Womble - Trail, Mt Ida, Arkansas

Womble - Trail, Mt Ida, Arkansas

DESCRIPTION

Can't believe this wasn't the first trail entered for Arkansas! The Womble Trail stretches over 37 miles from Northfork lake to the Ouachita National Recreation Trail at Lake Ouachita. This trail is considered to be one of the best single track trails in this area. Short segments of the trail meander along bluffs of the Ouachita River providing breathtaking views. The Womble Trail is the venue for the Womble Mountain Bike Race. Surrounding Areas Visitors can use the short spur trails to access three float camps located along the south shore of the Ouachita River. Rocky Shoals Float Camp (O.3-mile spur), Fulton Branch Float Camp (0.3-mile spur) and River Bluff Float Camp 1.6-mile spur). The Float Camps offer fire rings, picnic tables and vault toilets at no charge. Less than one hour to Hot Springs, Arkansas. This single track trail provides opportunities for riders of all skill levels. There are a multitude of options for out and back rides or setting up of shuttles, or utilizing adjacent Highways and county roads for return loops. There are several climbs that any intermediate rider will have no problem staying on the bike. Lots of undulating trail on mostly groomed single track with occasional technical sections and creek crossings. Be extra cautious near the bluff areas. It is a long fall. Some areas are wet and muddy during rainy season. (Especially East of Highway 298 for about 3 miles). 37 miles of groomed single track, over some of the most scenic areas in the state. Travel time one way is 5-10 hours Marked with white triangles. Local Canoe Rental operations will provide shuttles for a small fee.

USER REVIEWS

Showing 1-10 of 46  
[Jan 26, 2014]
Guy Pokrajac
Weekend Warrior

We rode/walked the roundtop loop. The first mile was pushing our bikes up one of steepest rock laiden trails that i have seen in Arkansas. I cant imagine the shape someone would have to be in to ride that portion. Once we got to the top and connected to the Ouachita trail it got easier. We ended up short cutting the loop by riding down Forest Rd 75D and hooking back up to womble. This loop is not easy. Check out the segment on Strava called Forest service road D75 A Climb 8/10ths of a mile at 12% grade. Dont try it unless you have some single track experience and are in great shape. One of the guys in our group has ridden other sections of womble and said this is by far the hardest. Good luck.

Similar Products Used:

Cedar glades park in Hot Springs is awesome.

OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
4
[Aug 27, 2011]
W.B.
Cross Country Rider

I rode the Womble on August 24th. I had business in Ft. Smith the day before and decided to take the next day off and go ride this IMBA epic. I am glad I did. I stayed the night at the Highway 27 Fishing Village and Ron shuttled me to the trail head early the next morning. I highly recommend this. The room was clean and affordable ($60 something). It had a big front porch right on the lake where I got my bike ready the evening before my ride. Ron, the owner, knows the area well and took me to the Northfork Lake trail head the next morning. He suggested we stop half way and drop off some extra water -- which I am glad we did. Even though I used my larger Camel Back, I still needed more water. The first mile of the trail from Northfork Lake is basically flat, but then you quickly start the long climb up Gaston Mountain. The climb is doable (note - I ride a lot but am not in race-day shape and not a great climber), but I was not warmed up yet so it made the climb difficult. No hike-a-bike, but definitely stopped a few times for oxygen! After the Gaston Mountain climb (about 5 miles into the ride), you get some great downhills. Then, you come into flat section for several miles. I would agree with some of the other reviewers here that while the entire trail is great, the most enjoyable section was between the Fulton Branch and the Hwy 27 Fishing Village -- which is towards the end if you start where I did at Northfork Lake and finish at the Hwy 27 Fishing Village. Lots of good up and downs, and very cool bench cut trails through the hills. Note -- as others have said, the trail here is very narrow and it can be intimidating as the trail is basically cut into the side of the mountain with the bottom being a good way down. If you ride a fair amount, this is no big deal, but I could see where it would be very nerve racking for a new rider or a young rider. I stopped multiple times for oxygen breaks. I cramped up quite a bit towards the end of the ride as well, as even though I ride a fair amount, my body is not accustomed to that much climbing over 25 miles. I also used 4 or 5 hammer goo gels, and stopped about half way at the 270 crossing and ate a PB&J I had made the night before and packed in my Camel Back. I finished the ride in about 5 hours, took a shower at the Hwy 27 Fishing Village and drove back to Texas. Awesome!

Customer Service

I have read the debate about whether the trail is more uphill one way versus the other. I don't think it matters. Either way you go is going to have serious climbs and serious downhills. And the flat parts are, well, flat no matter which way you go. I recommend you use Ron's shuttle from the Highway 27 Fishing Village. That way, you can leave your car right at the point you finish your ride.

Similar Products Used:

None. First time riding in Arkansas -- but not my last.

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
4
[May 16, 2011]
stumpydog
Weekend Warrior

Rode this trail with my son middle May 2011, we had a blast. Trail was maintained, well marked, and very scenic. A few challenging climbs with some fast downhills but for the most part the trail fairly level. Parts of the trail had some cool stream crossings. We found some cool quartz crystal formations as well. You can't get complacent because the trail gets on narrow bench tops that drop off steep to the sides. There are some views that are worth checking out. We stayed in a motel in Mt Ida, nothing fancy but comfortable beds and nice shower. Mt Ida Cafe had some good grub. Trail is rated epic by imba for a reason, worthy of a trip.

Customer Service

I rode the whole trail except for the northern most five miles due to flooding. I enjoyed the whole trail but the best was from th Hwy 27 fishing village to fulton branch trail head, about miles. I arranged a shuttle with Ron at the fishing village for 30 bucks. Maps of trail were free at the tourism center located on hwy 270 in the middle of Mt Ida. The map showed all of the trail heads, parking, road crossings, etc. Go to the fishing village and ask for Ron as he has a lot of knowledge about the trail. He rides the trail often.

Similar Products Used:

Ouachita Vista trail is only about 10 miles from the Womble and skirt Lake Ouachita. Nothing like the Womble but rolling terrain had some medium climbs and some decent downhill.

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
4
[Jan 26, 2011]
Wankel7
Cross Country Rider

Super fun rolling single track through the woods of AR.

Customer Service

I parked at the highway 27 TH. The rode west to the end of the trail and returned to my car. Almost 50 miles and 4500' of climbing. Not many places you put in those miles on one trail.

Xtrkona...you're a trail snob. Of course this isnt Moab, CO, or the four corners area. Its the best AR has to offer. But I'm glad ypu could discern tue difference between the Womble and Porcupine rim...very sharp!

Similar Products Used:

Only trail riden in AR.

OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
3
[Oct 17, 2010]
TulsaClint
Cross Country Rider

Nice, well maintained, flowing trail through pines and oak trees. Trail surface is a natural chipped gravel type surface that looks sketchy at first and you think you'd wash out easily on turns, but it's suprisingly grippy stuff. Many sections of the trail are built such that you gain enough speed going down, to make it up the next little uphill, then repeat again, making some of the trail like a fast, fun roller coaster ride on a bike. I think there were sections I went for a mile with very little pedaling. I began at Hwy 27 and headed south, the first climb is a monster and I wish I had warmed up before hitting that climb. Once to the top, it turns into some narrow, bench cut contour trails. I didn't run into anything even mildly technical, unless you count staying on the narrow bench cut south of the Hwy 27 trail head. It's not technical in the sense of being rough, just that you have to stay very aware and don't look down the side of the trail! It's steep and a long way down with just large trees to stop you.

Customer Service

I can't recommend much, as I only got to do an out and back on half of the trail. The climb going south from Hwy 27 is a big one, but it was a blast going down on the way back. Next time I think I'll start in the middle near Rocky Shoals on 298 and ride out and back both ways, two seperate days. Or find a shuttle and start from the North Fork lake.

Similar Products Used:

Not from this area.

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
4
[Aug 19, 2010]
LeeTex
Weekend Warrior

Rode this trail last Monday and was thoroughly impressed!! It is definitely off the beaten track (Was headed back to Austin from Kansas City), but the trip was worth it and would do it again without hesitation. Started my ride at Hwy 92 intersection and headed East -- great hillside/mountainside riding on a pristine trail and not a human in sight. Technically, the trails aren't challenging but you will get an excellent workout and there are some really nice downhill stretches where you eat up serious trail -- of course you have to climb them again if you plan to backtrack, which is what I did.

The trail stays pretty close to the Ouachita River and I am sure if you had more time you ought to spend some time enjoying it, too. I stayed at the River View Cabins in Oden, and the folks there were great -- alllowing for late check-in and late check-out. The cabins are fully furnished and provide an easy 3.1 mile warm-up ride off of Hwy 92 to the trail.

Oh yeah, watch out for poison ivy and poison oak -- it is everywhere!! If you're gonna be out a long time, consider taking a water filter since it was humid as all get-out in the summer.

Customer Service

Whatever suits your timeframe.

Similar Products Used:

N/A

OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
4
[Aug 11, 2010]
Leland
Weekend Warrior

Just rode this trail two days ago on my way back to Austin, Texas. Beautiful, lush, and remote with sun shining through the trees on the mountainsides. I didn't run into anything that was "difficult" but stringing together +27 miles on this route was definitely very challenging if taken in the course of 4-5 hours. If you are ever in the area, you should take the time to stay an extra day or two and enjoy this amazing trail. I stayed at the River View Cabins just outside Oden, AR -- the folks there were great -- and their location is a good 3.1 mile warm-up ride to the trail off of rural road 92. The Ouachita River is just a stone's throw from the cabin I stayed in there, so you hop in to cool off, too.

OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
4
[Mar 24, 2010]
Sherie Schneidewind
Cross Country Rider

Day 1 we started at the HWY 298 parking area and rode towards North Fork Lake. There were 12 wet creek crossings and 7 dry ones - added lots of fun. No major climbs, though there was some pretty good climbs. At times, the ridge riding was a bit scary, just don't look down. We turned back about a mile from North Fork. Day 2 we did Hwy 298 to the Ouachita Lake (Fishing Village). There was some very hairy ridge riding there, good climbs also. We chose not to climb back out of the Fishing Village so we took the Hwy and some gravel roads to catch the trail at River Bluff. Don't do this, the road riding was way worse than the climb and scary ridges near Ouachita Lake. We wanted to ride North of Ouachita Lake, but rain was coming in. You won't want to ride this when wet. Overall, loved it, will be back.

Customer Service

Parking area at HWY 298 was great, easy to find.

Similar Products Used:

Ben Garen - Fort Smith
Hobbs - Little Clifty - Rogers

OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
4
[Jun 28, 2009]
boisebomber
Cross Country Rider

after alot of orienteeering i choose the section from rocky shoals
to riverbluffs.
first i am solo and second it was a record heat day and wanted to swim alot.

8 miles ow thru well maintained and signed trails.riding out of rocky shoals is a steep climb and you will need to warm up first.when you cross 298 it runs alot more level.

total shade so heat problems didn't arise.

little challenging to locate TH signs from road as they are smallish. not all TH have trail maps.

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
4
[Dec 14, 2008]
adaandrue
Weekend Warrior

There is only one way to describe this trail.....FRIGGIN AWESOME! I rode it on a trip i took with a few friends and we all had a good time. Our group consisted of riders with all skill levels from beginners to advanced. There is some climbing but its not that bad and its very rewarding with the views and smooth trail i would recomend this trail to anyone and will plan to ride it whenever i get the chance. Ride within your means and you will be fine and have a GREAT time.

Similar Products Used:

cedar glades

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
3
Showing 1-10 of 46  
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