Biking is as synonymous with the Ozarks as the Razorbacks are to the University of Arkansas, but what are the best mountain bike trails in Northwest Arkansas? Cheaper than the movies and popcorn for two, mountain biking makes for the perfect couple’s date or is a great way to escape on your own. We’ve also got access to some of the most amazing trails in the country here in NWA; in fact, we’ve been called the mountain biking capital of the world. So read on to learn our planning tips for making your next mountain biking adventure a smashing success!
- Bentonville and Bella Vista Arkansas Mountain Bike Trails
- Rogers Arkansas Mountain Bike Trails
- Springdale Arkansas Mountain Bike Trails
- Fayetteville Arkansas Mountain Bike Trails
- Fun Northwest Arkansas Group Rides
Bentonville and Bella Vista Arkansas Mountain Bike Trails
Here you will find miles and miles of trails featuring cross-country tracks, jump lines, and unique art installations. Bentonville and Bella Vista can be looked at as the epicenter for the best mountain bike trails in Northwest Arkansas
The Slaughter Pen Mountain Bike Trail
The Slaughter Pen trail is a mix of single-track and paved bikeways through the scenic forests of Northwest Arkansas. If variety is the spice of life, consider this route packed with flavor. It features a flow-filled intro with The All-American Track and a gravity line down Medusa. Slaughter Pen offers riders progressive features, but also takes provides alternatives for riders of all levels. In addition, this trail backs up to Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, giving riders the chance to check out the building’s architecture and large-scale artwork on the museum grounds around the trail. Best of all, Crystal Bridges is bike-friendly, so you can roll up after the ride and take a walk through a free world-class art museum! No matter your skill level, you’re sure to find the ride of your life on Slaughter Pen!
Collar Mountain Bike Preserve
The recently completed Coler Mountain Bike Preserve is known as a mountain biker’s paradise. It offers riders over 17 miles of trails at varying levels of difficulty, ensuring everyone can find a route they love. Tracks include flow, cross-country, rock, dual slalom, and flyover trails, as well as stone, wood, metal, and jump features. Your adventure starts at The Hub, where you can choose your route based on the level of difficulty. From a plethora of jump lines and contour flow lines to technical downhill lines and technical flow, Coler Mountain Bike Reserve truly is the mecca for mountain bikers looking at a wide array of track options in the Ozarks.
The Back 40 Loop Mountain Bike Trail
If you think Bella Vista is a sleepy town, you haven’t taken a spin on The Back 40 Loop. Completed in 2016, this route offers over 20 miles of varied, single-track terrain. The loop includes an amazing hanging bridge cut into a rock bluff and another that spans the creek with a waterfall. It also features limestone rock gardens, lake views, meadows, a golf course crossing, and sections through pine tree groves. Hard to beat that while only being two miles from town! But take note, this trail is mainly for experienced riders. It’s known as the Tire Eater for a reason, so be sure to pack extra tubes and a patch kit.
Little Sugar Mountain Bike Trail
Opened in 2020, Little Sugar offers riders over 50 miles of trails that range from easy to intermediate. Gorgeous views are sure to be had as the course wraps around Sugar Creek, Windsor and Avalon Lakes, and the waterfall on Tanyard Creek. Make sure to pack your camera or GoPro! Little Sugar also gives riders more of a vertical climb than The Back 40 Loop, but that means you’ll get to enjoy even more thrilling descents! In fact, this course has more climbing per mile than any other trail in our region.
After You’re Done With The Bentonville or Bella Vista Mountain Bike Trails
Toast a job well done at Bike Rack Brewing. Located on the bike trail in the heart of the Arts District, BRB strives to create a unique yet approachable flavor profile while giving bikers an enjoyable craft beer experience. If you’re craving a meal, you’ve got to stop in at Wright’s BBQ. Situated right off the Slaughter Pen Trail, it offers some of the best BBQ this region has to offer. We recommend coming in right before or after peak mealtimes to avoid the crowds!
Rogers Arkansas Mountain Bike Trails
Whether you’re searching for easy flow, technical routes, scenic single tracks, or even mountain bike parks, Rogers has something to set your wheels turning!
Hobbs State Park-Conservation Area Monument Trail
The Hobbs State Park-Conservation Area Monument trail may be a mouthful to say, but it’s a joy to ride! It’s great for beginner riders, with the course being fairly level and only six hill climbs on the route. While it’s 40 miles long in its entirety, there are plenty of opportunities to stop, rest, and learn something new. Interpretive exhibit panels are placed along the trail to stoke your curiosity, and views of Beaver Lake are sure to take your breath away.
Lake Atalanta Mountain Bike Trails
Lake Atalanta is a fantastic choice for intermediate riders. While the main route wraps the lake, multiple trailheads shoot out to give bikers a diverse ride. The route offers loose descents and challenging climbs on a variety of surfaces and moisture levels. Make sure to keep your eyes open while you ride; bikers have reported multiple sightings of bald eagles in the area, and there are lovely lake views to be enjoyed. Our advice? Check-in with the City of Rogers before planning your route. Construction is underway to renovate and enhance portions of the trail and add additional features. You’ll want to make sure you’re aware of any closures before getting on your bike.
The Railyard Bike Park
The Railyard Bike Park is a world-class bike park with various elements welcoming riders of any skill level. Opened in 2015, The Railyard offers obstacles including 8 jump boxes, drop-offs, a mulch jump, wall rides, whale tail, and concrete lips. The pièce de resistance is a full-scale recycled rail car set on real railroad tracks that cyclists ride through. It’s also one of the few parks in the country to be lit so riders can enjoy it in the early morning or evening. Want to put your skills to a real-world test? A paved path connects the park to Lake Atalanta trails.
After You’re Done With The Rogers Arkansas Mountain Bike Trails
When you’re done, celebrate at The Rail or Ozark Brew Company. Both are located just a short ride from Lake Atalanta trails. The Rail is a local pizza joint with a too-cool-for-school vibe. Pizza is sold by the slice with a menu selection that changes daily. Make sure you bring a sticker with you; they’re famous for letting you make your mark by leaving a sticker on their walls! OBC produces a variety of year-round and seasonal beers offered in pints, flights, growlers, and cans to go. Their taproom is open 7 days a week and we often feature local food trucks for lunch and dinner.
Springdale Arkansas Mountain Bike Trails
There’s no better way to see Springdale than by bike. Explore Fitzgerald Mountain or roll down Razorback Greenway and the groovy downtown area.
Fitzgerald Mountain Bike Trails
Fitzgerald Mountain was designed and built by Jeremy Witek and the rest of his Rock Solid Trail Contracting crew. In the world of biking, he’s something of a legend for his incredible creations, so it’s no wonder there’s a host of YouTube videos touting Fitzgerald Mountains, “best trail ever.” The project was funded by the Walton Family Foundation and is located on 130 acres near Bayyari Park. It features 10 miles of soft-surface trails and includes something for everyone, from beginner-level biking and hiking trails, to intermediate cross-country loops to some massive, double black diamond jump lines. It also makes the most of the Ozark’s natural terrain, with rock gardens and stone paths sourced from local sources.
After You’re Done With The Springdale Arkansas Mountain Bike Trails
When you’re finished with your ride, roll into local favorites Big Sexy Food and Black Apple. Big Sexy Food serves up what burgers that the restaurant touts as the best in the universe. Need we say more? Black Apple is the famous NWA cidery located right off the Razorback Greenway. Utilizing only the freshest local ingredients, their offerings rotate with the season. We personally love their year-round staple, Hibiscus Cider.
Fayetteville Arkansas Mountain Bike Trails
Get outside and explore just what makes Fayetteville funky! From Kessler Mountain to Lake Fayetteville, there are trails for every rider regardless of skill level. If Bentonville and Bella Vista are the heart of the best mountain bike trails in Northwest Arkansas, then Fayetteville is the arms and legs!
Kessler Mountain Bike Trails
Kessler Mountain Trails have been a part of the Fayetteville landscape for over 15 years. It offers terrain for every rider, from the earliest of beginners to the most seasoned veteran. Kessler’s 13 miles of natural-surface routes lead you to the top of Boston Mountain, where you can not only snap the perfect picture for Instagram but claim ultimate bragging rights. Kessler also gives you quick access to the city utilizing Cato Springs Trail, a 12-foot-wide concrete trail connecting to the Razorback Regional Greenway.
Lake Fayetteville Mountain Bike Trails
Lake Fayetteville is a multiuse, multi-surface trail taking you five and a half miles around the lake. Along the way, you’ll see gorgeous scenery, local wildlife, and usually a friend or two. The route offers multiple benches where you can take a rest, as well as a chance to pop in at the Botanical Gardens. This route is perfect for beginners, with minimal inclines and descents and an easy flow.
Devils Den Mountain Bike Trails
Devil’s Den is where mountain biking began in Arkansas. In the late 1980s, the park developed the first designated mountain bike trail in the state park system, Fossil Flats. It’s also home to the annual Ozark Mountain Biking Festival. The trail is set up in a stack looped system, with 3-, 4.2-, and 6-mile routes with the corresponding difficulty. It features extended cross-country routes along bluff drip lines, behind waterfalls, and through remote areas of the park that were previously inaccessible to park visitors. Make sure to pack your cell phone to take snap photos of the gorgeous scenery along the way!
Centennial Park at Millsap Mountain Bike Trails
Centennial Park at Millsap Mountain is the new home of Walmart’s UCI Cyclo-cross World Championships. Beginners will enjoy the rightly named Learners Permit route. Designed as a loop, this new mountain bike trail is ideal for beginners and families. Riders can expect flowy single-track with minimal technical difficulty and some climbs. Trails like “Junk Drawer” and “Captain Fantastic” increase in difficulty and utilize rocky, technical sections with unique trail features including a long-abandoned pickup.
After You’re Done With The Fayetteville Arkansas Mountain Bike Trails
Two of our favorite places to stop in post-ride are Apple Blossom near Lake Fayetteville and Columbus House Brewery off North Street. Both are right off the trails and have space to park your bike. Apple Blossom recently came under new management and has a host of new menu items and a wide selection of drinks. While Columbus House does not offer food, they’re the perfect place to enjoy a tipple post-ride. We recommend their famous Nutty Runner brew – it’s even got a race named after it!
Fun Northwest Arkansas Group Rides
Square to Square is the iconic bike race that sends you from one end of the NWA metro area to the other! At about 26 miles long, it’s a challenging but not impossible race, sending you up or down Razorback Greenway to the square in either Fayetteville or Bentonville. Race it or take your time; there will be riders doing both! You’ll love riding with other bikers from across the region and seeing all the sites along the way!
Taco de Taco and Tour de BBQ are each held annually to benefit the Kendrick Fincher Hydration for Life. Get in some miles along Northwest Arkansas trails while stopping for enjoying pit stops for tacos or BBQ along the way! Routes and vendors are still being determined for this year.
Northwest Arkansas has a host of mountain biking clubs that meet regularly. You’ll find them on any given Saturday morning tackling local trails together and hanging out together afterward. It’s a great way to meet new people and find other couples who share your interests! In Washington County, check out Ozark Off-Road Cyclists. In Bentonville, visit with Friends of Arkansas Single Track (FAST, for short).
Looking For More Than Just The Best Mountain Bike Trails In Northwest Arkansas?
While we know planning a day of mountain biking in Northwest Arkansas is the main reason you are here, you won’t want to miss what else we have to offer. From the Best Romantic Getaways in Arkansas to Northwest Arkansas Date Night Ideas. Also, you may be interested in our guide to the 14 Best Elopement Locations in Arkansas. If you are looking for a photographer for your next big event, head over to our contact form and let us know! Because while we may know a lot about the best mountain bike trails in Northwest Arkansas, we know even more about capturing important moments and epic portraits!
Lastly, if you are in the wedding planning stage, make sure to check out our FREE wedding planning guide!