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Level: Intermediate
Length: 40 mi (64.4 km)
Surface: Singletrack
Configuration: Loop
Elevation: +1,082/ -1,018 ft
Total: 129 riders

Mountain Biking Back 40

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#4 of 190 mountain bike trails in Arkansas
#128 in the world

A big 21-mile loop with tons of criss-crossing trails as well. Connects to blowing springs.

First added by Nelsen Phelps on Aug 4, 2016. Last updated Apr 22, 2020. → add an update
Before you go
  • Drinking water: unknown
  • Lift service: unknown
  • Night riding: unknown
  • Pump track: unknown
  • Restrooms: unknown
  • Fat bike grooming: unknown
  • E-bikes allowed: unknown
  • Fee required: unknown
This trail information is user-generated. Help improve this information by suggesting a correction.
Getting there
Lake Ann
System trails (9)
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Back 40 Trail map

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Local Info

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Costner Cam (on Feb 20, 2023)
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Trail conditions

Good (on Nov 20, 2021)
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Mountain Bike Trails Near Bella Vista, Arkansas

Beginner | 45 mi
Intermediate | 7 mi
| 1 mi
Advanced | 5 mi

Rider questions

Q: Is it 40 miles or 21?
A: The outer loop is 22 miles, but there is more (about 36 total) in the system and more is planned. Keep in mind though that this is directly connected, mostly by singletrack, to blowing springs which has another 7 miles or so, and slaughter pen which has about 15 miles.

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  • TK34

    I'm kind of between 3 & 4 stars on this loop, but I went 4 cause the effort and trail management is solid. Definitely a back country feel, although its actually through residential areas. Kind of between machined and hand-built, kind of flowy, but not like the newer Slaughter Pen stuff. Sneaky amount of climbing. Not much for techy stuff. Worth a spin if you're looking for something different than Slaughter or Coler. Kudos to the trail management - good signage.

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  • Patrick Jensen

    Great stuff lots of fun and flow - but the razor sharp rocks proved formidable foes to our sidewalls. Bring a pump and tube even if you run tubeless!

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  • JBX

    epic, awesome, lots of climbing and great flow.

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  • Ursus Blackman

    A group of us road this trail on a cold April day. Fun and challenging. Be prepared to climb. Recommended for XC.

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  • Greg Heil   ✓ supporter

    For such a highly-acclaimed ride I found this trail very underwhelming. Even the ledges section that was supposed to be so rad... was so much less. We completed the ledges and were like, "wait, where were the difficult parts?" I covered our experience in detail in my article titled "An Exercise in Unmet Expectations: Riding the Back 40 in Arkansas" https://www.singletracks.com/blog/mtb-trails/riding-back-40-exercise-unmet-expectations/

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  • Midmoab

    Day one on the trails was awesome. We travelled to bentonville from mid-Missouri for the terrific riding. We get only four trail days so we have to be selective. Weather was in the 20's when we began our loop from the northern most trailhead heading west on the back 40. We hit floride south which was one of the best trails I have ever ridden. When we completed the entire loop we came back and shuttled the last third of floride from york down to the lake ann parking lot. Hit a section of pinion and "what the chuck" at the bottom of the hill before climbing out sbat. I definitely recommend taking a run on the black "chuck" portion. It was fun and really short. Sbat climbs a bunch from south to north but has some fun flowing sections too. Especially the last quarter after crossing a road...back to the original trailhead. The trail is super rocky with lots of loose gravel but still rides really well. As usual we ran in to a few riders who were happy to share their knowledge and stories about local riding adventures. Its so cool to be part of the mountain biking community.

    Shout out to dave and his crew at mojo's bike shop. Cool shop awesome guy who provided us some insight for riding our second day. We had such a blast!

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  • jjb9168

    Fun trail system- lots of flow with a handful of short, intermediate technical sections. Not sure how this got a "difficult" rating. I'd say 80-90% of the loop is pretty non-technical flow that would suit a beginner with moderate fitness.

    Bring a spare tube!

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  • tc054

    First time there this past Saturday. Weather sucked but trails were great. More climbing than I'm accustomed to in Oklahoma.

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  • agirlcyclist

    Didn't ride all of it but liked what I experienced. Something for every skill level. Great signage and maps. Lights across streets are automatic so cars are alerted. Take plenty of water. Don't recommend for beginner.

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  • Malbike

    I did the 21 mile Back 40 look counter clockwise. I normally ride 8-12 miles at a time, so this was a long ride for me. The whole trail was ridable and I there were some really neat features that we don't have in the St. Louis area. I really enjoyed the pump and tools as the trail head.

    The first part of the trail (from the north parking lot) had lots of berms (up and down). My favorite part of the trail were the descents. I could tell the trail was professionally designed and built because it was like a down hill pump track. Very flowy and fun. Nothing too techy. There were not many roots and rocks in the trail for the entire ride. There were a few neat features that really gave the trail some character. There was an amazing waterfall along the trail that I spent some time at. Also, some pretty neat cliffs and caves to ride under.

    It took me 3 hours to complete the trail.

    It took me 4 1/2 hours to drive here, and I plan on coming back in the fall and bringing friends.

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  • PepperSprout

    Beautiful trail network- enjoyed!!!!!

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  • HoneyHam

    Check out the Ledges secment ????
    "Living on the ledge"

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  • GTXC4

    I've ridden this as part of Blowing, a good extension. Much like the rest of the area. Worth the time.

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  • wareagle4130

    Awesome trail. Even the green connector trails had berms and rollers. Add Ledges loop for a little Womble feel.
    The area had gotten 3 inches of rain in 2 days before we arrived. The bike shops told us Back-40 would be fine, so we hit it. It was 90% perfect, with the rest being a bit sloppy but not too bad. Trail consists of a lot of natural gravel and small loose rock in parts, with tons of berms and jumps going both directions. Flow for days with very little in terms of rock gardens or roots. Lots of road crossings and feeling like your riding in people's backyards, so not a "back country" style trail like the Epics in Arkansas.

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  • jrparks

    Park at Lake Anne and take Pinion Creek to back 40 loop. Head south till you reach Rago. Take Rago to Summit School and bust your lungs for a little over a mile back to Pinion Creek. Head west on Pinion Creek back to Parking. This is about a 10 mile loop. Some good little technical pieces and some fun bombing downhill. Plus, lots of good scenery. It won't disappoint.

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  • Al 01 Ok

    Great singletrack with good use of the natural features. Follow the Pinon creek trail signs to ledges trail.

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