Slaughterpen in Bentonville, AR

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rcm3
Posts: 14

Slaughterpen in Bentonville, AR

Postby rcm3 » Tue Dec 23, 2014 4:52 pm

I've been a lurker until today, but had a ride this past weekend significant enough to bring me out of the shadows for a post.

This has been a difficult month for KC MTBing. The best the sun has been able to do is a cameo here and there, but scarcely enough to dry any trails.

Just three hours to our south is Bentonville, AK. My wife and I went down to check out Crystal Bridges (totally worth doing, btw) and I snuck away for a ride on Saturday AM. All around the museum is an excellent trail system called Slaughterpen. They've got a great mix of well-maintained singletrack, in addition to a great little downhill section and free ride park.

The weather has been mostly the same as it is here (though maybe about 8-10 degrees warmer), but the soil is so much rockier there that the trails handle the moisture fine.

I fully intend to make a day trip down there soon. it would be easy enough to leave KC at around 7am, ride from 10:30 to 3 and then get back to town in time for dinner on a Saturday or Sunday. There's plenty of trails throughout the Ozarks that have similarly rocky terrain, but I think that few are as well-maintained or as easy to get to from KC.

Here's a shot with my rental bike (from Phat Tire Bike Shop) right before hitting the downhill section.

Image

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ptooi
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Location: Lenexa

Re: Slaughterpen in Bentonville, AR

Postby ptooi » Tue Dec 23, 2014 8:16 pm

Cool! Did you do any of the drops off the structures in the freeride area? I didn't. Too old & too scared. I imagine Bentonville is going to see some decent traffic from KC this winter. With Slaughter Pen, Blowing Springs, and Mt. Kessler 30 min further down the road it's a pretty good way to get some dirt when we're socked in with mud here.

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rcm3
Posts: 14

Re: Slaughterpen in Bentonville, AR

Postby rcm3 » Tue Dec 23, 2014 9:08 pm

ptooi wrote:Cool! Did you do any of the drops off the structures in the freeride area? I didn't. Too old & too scared. I imagine Bentonville is going to see some decent traffic from KC this winter. With Slaughter Pen, Blowing Springs, and Mt. Kessler 30 min further down the road it's a pretty good way to get some dirt when we're socked in with mud here.


Ha. I also steered clear. Maybe next time. I did snap pic of them though.

Image

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Geezer
Posts: 2789
Location: Busy w/Mrs Robinson

Re: Slaughterpen in Bentonville, AR

Postby Geezer » Tue Dec 23, 2014 9:08 pm

ptooi wrote:Cool! Did you do any of the drops off the structures in the freeride area? I didn't. Too old & too scared...


Me too too scared.

TR
Terry - save the trails

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Cbo-pleasanthill
Posts: 198
Location: Pleasant Hill, MO

Re: Slaughterpen in Bentonville, AR

Postby Cbo-pleasanthill » Fri Jun 05, 2015 4:06 pm

Any restaurant recommendations in Bentonville? Going to head down before the end of the month.

Andy

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rcm3
Posts: 14

Re: Slaughterpen in Bentonville, AR

Postby rcm3 » Fri Jun 05, 2015 10:51 pm

Table Mesa was good. There's several decent places in their little downtowny area.

We stayed at 21c Museum Hotel which was excellent. The crepe truck right outside the hotel had real French People!

Have fun. Hopefully you get to enjoy the trails while you're there.

MOmountainman
Posts: 3
Location: Gods country

Re: Slaughterpen in Bentonville, AR

Postby MOmountainman » Sat Jun 06, 2015 8:40 am

Went down there for the first time last October with my buddies, and loved it....what we got to see of it anyway. Had one in our riding group get separated and spent about 3+ hours looking for him in the down hill part of the trail system (he refused to carry a cell phone up to that point). :? I did do one of the drops you speak of, but the smaller of the 3. Will do the middle one next time. I'm actually thinking of going down Monday morning after I get off of work to ride and probably camp....will be solo if anyone is so inclined to want to go.
http://imgur.com/6W0fjXE

btreff
Posts: 48
Location: Olathe

Re: Slaughterpen in Bentonville, AR

Postby btreff » Sat Jun 06, 2015 7:39 pm

Just finished a fantastic dinner at Tusk and Trotter - highly recommend (good beer selection too).

No_Kickstand
Posts: 62

Re: Slaughterpen in Bentonville, AR

Postby No_Kickstand » Mon Jun 08, 2015 11:33 am

btreff wrote:Just finished a fantastic dinner at Tusk and Trotter - highly recommend (good beer selection too).


Great place, good bloody marys as well, try the ghost chili one. Also, there is a BBQ truck across from the 21c next to the crepe truck that I would recommend. There is a seafood place a block north of Phat Tire in Bentonville that was good too.

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Sasquatch1413
Posts: 2701
Location: Grandview, MO

Re: Slaughterpen in Bentonville, AR

Postby Sasquatch1413 » Mon Jun 08, 2015 3:10 pm

Just did a day trip down there on Sunday. We stumbled into Table Mesa during the ride (they had outdoor tables so we could watch the bikes). They had a Sunday brunch buffet that was very good. Not so good riding after with a full stomach but thats beside the point.
My what big wheels you have.

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Cbo-pleasanthill
Posts: 198
Location: Pleasant Hill, MO

Re: Slaughterpen in Bentonville, AR

Postby Cbo-pleasanthill » Wed Jun 24, 2015 7:31 pm

Took the wife down to Bentonville for a few days to get her away from the kids and for me to ride Blowing Springs and Slaughter Pen. Thought I'd share my experiences. We were there from June 22-24. (Monday through today)

Monday afternoon I hit Blowing Springs on the way into town and road all the trails. Trails were OK...but a bit overgrown. One of the things I was unprepared for was how loose the little rocks were. I'd say borderline "marble-y" would be a good description. The knobby specialized ground control tires on my bike that work so well on the dirt trails up here lack for bite when pushed hard in the turns. Had a few oh shit moments at Blowing Springs getting used to it. Best trail there was the lower north trail due to the repeated rock walls the trail goes under and along. Here is a short youtube that, of course, doesn't do it justice. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kVHYduxXqbY Here is a link to the trail map: https://www.bellavistapoa.com/recreatio ... Trails.pdf

Tuesday morning I went to Slaughter Pen and rode all of phase 1 and 2...never made it to phase 3. Before I rode them I wasn't all that excited since I was underwhelmed at Blowing Springs. I was very pleasantly surprise. I dropped my tires a few psi and that helped the grip. Phase 1, the northern most trails, were my favorite. Climbs weren't bad and the trails flowed well going down. My favorite trails were Medusa (red) and Tatamagouche (green) There were lots of little jumps, skinnies, elevated boardwalk trails, a free ride park and a down hill trail. I'm too much of a "I have no balance and am too old/break too easily" 45 year old...so I only hit the free ride and down hill once...and probably slow enough to get laughed at by any 15 year old kid watching. After phase 1 I took the paved bike trail south about 1/2 mile and did the trails in phase 2. They were fun, but I didn't think they were as fun as phase 1. Glad I did them, but when I went back for one last 90 minute ride this morning before coming home, I only road phase 1. These trails were even more fun the 2nd time since I was getting a feel for them and had a better sense of the layout. Here is a cobbled together video from the second day, (first day at Slaughter Pen) Also, yes I took out boring uphill...Nobody wants to watch POV video of some out of shape old timer huff and puff up the hills. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x_uGCLCak4g Here is a trail map to Slaughter Pen: http://www.slaughterpentrails.com/wp-co ... 081012.pdf

Finally...a few places I'd recommend after the ride...Bike Rack Brewing had a nice tasting room open in the evening to buy pints of their beer, and Table Mesa was excellent higher end Mexican/Latin food. Also, stopped in Phat Tire Bike shop looking for a new pair of gloves. Nice store and the employees were helpful and willing to offer advice on how to get to the trails/where to park, etc. A guy working there said to hit up the Lake Atalanta trails that were getting built in Rogers. I didn't make it there. Next time. There will definitely be a next time.

Andy

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Jester
Posts: 288

Re: Slaughterpen in Bentonville, AR

Postby Jester » Thu Jun 25, 2015 1:43 pm

Cbo-pleasanthill wrote:I was underwhelmed at Blowing Springs.


You crazy. Blowing Springs is a freaking masterpiece. Best trails in Arkansas.

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Sasquatch1413
Posts: 2701
Location: Grandview, MO

Re: Slaughterpen in Bentonville, AR

Postby Sasquatch1413 » Thu Jun 25, 2015 1:52 pm

I was surprised at your review of blowing springs too. I LOVE that trail and think its the best in Bentonville. Different strokes for different folks though. Glad you had fun and got to ride, Bentonville is a great riding destination.
My what big wheels you have.

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tomy
Posts: 4034
Location: Jerkwater, Kansas
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Re: Slaughterpen in Bentonville, AR

Postby tomy » Thu Jun 25, 2015 3:07 pm

ya,,, diff'rent strokes.... has CBO ridden much in the Ozarks? Its fundamentally different than riding up here. I find SPH to be kinda monotonous on the XC trails, especially phase I. Just my 2 cents though...

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Cbo-pleasanthill
Posts: 198
Location: Pleasant Hill, MO

Re: Slaughterpen in Bentonville, AR

Postby Cbo-pleasanthill » Thu Jun 25, 2015 10:05 pm

Yes, underwhelmed with blowing springs, other than the northern lower trail. That rock wall over hang thing was really cool. Honestly, the thing I didn't like about everything I rode was how much the same it all felt. At least phase 1 had a bunch of different features to add some interest. Here in KC the trails I go to 95% of the time (when it doesn't rain for 4 months straight) are at Landahl. What I like best about it is the variety. Depending on what I feel like I can ride everything from mellow easy stuff on Dave's to hike a bike on 10/11. There is variety. I didn't get that vibe in AR. Don't get me wrong...really enjoyed the trails, just wasn't blown away when compared to what we have here in KC.


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