10 Best Mountain Biking Trails in Arkansas

Arkansas is located in the southern part of the US and has a large area consisting of wilderness, parks, rivers, hot springs, and terrains of mountains for your thrilling biking activities. It is not uncommon to find cyclists riding through several Arkansas biking trails; these trails have varying lengths and difficulty levels and can be used by both newbie riders and experts. Riders often bask in the euphoria of riding amidst the mountain’s good weather while new riders quickly improve their riding skills.

Therefore, it is no doubt that Arkansas could be a possible destination for you if you are considering a serene biking environment or trying out for an excellent recreational biking time. When next you visit Arkansas, you may use our guide below, which gives you the best 10 mountain biking trails in this part of the southern US.

 

1. Slaughter Pen Biking Trail

Slaughter Pen Biking Trail
©Ozark MTB

The Slaughter Pen Biking Trail is among the moderate trails that many newbie and professional bikers can enjoy. It is a loop trail situated near Bentonville with enough flow and fast riding paths. You should be aware that you may experience some technicalities as you journey along.

The trail’s length is about 23.7 miles and consists of a single-track system. Usually, you can use the US 71B in Bentonville as your exiting place after coming through from the Interstate 540 direction. You will reach the parking lot when you follow the Bentonville path for a mile and then use the concrete trail to head towards the Slaughter Pen Hollow trailhead within a mile and a half.

Slaughter Pen biking trail is known to have one of the best trail systems in Arkansas. Recently, the IMBA awarded this trail’s town as a Silver-Level Ride Center, which is among the few 11 to be awarded throughout the globe. 

Some of the fantastic features that make most riders opt for this trail are its wall rides and log rides with optional lines, jumps, and drops. All these can be enjoyed by riders who are not particularly keen on having an adventure—there are provisions for bypasses. You can also expect to have a few downhills within a freeride area along with tabletops and big drops. You will enjoy this trail’s connection with the Blowing Springs trail and the scenery of Lake Bella Vista.

 

2. Blowing Springs Loop Mountain Bike Trail

Blowing Springs Loop Mountain Bike Trail
©Lewis and Clark Outfitters

Experience pleasurable fun biking amidst the several rock ascents and descents of Blowing Springs Loop trail. Be prepared for some technical and challenging paths, including several alternate drops, rocky terrains, and woody shaded ground.

With good pedaling, you can rollover challenging rocks and drop down to follow the trail irrespective of any of the loops you choose. It doesn’t even matter your expertise level, so be ready that any of these trails will demand your full attention and capabilities. You are encouraged to enjoy the view of the overhanging bluff line along your journey. Within the first two miles of your ride, you have few descents and then move through the signs of the Blowing Springs Loop. The uphill trailhead opens into moss-covered top boulders while you will descend after towing through the rocky path. 

If you continue along this path, you will end up in the hand-cut single-track path that leads to a kiosk. You can enter into the woods again and experience one of the longest climbs of the Blowing Springs Loop. But before long, you will soon be flowing through wet and sleeper flat rock paths. You can make use of the Blowing Springs pavilion to enjoy a relaxation after-biking time; this pavilion provides you with picnic tables.

3. Mount Kessler Biking Trail

Mount Kessler Biking Trail
©Arkansas Tourism

Located in Fayetteville, the Mount Kessler biking trail was initially called the Slaughter Pen Jam. This trail serves as a recreational space for friends and family during holidays and other spare times. Sometimes, bikers enjoy a lot of fun because they can access foods, music, and lots more. You should know that this trail uses a single-track system, which serves as part of the Arkansas Mountain Bike Championship Series (AMBCS). 

It is a 13.6-mile-long trail and full of rocky and technical paths. The parking is located after you turn to your right on Judge Cummings Rd (WC 200), coming from the 60 off I-49 exit and heading towards Cato Springs Road.

Mount Kessler also boasts of being a Bronze-level Ride Center of the IMBA. You should not be surprised when you ride along challenging rock gardens and tight single-track paths. You will also enjoy the beautiful view of Kessler’s steep flourishing forest growths. You can ride through the mini-slot area and adore the distinct quietness of its backcountry part.

4. Womble Trail

Womble Trail
©MTB Project

The Womble Trail is one of the famous trials in Arkansas and riders from different parts of the US love riding here. The trail is key to the Womble Classic Mountain Bike Race and the Ouachita Challenge. Because of its adventurous ride path, it is often referred to as the jewel of Ouachita Mountains. 

A few bike mags recognize this trail, and it’s listed as an Epic Ride Center. You should know that you may experience some creeky crossings as you ride along—by the time you head for the northern Ouachita trail, you would have climbed some steep challenges. The downhill challenges are often a blast as you ride through few out-of-coves hangings off the side of the mountain. 

You will experience some steep drop-offs and many ridges riding in the Womble. You will have several path options you want to cross, and depending on your skill level and adventurous spirit, you should be ready to experience few bits of fun ranging from mountains terrain and flat terrains to rugged and friendly ridge paths.

5. Syllamo Mountain Biking Trail

Syllamo Mountain Biking Trail
©Mountain View Area Chamber of Commerce

The Syllamo Mountain Biking Trail offers 50-mile single-track trails with many interconnected loops. This trail is located in the remote part of Arkansas, and it has four different trailheads. You will also enjoy its Campground and the Blanchard Springs Recreational Area. If you are keen on riding through this 50-mile trail, you may need to use the Blanchard Springs Campground. 

You can start your journey from Jack’s Branch loop Spur till you arrive at Jack’s Branch Loop.  When you use the counterclockwise direction, you will eventually end up in the Scrappy Mountain Loop. But ensure you ride this loop in the clockwise direction because you will encounter one of the very best technical loops having large elevations, steep terrains, and consistently difficult-to-sustain climbs. You experience fun and thrilling ascents and descents, which will bring out your skill level because you will always need to control your biking prowess and avoid injury as much as possible.

Next is the Bald Scrappy Loop with its marked orange color. This loop should be ridden counterclockwise — it leads to the trailhead of the White River Bluff Loop marked with green color. The Bad Branch Loop is another path you can take to eventually arrive at the campground by heading towards Jack’s Branch Loop. 

It doesn’t matter the loop you want to ride, be ready for any consequent change in your decision since you will find many of these loops, and they are interconnected to each other.  You can enjoy the several parking areas that give you numerous route options.

6. Iron Mountain Bike Trail

Iron Mountain Bike Trail
©Arkansas Tourism

Newbie and expert riders can enjoy a good experience with the Iron Mountain Bike Trail. This trail has a steady flow and fast-paced paths leading to a remarkable climb and few drops and turns. This biking trail is used for XTERRA events and cross-country races, and its nearby camp is the Mountain Lodge and Marina, where you can enjoy the cabin rentals for some after-biking relaxation. 

The trail leads you into a rock garden which can be particularly difficult, especially if you are still learning to bike. You will also experience several switchbacks, but you should get ready for the Degray Lake Resort Park’s fantastic views.

7. Coler Mountain Bike Preserve

Coler Mountain Bike Preserve
©OZ Trails

The Coler Mountain Bike Preserve is situated near downtown Bentonville and features technical and challenging rocky paths, huge gap jumps, and several flow-through jump lines. The top of the mountain’s hub (Peak One) serves as the culminating point of Phase 1. Here, you will see the woody steel structure of about 20 feet tall that will guide you through the downhill run.

After the run, you will be able to select any of the trails you want, depending on your riding skills and level of challenge. The “Rock Solid” trail is more technical and features a rocky ride with an endure-style trail jumping system. The “Drop the Hammer” trail features a valley dropping off about 12 feet from an alternate black double line. Furthermore, you will cross a 10-foot step-up jump and two large drops.

The Coler Mountain Bike Preserve gives you about 17 miles of trailing path and serves as the primary connection to more than 250 miles of natural Northwest Arkansas trails. The Eastside part of this trail is a good starting point for expert riders, while the Westside is perfect for starters and intermediate bikers. 

8. Lake Leatherwood Mountain Bike Trail

Lake Leatherwood Mountain Bike Trail
©Singletracks

Lake Leatherwood presents a fast-flow biking path with challenging climbs and a few techy parts. More than 25 miles of trails serve as biking paths with this single tracking system — it also features several creek crossings, rocky ledges, extended grades, and steep terrains. You can start from the campsite within the center of the park if you like to refresh and regain energy. You can also enjoy other recreational activities such as fishing; there are showers to give you a refreshing bath at the marina and camping areas.

Starting from the Beacham trail, you can head towards the Leatherwood trail and turn straight into the Twin Knobs trail. The Twin Knobs Trail is one of the most challenging trails of Lake Leatherwood, with over 300 vertical feet climb. The Bench Loop has two elevation benches with short grade interconnections and paths of rock outcroppings and bluffs.

The Lost Ridge trail is one of the newest trails of the Lake Leatherwood Mountain Bike Trail, and it has a Pivot Rock formation with a 10 switchback. When you eventually reach the Miner’s Rock Trail through Fuller Trail Bypass and Fuller Point Spur, you will enjoy the blissful ride upon mildly graded paths that leads to the scenery place of beautiful rocky bluffs.

9. Enders Fault Mountain Bike Trails

Enders Fault Mountain Bike Trails
©Arkansas State Parks

The Enders Fault Mountain Biking Trails exposes riders to a host of challenging riding levels while giving them a warm-up time via the trail’s steep climb to the southern height. You will enjoy a few meters ride down a downhill path if you follow the direction of the south part. 

You will also get access to the various loops in this trail, starting from Labor Day and Memorial Day. You have access to the beach area’s showers and some refreshments in the snack bar for other recreational purposes. Starting from the Historic Springfield Rd on a gravel lot, you ride through a scenery woody path and then into the North Loop.

You will experience some turns, which are tight and rocky terrains which is perhaps the most challenging portion of this trail. You will see beautiful views of cedars while towing the hardwood areas, crossing several miles and entering what is called “The North 40,” which begins with some fast rollers before finally crossing the stream.

After going upwards, you will like the winding downward path leading out to a stream crossing via the fire break.

The South Loop may be a little tough because of the uphill sections, but you can throttle your way slowly down the south end of this hill and with a little climb, you will get to the ridge. Take a moment to enjoy the view of Lake Bennett while you pedal onto the Springfield Trail.

10. Hot Spring’s Northwood Trails

Hot Spring's Northwood Trails
©Arkansas Times

Northwood is about 26 miles and a world-class trail. It is a 5-minute drive from Hot Spring, and you can access its best biking features of Green, Blue, and Black single track, multi-track, flow trails, and jump line. This trail homes the Gudrun MTB Festival every November, and the Cedar Glades trailhead have a bike skills park. Irrespective of your skill level, prepare for a thorough ride. Beginners can particularly enjoy their most elating ride along its easy jump lines.

Conclusion

With large terrains of vast rock land and various steep ascents and descents, the mountain trails of Arkansas provide you with one of the best biking experiences whether you are a starter or an expert biker. Make your next biking visit to Arkansas your best by using one of these biking trails.