't pick up any mud. The trails drain really well!

    I personally don't consider Syllamo to be "fast and flowy", the beauty of the trail system is that it has a mix of everything. Be warned though that some of the best trails were basically ruined last year by the parks department by removing some of the natural features and only time will tell if these trails will ever regain their original appeal. It's still worth the trip down there though.

    If you want to ride some of the best "fast and flowy" trails in the mid-west you should check out Brown County Indiana. A couple of the beginner trails there feel like miles long pump tracks! http://www.browncountymountainbiking.com/

  4. #4
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    Perfect info. Thanks guys!
    whatever...

  5. #5
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    If your kids are not in really good shape I'd suggest driving them up to the trail heads vs climbing out the campground. It is a leg burner up to the yellow trail from the campground.

    Definitely do the cavern tour, this is a good bad weather activity too.

    The Ozark Folk center is good.

    Friday and Sat night go into Mt View and there will be a gathering of folks in the town square playing various blue grass type music.

    Trout fishing all over the place up there too.

    Enjoy!
    Flyn G

  6. #6
    Davir
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    Plus if you have enough people(inquire at the ranger station} the wild cave tour is an adventure all its own and will show you some chambers that are very memorable and rarely seen.

  7. #7
    POG
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    Quote Originally Posted by Clootie
    Syllamo used to be my first weekend bike getaway of the year and it was usually in April. The trails were usually dry at this time of year but on one trip it had rained heavy for about 4 days prior and I didn't pick up any mud. The trails drain really well!

    I personally don't consider Syllamo to be "fast and flowy", the beauty of the trail system is that it has a mix of everything. Be warned though that some of the best trails were basically ruined last year by the parks department by removing some of the natural features and only time will tell if these trails will ever regain their original appeal. It's still worth the trip down there though.

    If you want to ride some of the best "fast and flowy" trails in the mid-west you should check out Brown County Indiana. A couple of the beginner trails there feel like miles long pump tracks! http://www.browncountymountainbiking.com/
    I haven't been able to get to Syllamo for a couple of years. Could you elaborate on the trail features the park department removed?

  8. #8
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    That Brown County Park looks fantastic and is quite a bit closer...now I have to make a decision...thanks!
    whatever...

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Clootie
    Be warned though that some of the best trails were basically ruined last year by the parks department by removing some of the natural features and only time will tell if these trails will ever regain their original appeal.
    Not the parks department, US Forest Service. No state or national park in the area.
    Visit us here: ArkansasOutside.com

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