I live in Western North Carolina and ride regularly in Dupont, Pisgah, and Bent Creek. I was planning a road trip to Vermont, but the black flies are out of control . So, it’s between Bentonville AR or Harrisonburg VA. Any advice?
Never been to Harrisonburg, but rode a couple days this month in Bentonville while traveling from Florida to Oregon. Though I have never ridden such well built trails and think it is absolutely fabulous that such wonderful trails can be found in the town, that is what I didn’t like……the trails are in town!!! Even the Back 40 Trail is in a quasi urban setting where you often ride along roads, across a golf course and people’s backyards. Don’t get me wrong, the trails are great and it is amazing that they are so easily accessed anywhere in town, I just prefer more remote settings.
I’ve ridden Douthat State Park just outside of Harrisonburg…..it’s one of my new favorites! Beautiful park, great singletrack, in the middle of frekin nowhere, but still has full LTE coverage (go figure).
I’d never heard of Carvins Cove recommended by Allgrainer, but it looks really sweet and I have definitely added it to my “check-out next time I’m in VA” list.
Harrisonburg definitely has more mountain riding. Classics like Timber Ridge, Narrowback, and Massanutten Mountain provide some of the best descents in the East. Period. At the same time, the Shenandoah Mountain Trail and the Massanutten Trail serve up rocky, amazing, undulating Virginia ridge-top trail.
Bentonville’s draw is its atmosphere and creative trail design. Because of the Walton family’s contributions, trails like Slaughter Pen and Lake Atalanta offer unparalleled flow and grin-inducing fun. Following suit, bike shops have been established and a brewing (beer and coffee) scene has cropped up. Even so, in the nearby Ozarks you’ll be able to find some back country mountain riding at places like Upper Buffalo Headwaters.
Honestly, I think you should go to Bentonville. Currently you live in the the best place to ride big descents and ascents in the East. I think Bentonville would be a nice change of pace and the culture would be much more inviting than in Harrisonburg.