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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Alright, we're tentatively set to make our first visit next April. I'll be there at least 8-10 days. Is it worth bogging down in Bentonville the entire time or should we split our time up and go to another part of the state to be closer to other trail systems? I'm sure a few folks will be flying in and out of Fayetteville so I don't want to get too far away.
 

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BKXC (youtube channel) was here this year for all of April and maybe a little bit of May, almost 5 weeks I think. You can check his channel on what he rode in and around Bentonville, I think the furthest he went was Mt Nebo or BOC/Ponca and he still didn't hit everything.
 

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Personally I feel like 8 days in Bentonville is way too much, but their trails are very repetitive imo. They have a lot of miles but 99% of it is flat pea gravel singletrack with not a lot of personality. Leatherwood is definitely worth hitting. Coler is ok if you like big drops and jumps and climbing back to the top 40 times. A little ways away from Bentonville is Kessler, which is awesome.

Bentonville is popular because there's a lot of mileage in a small area, but where Arkansas really shines are the systems farther out away from everything. There are tons of beautiful backcountry miles to be had in places like Syllamo and Ouachita, along with amazing camping.

Last note and not to sound like I'm hating on Bentonville too much, but Bentonville itself is god awful boring. If you're looking there because you think there's stuff to do in the evening when the riding is done, you'll be out of things to do by day 2.
 

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I asked a similar question in 2019 and got some great responses. I am sure there have been even more trails built since then.

Bentonville AR trip plan/ideas

Although @SingleSpeedSteven sounds harsh I would agree with his advice. The Bentonville proper area is great for 2 or 3 days but once you ride Slaughter Pen, Back 40, and Colar you'll want to go elsewhere. Make sure you check out some of the farther out areas like Lake Leatherwood and some of the Monument Trails at the state parks https://www.pinkbike.com/news/local-flavours-monument-trails-tour-arkansas-2021.html
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 · (Edited)
@pinkpowa @SingleSpeedSteven @provin1327 Thanks for the replies. I'll be driving over from Prescott so I will have my truck to get around in. Nightlife isn't a huge factor for us since everyone but me and one other guy is in their 60's….but ride everything (like Portal in Moab & all the H trails in Hangover) so too much XC stuff will get old fast. I have seen some of the BKXC stuff and I really like the guy but I wish he's condense his videos to riding.

I don't mind catching some air or drops but no road gaps are necessary. The videos I really like are the ones where people appear to be riding in and on the side of rock "canyons" with some exposure thrown in. We are also absolutely NOT adverse to moving around every couple days. On our drive to Whistler, we stop one day in Ashland, Oakridge & Bellingham before hitting Squamish on the way.
 

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Make sure you hit "ledges" on the back 40 for a little exposure. If you are coming from AZ and come through Tulsa, hit Claremore for some fun riding. Well built volunteer trails. Little sugar is fun. I prefer it to the back 40. Don't forget to hit Centennial park in Fayetteville and Fitzgerald in Springdale. Passion play and leatherwood as mentioned in Eureka. BOC and Ponca are on my list. I did the Womble many years ago. It is a fun backcountry route, best done in a couple of days. Devils den(which i have not hit yet) looks cool, but I've heard is nothing too difficult. Coler has more than the jump lines (although Fireline is just plain fun). You will earn the downhills there for sure. Rock solid and rock soft are fun chunky downhills. Slaughter pen is good for about a day, or less. Pretty sanitized, but it is enjoyable. There is some gnarly stuff if you know how to find it in SPH. Way above my paygrade.

FWIW, there are some trails in Oklahoma City on the way by, but pretty xc ish. If you want chunk and gnar, you will most likely go right by(literally a few hundred yards on I-44) Turkey Mountain in Tulsa. All the chunk you want. One of the Arkansas trail building companies is starting about 13 miles of trail there in Oct with I am sure, similar vibes to NWA.

FWIW I live in Ok, but only a couple hours from Bentonville, so we get over there a lot.
 

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Alright, we're tentatively set to make our first visit next April. I'll be there at least 8-10 days. Is it worth bogging down in Bentonville the entire time or should we split our time up and go to another part of the state to be closer to other trail systems? I'm sure a few folks will be flying in and out of Fayetteville so I don't want to get too far away.
You can stay in Bentonville the entire time and still hit Springdale (30 minutes away), Fayetteville (40 minutes away), Devil's Den (1.25 hours away), Eureka Springs (1.5 hours away) and BOC (1.5 hours away) via day trips.

Conversely, if you want a change of scenery, you could stay in Bentonville and enjoy the accessibility of the trails there for 3-4 days (max) then relocate to Fayetteville, which puts you closer to all the above locations by 30 minutes or so and start a day tripping portion of your trip.

Nebo is great, but I'm not sure of the trouble of relocating for max 2 days of riding down there. But you could locate somewhere in Central Arkansas and trip out to Nebo, Pinnacle, and Hot Springs to cover 4-5 days.
 

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I did 3 days there a couple months ago and I can see 8 days being too much for Bentonville. We like a little more chunk than groomed trails so next we go, we'll hit Fayetteville which is a little less refined. But we'll definitely go back to Bentonville, it's my favorite of the few places I've been mountainbiking.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Personally I feel like 8 days in Bentonville is way too much, but their trails are very repetitive imo. They have a lot of miles but 99% of it is flat pea gravel singletrack with not a lot of personality. Leatherwood is definitely worth hitting. Coler is ok if you like big drops and jumps and climbing back to the top 40 times. A little ways away from Bentonville is Kessler, which is awesome.

Bentonville is popular because there's a lot of mileage in a small area, but where Arkansas really shines are the systems farther out away from everything. There are tons of beautiful backcountry miles to be had in places like Syllamo and Ouachita, along with amazing camping.

Last note and not to sound like I'm hating on Bentonville too much, but Bentonville itself is god awful boring. If you're looking there because you think there's stuff to do in the evening when the riding is done, you'll be out of things to do by day 2.
Thanks....you're not the 1st person that's said that about BV proper. I had too many things going on in April so we pulled the plug on that option but I have to be back that way in late September for sure so it's all systems go at this point. I'm constantly gathering intel but Mt Nebo and Leatherwood are two definite places we will ride on our trip, along with Slaughter Pen and most likely Sugar. We're not adverse to driving and I have no plan to bog down in BV all 8 days.
 
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