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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey everyone,
I'm planning a mtb trip out to Bentonville in September and am looking for some advice. I've never been to the area so I'm looking to ride as much as I can without overdoing it.


Sat Sept 14 12 hour drive from CO to AR
Sun Sept 15 Ride Slaughter Pen
Mon Sept 16 Ride Colar
Tues Sept 17 Off - ideas for non mtb things?
Wed Sept 16 Ride Blowing Springs and back 40
Thurs Sept 18 Ride Lake Leatherwood
Fri Sept 19 Ride Slaughter Pen, easy day, prep for heading home
Sat Sept 20 12 hour drive from AR to CO


Anyone have any feedback on riding these areas? Seem doable for a week long trip? Any tips on restaurants, bars, breweries, or places that are a must visit? We'll have our own car and will be staying in an AirBNB near Crystal Bridges.
 

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A few quick questions:

1) Do you like to session stuff or do you like to cover ground or both?
2) Are you wanting to mainly stay within riding distance of Bentonville, or are you willing to drive a bit (Leatherwood on itinerary indicates driving is good).
3) What sort of stuff do you like to do while off the bike?

Some thoughts:

* If you're not into sessioning and you don't mind covering ground, I think you could fit Slaughter Pen and Coler into a single day (albeit, hitting highlights and missing out entirely on some trails). If you're wanting to session some runs, jumps and features, then breaking them up is good.

* I would try to get Fitzgerald in, which is in Springdale. It's also near the Runway Bike Park and Pump Track, which is worth checking out.

* Also, it's likely that significant portions of 11Under will be open by then (50 miles across the interstate from Back40), and it's possible that the new Buffalo River trail system (as yet unnamed) at Buffalo Outdoor Center will be open, which will be epic and worth checking out.

* You could easily do two days in Eureka Springs: one at Leatherwood and one at Passion Play. Passion Play is well worth checking out, as the trail building is spectacular and the locale... weird. Eureka is also a fun place to visit, and it's worth it (in my opinion) to spend a night there... but you've already paid for the AirBNB and getting single night lodgings in Eureka can be a pain (but there are lots of cheap hotels there)

* Day off ideas: Zipline in Eureka Springs, Crystal Bridges Museum in Bentonville, fishing and/or canoeing on the King's River outside of Eureka Springs, paddle board or kayak on Beaver Lake.


* We have home football games both of those weekends in Fayetteville. Probably won't affect the traffic and restaurant situation too bad in the region, but be aware.

More than happy to give restaurant, bar, brewery ideas as time approaches. I'm sure others will weigh in.
 

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Hey everyone,
I'm planning a mtb trip out to Bentonville in September and am looking for some advice. I've never been to the area so I'm looking to ride as much as I can without overdoing it.


Sat Sept 14 12 hour drive from CO to AR
Sun Sept 15 Ride Slaughter Pen
Mon Sept 16 Ride Colar
Tues Sept 17 Off - ideas for non mtb things?
Wed Sept 16 Ride Blowing Springs and back 40
Thurs Sept 18 Ride Lake Leatherwood
Fri Sept 19 Ride Slaughter Pen, easy day, prep for heading home
Sat Sept 20 12 hour drive from AR to CO


Anyone have any feedback on riding these areas? Seem doable for a week long trip? Any tips on restaurants, bars, breweries, or places that are a must visit? We'll have our own car and will be staying in an AirBNB near Crystal Bridges.
Yeah Hogfly crushed it with that info. What do you like? What are you looking for? What are you wanting to stay away from? The variety and options here are amazing.
 

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This is all reasonably new and getting rave reviews.

https://mtbparks.com/Mountain-Bike-...kansas-First-Shuttle-Access-Gravity-Park.html

Also the, as mentioned, if the Buffalo outdoor center is open, it is supposed to be a MUST SEE. There is really so much. Kessler is in Fayetteville, but is fantastic as well.

Keep in your back pocket, the trails do not drain well. Hobbs or Runway bike park are your best bet for immediate post rain bike options.
 

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If available I'd definitely swap the 11 Under in place of the Back 40. Passion Play is as advertised. It's my favorite place to ride in the entire state. Also, the new Monument Trails at Hobbs looks to be really good. We've kind of hit a good problem to have point. There are too many good areas to be able to definitively say what one should and should not hit on even a week long trip.

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At the risk of becoming redundant, I'll second what others have said, specifically about Fitzgerald in Springdale, and the new trails at Hobbs. These are two of our very best, one is super techy and the other super flow.
 

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Hey everyone,
I'm planning a mtb trip out to Bentonville in September and am looking for some advice. I've never been to the area so I'm looking to ride as much as I can without overdoing it.


Sat Sept 14 12 hour drive from CO to AR
Sun Sept 15 Ride Slaughter Pen
Mon Sept 16 Ride Colar
Tues Sept 17 Off - ideas for non mtb things?
Wed Sept 16 Ride Blowing Springs and back 40
Thurs Sept 18 Ride Lake Leatherwood
Fri Sept 19 Ride Slaughter Pen, easy day, prep for heading home
Sat Sept 20 12 hour drive from AR to CO


Anyone have any feedback on riding these areas? Seem doable for a week long trip? Any tips on restaurants, bars, breweries, or places that are a must visit? We'll have our own car and will be staying in an AirBNB near Crystal Bridges.
Also, what sort of riding are you looking for? That could skew the responses.

I forgot this in my original post. For food and brews you definitely need to hit the 8th Street Market, The Holler, Bike Rack Brewing Company and Yeyos are all favorites and it's an easy bike ride from Crystal Bridges. Hawk Moth and Ozark Beer Company in Rogers are two amazing breweries. Onyx Coffee is a can't miss coffee shop. Pedalers Pub has great wood fired pizza and is a neat place.

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Wow, tons of info already, thanks! To answer a few questions:

1) As far as sessioning versus covering ground, I'd prefer to cover more ground than session one spot or one line. I was already thinking about hitting both Slaughter Pen and Colar in one day, seems easily do-able.

2) We are willing to drive but would prefer to stay close. With Lake Leatherneck being about an hour away that drive seems easy so that's why it's on the list.

3) While off the bike we like to drink beer! We're not real touristy and this is a bike trip, but, with that being said zip lines, kayaks, paddleboards, Crystal Bridges museum all sound good for non-bike activities which we will definitely need a day or two of.

Where can I get more info about Fitzgerald, Hobbs Buffalo Outdoor Center, and 11Under? It looks like the very first of the "Monument trails" project just opened up at Hobbs? What the heck is this "Great Passion Play" place? A bike park? A religious Disney land? I checked out their website and I need to know more. Wow there seems to be TON of trails and riding around Bentonville. I could spend 3 months there!

It would probably help to know my riding style. I live in Boulder Colorado and ride trails in the Denver/Front range area. I ride more on the "aggressive trail" side of things with a 2019 YT Jeffsy 150mm/150mm. Not quite a 180mm enduro sled but I definitely like technical rocks and fast trails. Jumping is always fun too but I'm no dirt jumping pro. I will be with a rider that is not quite as expert as I am so I wouldn't shy away from intermediate or blue/black trails although ratings differ so much from one area to another that a green trail in Colorado might be a blue or blue black in Bentonville or vice versa.

What I am NOT looking for is cross country type trails, long climbs, hours of pedaling over fairly flat terrain. I'd prefer to go up to get down.

How is bike theft or crime in the area? I'd love to pedal to the breweries and restaurants that have been listed and am fine locking up the bikes with a solid U lock but I am usually very very touchy about doing that.
 

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With the riding preferences you describe, you should definitely focus on Fitzgerald, Coler, and the Eureka downhill trails. Also might like Passion Play out in Eureka, and parts of Slaughter Pen. The Back 40 is almost exactly what you're not looking for - long xc miles, with some exceptions (the ledges). And they do have some newish jump runs out there, one is called Taylor Homestead.

You can get more information at oztrailsnwa.com ....
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Looks like I should swap Back 40 with the Monument Trails at Hobbs, might be more my style. Does anyone know how the 11 Under trails will compare to the Back 40? Looks like there is a chance some of them may be open by then.
 

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[/I]
Looks like I should swap Back 40 with the Monument Trails at Hobbs, might be more my style. Does anyone know how the 11 Under trails will compare to the Back 40? Looks like there is a chance some of them may be open by then.
I'd hate for anyone visiting to straight out skip the Back 40. It does have some awesome runs like Flo Ride, and the Ledges really is a short but can't miss trail if you like challenging techy stuff. On the Back 40, if you ride up you'll get to come down, and you can really let it rip out there. There are some rocky sections, and little jumps scattered along the way. But yeah, a lot of it is XC oriented.

For that matter, you could probably say the same thing about the Monument trails. They are in a prettier location though.
 

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Looks like I should swap Back 40 with the Monument Trails at Hobbs, might be more my style. Does anyone know how the 11 Under trails will compare to the Back 40? Looks like there is a chance some of them may be open by then.
11Under is similar to Back40 with a bit more technical terrain from what I can tell.

I don't want to complicate matters more, but I think the Buffalo Outdoor Center trails will be open around September 1st (was supposed to be August, but builders told me that it keeps getting pushed back due to the insane amount of rain we've had). If you want to go up to get down, it's definitely worth it.

It's pushing a bit, though, as it will be around a 90 minute drive to get there. But... it's the freaking Buffalo River, which, if you aren't aware is amazeballs epic beautiful.

The new stuff at Hobbs is definitely a ton of fun. Not a lot of huge technical jumps or anything but there is floooow for days.

I'm not sure how locked in you all are for your AirBNB, but I might seriously consider doing a night or two in Eureka Springs. This would let you hit Leatherwood, Passion Play (both in Eureka) and the Buffalo Trails (an hour out). You could also float, fish or hike areas in the Buffalo or Eureka on your days off. From what you describe liking, I think you'll really enjoy the Passion Play.

As for what it is: the property hosts the Great Passion Play which is a live, open-air reenactment of the final days of Christ. At one time, that was a large tourist draw. Now... not so much. So they've diversified, and they built a ton of trails out there which are open to the public. Tony Boone helped design them and Jagged Axe (of Glorietta, NW fame) built them. Alex from Jagged Axe lives on property, so there is continuous awesome trailbuilding happening. It's well worth checking out.
 

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What I am NOT looking for is cross country type trails, long climbs, hours of pedaling over fairly flat terrain. I'd prefer to go up to get down.
To clarify, the B40 loop has 2,800 feet of elevation in 22 miles according to Strava... so it's not flat. You do climb, and you do get down.

Not sure how that compares to what you like/what you ride in CO... I know the longest straight climb I've ever encountered is the dirt road to the top of Horsetooth Rez in Ft. Collins (Soderberg Lot to Carey Springs).
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
S usspect;14131491 said:
To clarify, the B40 loop has 2,800 feet of elevation in 22 miles according to Strava... so it's not flat. You do climb, and you do get down.

Not sure how that compares to what you like/what you ride in CO... I know the longest straight climb I've ever encountered is the dirt road to the top of Horsetooth Rez in Ft. Collins (Soderberg Lot to Carey Springs).
Hah, you mean Towers road. Oh I am very familiar with Towers, such a brutal climb! A local Fort Collins rider did 23 laps of Towers in 24 hours to raise money for a fundraiser, crazy, I can hardly do two laps.

Thanks to you all again for this information. I'm thinking we'll combine Slaughter Pen and Colar into one day and for sure squeeze in Fitzgerald and/or Hobbs. Sounds like there is so much amazing building out there. I'm surprised that IMBA still calls Boulder home because mountain bikes have no seat at the table here in Boulder or in Colorado. I can't wait to ride in an area where mountain biking seems to be at the top of the totem pole!
 

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Wow, tons of info already, thanks! To answer a few questions:

1) As far as sessioning versus covering ground, I'd prefer to cover more ground than session one spot or one line. I was already thinking about hitting both Slaughter Pen and Colar in one day, seems easily do-able.

2) We are willing to drive but would prefer to stay close. With Lake Leatherneck being about an hour away that drive seems easy so that's why it's on the list.

3) While off the bike we like to drink beer! We're not real touristy and this is a bike trip, but, with that being said zip lines, kayaks, paddleboards, Crystal Bridges museum all sound good for non-bike activities which we will definitely need a day or two of.

Where can I get more info about Fitzgerald, Hobbs Buffalo Outdoor Center, and 11Under? It looks like the very first of the "Monument trails" project just opened up at Hobbs? What the heck is this "Great Passion Play" place? A bike park? A religious Disney land? I checked out their website and I need to know more. Wow there seems to be TON of trails and riding around Bentonville. I could spend 3 months there!

It would probably help to know my riding style. I live in Boulder Colorado and ride trails in the Denver/Front range area. I ride more on the "aggressive trail" side of things with a 2019 YT Jeffsy 150mm/150mm. Not quite a 180mm enduro sled but I definitely like technical rocks and fast trails. Jumping is always fun too but I'm no dirt jumping pro. I will be with a rider that is not quite as expert as I am so I wouldn't shy away from intermediate or blue/black trails although ratings differ so much from one area to another that a green trail in Colorado might be a blue or blue black in Bentonville or vice versa.

What I am NOT looking for is cross country type trails, long climbs, hours of pedaling over fairly flat terrain. I'd prefer to go up to get down.

How is bike theft or crime in the area? I'd love to pedal to the breweries and restaurants that have been listed and am fine locking up the bikes with a solid U lock but I am usually very very touchy about doing that.
Slaughter Pen, Coler, Blowing Springs, Fitzgerald, Kessler, Lake Leatherwood, and Passion Play seem to be more suited to you.

The Back 40 is great but it's definitely more in the XC realm in my opinion. There are some fun descents and I love it for knocking out some miles and having fun but it's not all mountain type riding, a 120/120 trail bike would be perfect for it.

The Great Passion Play is both of the questions you asked about it. It probably has the steepest and most technical trails in the area, everything is either bypassable or rideable for the most part, in my opinion it's a must hit. Most of this video is of the Passion Play but leaves out several of the trails, Deliverance, Holy Roller and a few others.


Crime is very low here. I hate to say you won't experience it because anything can happen but it's not shocking to see $50k worth of bikes on a bike rack outside of a popular place on a nice day, most without locks fwiw.

Happy to answer any other questions or provide more detail.

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I'm going to come back in and make another plea for Passion Play. We rode out there with a builder yesterday, and he showed us some of the new stuff they're making as well as some older stuff we'd never hit before. Holy moly.

I'm not sure what Passion Play needs to do to convince more people to hit those trails. Maybe they need shuttles, I'm not sure... but dang. People are missing out if they're sleeping on that area. The new trail we hit called Gnarmageddon is the steepest **** I've ever ridden and has some amazing drops and rock gardens on it. Also has a new north shore cliff drop/roll that is pretty awesome.
 

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I'm going to come back in and make another plea for Passion Play. We rode out there with a builder yesterday, and he showed us some of the new stuff they're making as well as some older stuff we'd never hit before. Holy moly.

I'm not sure what Passion Play needs to do to convince more people to hit those trails. Maybe they need shuttles, I'm not sure... but dang. People are missing out if they're sleeping on that area. The new trail we hit called Gnarmageddon is the steepest **** I've ever ridden and has some amazing drops and rock gardens on it. Also has a new north shore cliff drop/roll that is pretty awesome.
Yeah, I don't know why people won't believe me about it. It's amazing, but the good stuff takes forever to dry. I'm also pretty sure they're trying to figure some shuttles out.

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If you're used to riding the Front Range, my suggestions for here would be:


1. Hobbs
2. Slaughter Pen
3. Coler
4. Passion Play


IMHO Fitzgerald is pretty bland and limited, also takes forever to dry.
Leatherwood and Back 40 are XC heavy.


Hit New Province Brewing if you get the chance.
 

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If you're used to riding the Front Range, my suggestions for here would be:

1. Hobbs
2. Slaughter Pen
3. Coler
4. Passion Play

IMHO Fitzgerald is pretty bland and limited, also takes forever to dry.
Leatherwood and Back 40 are XC heavy.

Hit New Province Brewing if you get the chance.
Leatherwood is XC heavy? Wut?

Fitz is bland? Wut?
 

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Leatherwood is XC heavy? Wut?

Fitz is bland? Wut?
lol calm down. It's ok for others to have an opinion that's different from yours. This guy rides in CO. Fitz is certainly bland and one-dimensional compared other trails in the world. Other than Best Trail Ever, it's all green, and super short. Up-down, rinse repeat. Not to mention it's not co-located with anything else. At least in Bentonville you can bounce to other trailheads if you get bored.
 
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