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Thread: Bentonville, Arkansas - trails review and video

  1. #21
    MoJo Mother Superior Cafeend's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by FJsnoozer View Post
    My trip is booked 8/18-22 for my 65th birthday.
    65?


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  2. #22
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    IMHO, id avoid the Mt Kessler trails as they were the only disappointment from the trip.
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  3. #23
    MoJo Mother Superior fontarin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ATXZJ View Post
    IMHO, id avoid the Mt Kessler trails as they were the only disappointment from the trip.
    Thanks for the heads-up. I had that on the list. Did you happen to ride the Hobbs State Park trails?

  4. #24
    Mojo Funky Mofo rugger's Avatar
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    I wish I had time to hit the Back 40 while I was there. I hit just about everything in at Salughter Pen though. You should have spent some time on the Slaughter Pen trails, especially "Free Time" - kind of a mini Coler, but with a variety and skinnies and drops. Choo-choo, Boo-Boo, Medusa and the Downhill trail would have been worth it and even the DH lines at the middle school - all of these are very easily accessible from downtown starting at All American.
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  5. #25
    MoJo Mother Superior endo_'s Avatar
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    We did all but coler trail and some parts of slaughter. I actually enjoyed Kessler. It was less flow, but more rocky. Hobbes was probably best for wet trails
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  6. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by fontarin View Post
    Thanks for the heads-up. I had that on the list. Did you happen to ride the Hobbs State Park trails?
    It was on the list but we were short on time and did coler DH park and blowing springs instead

    Quote Originally Posted by rugger View Post
    I wish I had time to hit the Back 40 while I was there. .
    Same here. If we go back, this will be one ill make sure to hit.

    Quote Originally Posted by endo_ View Post
    We did all but coler trail and some parts of slaughter. I actually enjoyed Kessler. It was less flow, but more rocky. Hobbes was probably best for wet trails
    My frustration with kessler was all the wet rocks and roots and also the fact that the trail dead ends and you have to turn around. We admittedly did not account for this and instead cut through the neighborhood and rode back into fayetteville and all the way around to the kessler parking. A lot of work for what was basically the worst of BCBG and WC combined into one trail. The ravine was cool looking though.
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  7. #27
    MoJo Mother Superior endo_'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ATXZJ View Post
    It was on the list but we were short on time and did coler DH park and blowing springs instead



    Same here. If we go back, this will be one ill make sure to hit.



    My frustration with kessler was all the wet rocks and roots and also the fact that the trail dead ends and you have to turn around. We admittedly did not account for this and instead cut through the neighborhood and rode back into fayetteville and all the way around to the kessler parking. A lot of work for what was basically the worst of BCBG and WC combined into one trail. The ravine was cool looking though.
    I'll admit we had a route to follow which probably made it a better experience. It was also dry that day which probably helped.
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  8. #28
    MoJo Bishop Browndog's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by endo_ View Post
    I'll admit we had a route to follow which probably made it a better experience. It was also dry that day which probably helped.
    I liked Kessler as well. We talked to the guys at Phat Tire and they gave us a route to follow which helped. We went up Serpentine to the top, did an out and back on Rock City and then down Crazy Mary. Fossil Cove brewery afterwards. It was February and dry.

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    Sidenote here. You can mine (dig) all the sweet quartz crystals you want at Coleman Mines located between Hot Springs and the Womble for $10 dollars a day pretty cool and fun thing to do. I've stopped there between here and my HT of Columbus Oh many times over the years. Sweet "free" camping on Lake Ouichata really close. And if you get close to Hot Springs there is a fountain in town where you can and should fill every bottle and bladder you have with their healing mineral water. Brought some home once and it still tasted great even being carted in plastic. Woot woot!
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  10. #30
    MoJo Mother Superior TheSarge's Avatar
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    Has anyone been over to Eureka Springs to ride the Leatherwood Trails? I had a great hike over there and the Arkansas trail guide I picked up had it listed as some of the best mtn biking in the state. It's only about 30 minutes from Bentonville.

  11. #31
    MoJo Mother Superior endo_'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheSarge View Post
    Has anyone been over to Eureka Springs to ride the Leatherwood Trails? I had a great hike over there and the Arkansas trail guide I picked up had it listed as some of the best mtn biking in the state. It's only about 30 minutes from Bentonville.
    We did it, had a sweet downhill section. Rest was ok, not great
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  12. #32
    MoJo Mother Superior trailbrain's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by brianjo View Post
    Nice edit. I was there at the end of May. It was the same scenario for me too- lots of rain the night we arrived. The Back 40 got like 6 inches, so didnt get to ride it at all. I ended up doing all the stuff closer in to town- Slaughter Pen, etc as it only got a couple inches and was good to ride 1.5 days later. I definitely want to get back there again to do Back 40 and Blowing Springs. I was told Devil's Den is good as well.
    Bring your legs and some trail side food for that Blowing Springs to back 40 route. What was supposed to be 2 - 3 hours turned into an all day epic leaving us wiped out but dang satisfied.
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  13. #33
    Mojo Prickly Tire brianjo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by trailbrain View Post
    Bring your legs and some trail side food for that Blowing Springs to back 40 route. What was supposed to be 2 - 3 hours turned into an all day epic leaving us wiped out but dang satisfied.
    Yeah, not sure I would do them together on the same day. From what I heard, the Back 40 in itself is a pretty full day. I always pack food/ energy anyway though.

  14. #34
    MoJo Pope lostinatx's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Seths Pool View Post
    ...when she was like "you're going to make me do the whole 20 miles aren't you? I'm gonna be mad, and you're gonna get mad that I'm Mad" LOL
    You GF (Wife?) cracks me up.

  15. #35
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    I have ridden a lot of the stuff up there. As always depends on what you are into on what you will think is best. My ranking order would be: Slaughterpen - variety, convenience, has something for everybody. Blowing Springs/Back 40 - Can be one day super epic or 3 easy days (blowing, west half and east half Back 40) depending on motivation. Blowing is tighter more scenic bluffs/rock. Back 40 is endless machine cut beginner flow xc of rollers/berms with some extended haul ass sections. Coler - super fun session trails, lots of jumps. Here is short vid by my Bro in law/kids trying out some camera gear of what i think is the most fun trail section there: Railyard/lake atalanta - railyard one of the best public bike parks with runs for all skills and then lake atalanta trails adjoin it (6ish miles of fun flowy xc). Lake leatherwood - hit the dh a few times and then xc all you want (can ride all the way into eureka for lunch beer if desired). The rest are all worth riding but lower priority - Hobbs, Devils Den (would make nice short diversion to stretch legs on drive up), Kessler, Mt Sequoyah, Lake fayetteville, etc... One trail I have not hit but everyone talks highly of is Buffalo headwaters. I would make home base Bentonville or second choice fayetteville.

  16. #36
    MoJo Mother Superior trailbrain's Avatar
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    Here are some more reviews for those of you on the fence about Bentonville. I would say the best way to describe it is the Maybury of Mountain Biking.

    Bentonville First Look

    and

    Bentonville Next Look

    A Fall trip will be in order.
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  17. #37
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    I just got back form there Yesterday. I don't have time to make sick edits, but I can tell you this is a must do destination.

    We got an Air BNB as close to Crystal bridges as possible. All days except 1, we dropped in to crystal bridges and rode to the trails. Here are some of the things I learned while there.

    The museum is awesome, both the crystal bridges and there is a large children's museum to entertain the family and "recover."
    The Hive is very funky, but has a small museum in the building. Don't get the trail mix at the bar...


    Many restaurants are closed on Sunday and you cant buy alcohol at the stores so stock up.
    Many Restaurants are also closed on Monday.

    The Preachers Son was a great Nice dinner out.
    Oven and Tap was a great Pizza joint. It reminds me of a little swankier version of Pinthouse pizza here. MOD was closed when we wanted to try it
    Flying Fish is a great after ride spot for some gumbo and fried catfish. They have more than that including a big salmon salad. I could have eaten here after almost every ride.
    Peddlers pub of course is a great place to roll straight to after a ride. There is a microbrewery next door and they have nice visible bike parking. Its 4 blocks south of downtown.
    Fiamma Ristorante was good as well for a nice dinner
    Table Mesa was a pretty descent Mexican food place for lunch. The App Sampler hit the spot after Slaughter pen. Good salsa.
    Scotch and soda had pretty decent vibes.
    I would not go back to Tusk and Trotter.

    As I mentioned, we dropped in at the south end of Crystal bridges every day and warmed up on All American. Its beginner trail with optional rock ladders and wood ladders, a couple baby kickers and a super flowy berm section once you pass the table top. Down the sidewalk and under the bridge, we climbed up Booboo and rode ChooChoo, which looks way bigger on youtube than it is. I got to where this climb felt like nothing as I hot lapped the DH flow tracks that come off of it. All of this is a great precursor to Slaughter Pen. Rode the West side of SP. Flow-climb-flow-climb...Loved it.

    Day 2, we rode out and back the same way hitting the trails that parallel the bike path and rode the back 40 CCW. SO much awesome. It made for a nice almost 40 mile ride. I'm not sure If I have ever sweated that much. It wasn't too hot, but the humidity in the canyons is unreal.

    Day 3 Crystal Bridges and Slaughter pen again This time we stayed on the east side of the bike path. I think I could hotlap the downhill trail all day. What an amazing place to do hill repeats if you were to live there. I found medusa to be very boring, but Tatamgouche is great!

    Day 4 Blowing springs. So much sweet sweet singletrack flow. Plenty of climbing but the type you don't notice as much. I would loop in a section of the back 40 with blowing springs because it is not enough if you drive to it. ride CCW and cut through on Rago to come back. This should add 6-8 miles to make it a proper ride.


    When I go back, I will try Coler, Buffalo, Blowing springs and back 40 as one big 30 mile 4000' ride. I think Medusa will flow better North to South, which would mean coming S to N on Tatamagouche to then hit Downhill Trail.
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  18. #38
    MoJo Mother Superior yosmithy's Avatar
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    Thanks for that report!

    I just have to convince my non riding wife that they have amazing wine, music, art, wine, etc... and I'll just conveniently have packed my bike and riding gear just in case they might have a few trails to ride.
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  19. #39
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    Its a cool town and she will dig it. You could ride till noon-1, then start the day with the family and have a Vacation with them. You might plan your days around Wed-Saturday so you have all of the restaurants at your disposal, or just plan which ones to hit when based upon their schedules. Check out the hours of operation on Yelp. If you bring your wife a bike, you can ride in to town from the house since it is like .5 miles to down town. Think downtown Georgetown with better restaurants and extreme bike friendliness.

    If your wife wants to ride some, All American is fun for extreme beginner and advanced riders because of the multiple options. Then you can cruise on the paved bike path as fear as they want to go with no fear of getting hurt. Just one big paved climb on the way back

    I'm a big fan of riding through Splashpads after a long hot ride. There is also a huge one at the South end of crystal falls.
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  20. #40
    MoJo Mother Superior Tree magnet's Avatar
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    Bentonville, AK - Trip report 11/3-11/6

    Since it's all the rage right now, I headed North with some riding buddies to check out Bentonville last weekend. It was a shorter drive than going to Winter Park and wasn't tough to drive in a day.

    Lodging: We stayed in an AirBnB house right next to the Back 40 trail system in Bella Vista. Dude bought the house next door just to rent out and was setting it up for mountain bikers. He had an air compressor in the garage to set tubeless tires and was planning on putting in a bike stand and some tools. Relatively cheap if you split it and it slept 7 to 8 so you can bring the whole crew.

    Town: Bentonville is a smallish town but you wouldn't know it by looking at the downtown. There is some serious Walmart money floating around and it shows with the houses, museums, and amenities. As was mentioned before, the town is essentially closed down on Sunday. Bella Vista is one or two towns North of Bentonville but all the towns essentially run together. It's easy to get around so it doesn't matter where you stay (IMO).

    Bike shops: Phat Tire was unimpressive. We went there twice and got shit for service and trail input. I needed a bite valve for my camelback and ended up at Cabellas to get it. Several in the group were willing to throw some cash at them for a koozie or shirt but they didn't have either. Odd. I heard that the Mojo Bikeshop (go figure on the name) was much better. I'll be going there next time.

    Trails: The only thing really that matters.

    Day 1: I went up a day early with another gravity oriented rider and we headed to Coler Preserve. It was amazing. 100% worth the trip just for that morning of riding. The top of the mountain has a steel elevated structure called "the Hub" that you ride up and then launch off into one of the trails. As luck would have it, we ran into some other Austin and Texas riders up there who had made the trip to see it all for themselves. Everyone was impressed with what we were seeing. It took us a few runs down the milder jump trail (Fireline) before we got into a rhythm and felt comfortable hitting the bigger lines. The 'enduro' line (Rock Solid) had several stone lipped gap jumps at the top of the trail. We bypassed these a couple of times and then opened it up and hit them. They are perfectly built and flow nicely as long as you keep up your speed. I started to forget they were gap jumps after a bit despite looking at the back side the landing each time and concentrating on my front wheel clearing the lip.

    We took a few trips down Cease and Desist which is the DH jump line and it was fun but you really needed to be smooth to keep up enough speed to clear all the tables. Needless to say, I wasn't smooth enough so I was pedaling like mad a few jumps in just to keep clearing them. There is a wooden drop and then the trail corkscrews around to a huge steel run-up drop that goes over the trail called the "Hammer". It took watching a few guys hit it before we had the nerve but again after adopting the 'F it, I'm here and I'm not getting any younger' attitude, we dropped it multiple times. Super fun and as long as you hold on and don't think about it, not a problem.

    Finished Coler riding some of Copperhead and a few other trails on the back side with some fun wooden features. Good times and my fork/shock were glad to have survived. After a late lunch we played around at the Railyard skills park for the rest of the day. This place is a free skills park with a professional crew maintaining a pump track session line and some super fun flowy jump lines. My buddy had his DJ bike with him but I did it all on my 160 mm AM bike and had a blast. I guarantee that if you spend some time at the Railyard, you will progress and gain confidence. There are progressive features there from beginner to pro and you can ride all day without getting too tired. Super fun.

    Day 2: The rest of the crew arrived on Friday night and we hit the Back 40 going CW from the Buckingham trail head. We threw in the flowrider and ledges trail and totaled around 27 miles by the time we made it home. This entire Back 40 trail looks like it was bench cut by riders who know how to maximize smiles per mile. I would definitely suggest going CCW instead of CW but we still rode many sections that were long and full of sweet rollers and fun little features. Had one tear in a tire that resulted in a tube that quickly flatted but no other mechanicals. Super fun trail and worth putting in the miles to ride.

    Day 3: We hit most of the fun Slaughter Pen trails that we could find and played around at another skills park. One of our crew took a big drop and ended up breaking his collar bone so that put a bit of a damper on the day. I suppose we supported the hospital system while we were up there too. Personally, I wasn't that impressed with the Slaughter Pen trail system. The trails seemed much less ridden but they were entertaining. Plenty of stuff from mellow blue trails to a DH line with a wall ride.

    Conclusion: It's worth the drive. Do it. The town seems to have built an awesome bike infrastructure but I didn't see much of a bike scene. We saw maybe 10-15 riders out on the trails not including all the Texas people we ran into. No spider webs but many trails were covered in leaves that made navigation and cornering a big of an adventure sometimes. Weather was great with overcast skies and temps in the 70s. Will return and check out Kessler, Blowing Springs, and definitely go back to Coler.
    Last edited by Tree magnet; 11-08-2017 at 10:05 AM.

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