Bentonville/Bella Vista/Eureka Springs trip?

Ride reports from across the country.
Insomneous
Posts: 1396

Re: Bentonville/Bella Vista/Eureka Springs trip?

Postby Insomneous » Wed Jan 25, 2017 9:13 am

Hey Hawk, my wife and I did this but consider it dated already even though it only came out a few months ago. But I think it gives you a little look at trails and some off the bike activities. Note that the last segment called alternative line is now what they call "Back 40."

I like it technical so Kessler, Blowing Springs and Leatherwood are my faves. You can ride from town through Slaughter Pen to get to Blowing Springs and connect into Back 40. That would make an epic day.

And really, if you're a beer guy, hit up Bike Rack Brewing. You could also try Ozark, in Rogers. Their double IPA was judged against many world famous beers and came out in the top 20. It is spectacular for sure.

https://youtu.be/LP9PnIQv2pg
"The two most important days in your life are the day you are born and the day you find out why." - Mark Twain

Hawkgx
Posts: 119

Re: Bentonville/Bella Vista/Eureka Springs trip?

Postby Hawkgx » Wed Jan 25, 2017 10:50 am

Great video, Insomneous! I've forwarded the link to my wife already because it's a great pitch video to sell her on the trip (beyond the riding itself).

I'm pretty much a beer newbie but sampled a bunch of local/regional craft beers on a recent trip to California, so I'm game to try a few of the Arkansas brews! The double IPA sounds like a must-try.

Thanks for sharing the video. Great stuff!



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Insomneous
Posts: 1396

Re: Bentonville/Bella Vista/Eureka Springs trip?

Postby Insomneous » Wed Jan 25, 2017 11:31 am

Thanks, Hawk, I think your wife will dig it. Lots of art, great places to eat and just a cool damn town.
"The two most important days in your life are the day you are born and the day you find out why." - Mark Twain

Hawkgx
Posts: 119

Re: Bentonville/Bella Vista/Eureka Springs trip?

Postby Hawkgx » Wed Jan 25, 2017 1:09 pm

Trying to determine a good time of year to schedule the NW Arkansas trip. My company does a lot of election work, so the city elections this year limit my windows of opportunity. June is pretty well out for sure and probably July as well.

April and May are possibilities for my schedule, but I'm not sure what the NWA trail conditions are typically like during the spring months. Otherwise, I'm looking at not being able to go until mid-August or September.

So is a spring trip there too questionable to count on good trail conditions?

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Jones
ER Officer
Posts: 1507
Location: Kansas City Kansas

Re: Bentonville/Bella Vista/Eureka Springs trip?

Postby Jones » Wed Jan 25, 2017 1:38 pm

Hawkgx wrote:So is a spring trip there too questionable to count on good trail conditions?


Most of the trails in NWA have a very rocky/gravely base so are open nearly year round. I know I have ridden Leatherwood in the rain without doing any trail damage. and from my ride of the back 40 I would say that it would be close to the same. some friends remember riding with water running down the trail. (I'm a local trail steward here in KC so I don't take conditions lightly)

FYI EarthRiders is considering a Fall group social trip to NWA so keep an eye out for that as well.
No Guts No Glory, No Brains Same Story

No_Kickstand
Posts: 62

Re: Bentonville/Bella Vista/Eureka Springs trip?

Postby No_Kickstand » Wed Jan 25, 2017 1:41 pm

I go down to NWA with a couple of other guys every year on the last weekend of March or first weekend in April. I think trail conditions are great that time of year as there is not a lot of over growth yet and they are dry for the most part. Temps are usually nice as well in the 60 degree range although we did have a warm year when temps were in the 80s. We had to dodge raindrops a couple of years ago but nothing that closed the trails. If you do get rain hard enough to close a trail there is usually another trail nearby that didn't get much if any rain; either way the trails don't hold water there like the soil here does. April and May should be just about perfect.

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Doug Long
Posts: 1174
Location: Chillicothe, Mo.

Re: Bentonville/Bella Vista/Eureka Springs trip?

Postby Doug Long » Sat Feb 11, 2017 11:19 am

I've been down to NW Arkansas twice in the last 5 weeks and the riding and weather have been "supremo!"

The "Back 40" either direction is an absolute hoot and the "ledges" section is the only really technical section that requires some precise bike handling and could be tough if you are not used to exposure. It can be by-passed. There is 22 miles if you just do the outer loop. You can zig and zag if you want to do some of the "loop" options. Of course, "Blowing Springs" will add some more miles if you combine them and requires a bit more tech skill also.
Slaughter Pen has added some new trail and a couple of new "technical feature" off shoots. We sandwiched the B40 around the "Buffalo Headwaters Challenge" (We did the 40 mile option). Also headed south to Mt. Kesler and hit all the techie trail there. Just an FYI-'Rock City" is the super technical out and back that is mostly on private land with permission for public access. It ends at a trail head with road access from another point. That section is going to be closed to public use on March 1st. I don't know the politics of what is going on, but if you want to sample that little gem, better get down there before March 1. We also got to ride Mt. Sequoya and that ride ended up being 5 miles as we were running out of light and did the main loop clockwise. We accessed the trail from a trailhead up in a neighborhood on the ridge and it was a bit hard to figure out, but once we hit the trail, it was a little gem and the trail planners did a great job of utilizing the terrain and contours to provide a very fun ride. We were going down hill for a long time at the start and I was thinking it was going to be a brutal climb out. They trail back to the top ended up zigging and zagging with grade reversals and climbing turns to optimize climbing speed and recovery. If you have time and in Fayetteville, check it out. We wanted to ride the 3rd part of what the locals call the "Triple Crown", Lake Fayetteville, but ran out of time. We'll hit it next time.

Rogers has the new "Bike Park" and Lake Atlantis trails and Hobbs is just a short drive and is the locals favorite trail when it has snowed or rained because of the gravel base trails and the fact that they shed water well. I've ridden there in damp conditions and there is no way you'd be riding up here in those conditions.

NW Arkansas is the new MTB destination and you can spend a week or longer in the area and not hit the same trail twice. Heck, I'm just scratching the surface of the bounty of Arkansas options when it come to trails. Go get some!

Pappy

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Doug Long
Posts: 1174
Location: Chillicothe, Mo.

Re: Bentonville/Bella Vista/Eureka Springs trip?

Postby Doug Long » Sun Feb 12, 2017 7:38 am

Just read through this whole thread instead of the last couple of comments. I want to second on the comment about "Back 40" eating sidewalls. I've ridden the B40 3 times now, twice clockwise and once counterclockwise. I was in a group of six on the last ride (counterclockwise) and 3 out of six ended up dealing with side wall cuts. Thank goodness for bike plugs, although one slice required a tube. Since this trail is new and much of it "machine built", there is a lot of sharp rock exposed that will slice tires. My guess is that it will eventually be less of a problem over time. Riders also need to watch for roots that have been cut off on the inside (bank side) that will also catch a sidewall. That's also common with machine cut trails. We all know the drill: good tires for the demands of the particular area; Stan's topped off; bike plugs; extra tube, just in case all else fails. Also, have something to line your tire if you have a cut. I once had a slice so large I ended up using my glove to plug the hole. Just need to be resourceful sometimes.

Good luck with your trip and the other posters have made some great suggestions.

Pappy

Jefferson
Posts: 6

Re: Bentonville/Bella Vista/Eureka Springs trip?

Postby Jefferson » Thu Mar 16, 2017 9:27 am

Is there a way to see the trail status in Bentonville? I'm thinking of driving down this weekend, but want to verify their trails are open.

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Jones
ER Officer
Posts: 1507
Location: Kansas City Kansas

Re: Bentonville/Bella Vista/Eureka Springs trip?

Postby Jones » Thu Mar 16, 2017 10:29 am

Jefferson wrote:Is there a way to see the trail status in Bentonville? I'm thinking of driving down this weekend, but want to verify their trails are open.

they are open you can ride in the rain without damage most is rock or gravel base.
No Guts No Glory, No Brains Same Story

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bprosser
Posts: 287
Location: Lovely Shaw-Knee

Re: Bentonville/Bella Vista/Eureka Springs trip?

Postby bprosser » Fri Mar 17, 2017 7:48 pm

Just got back a couple days ago, all in excellent condition and should be super fast this weekend.
Prosser

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JasonD
Posts: 134

Re: Bentonville/Bella Vista/Eureka Springs trip?

Postby JasonD » Sun Jun 11, 2017 12:22 pm

Going to hit the back 40 for my first ride down here on tuesday. Down to my SS while I wait on a new bike. Any recommendations on gearing versus home (Wyandotte/swope/SMP). Add a couple teeth?


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