Long before the 1st mile of mountain bike trail had been developed in Arkansas, the southern states were a draw to up north cyclists wanting to get a jump on their spring training.
Over the years as mountain biking has become more popular, Bentonville has invested millions of dollars into trail production and infrastructure, so Checker – Chris Hecker – his brother and dad decided to take a mid-summer break and check it out.
I asked Checker how the trails are different from our local CAMBA trails. Here is what he had to say, “The trails have a lot in common with the CAMBA system but also things that are different. There is far more money and infrastructure behind the Bentonville trails. The town almost revolves around the trails and the lifestyle. At each “hub” they have different maintenance crews expanding and building trails constantly. It was hard to ride without finding a section they weren’t adding to or revamping. The trails consisted of a lot of different styles of riding from XC, to Flow, to techy, to big jump trails and there was more than enough for every rider. “
If for some reason you don’t want to just ride for your whole visit, Bentonville has a lot of other things to do. “The town has a lot of cool things to do outside of single track biking. They have a lot of history with the original Walmart and several different museums highlighting that progression. Not only do they have a lot of museums but they have a lot of sculptures and art all over town.”
If you’re headed south to check it out, make sure you get your lodging set ahead of time. “Getting a place can be easy to find but you definitely need to plan ahead,” Checker advises, “Campsites were usually booked out 2-3 weeks in advance. It is a big town with a lot of Airbnb or hotel options for whatever people would prefer.”
With the wealth of trails and culture, as well as the beautiful natural features, Bentonville sounds like a sure bet for both riders and their families. If you’re looking for a new adventure on some unique trails, you might consider giving Bentonville a ride!