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Bentonville, Arkansas

Rider: Rosara Joseph. Photo: Carl Zoch.

Rider: Rosara Joseph. Photo: Carl Zoch.

Bentonville, Arkansas has exploded onto the mountain biking scene with a massive influx of trail building funds from the Walton family. IMBA has gotten completely on board with this trail development, choosing Bentonville as the location for their 2016 World Summit. As of press time, there are currently “210 miles of soft-surface trails” in Northwest Arkansas, according to Bentonville Tourism. Of those 210 miles, a whopping 52 of them were built last year (2016) alone.

Ready to have your mind completely blown? On top of the current 210 miles of trail, there “are nearly 100 miles of soft-surface trail planned for development over the next 18 months.” Yes, over the next year and a half Northwest Arkansas plans to increase their singletrack mileage by 50%!

Plans are all well and good, but according to our contributor Scott Cotter, Bentonville doesn’t need any more trail to qualify for this list. “Bentonville has really come roaring onto the scene with about 100 miles rideable from town (which has great food/beer, a cool paved trail circling the community, and awesome art),” said Cotter. “Also, within half an hour to 45 minutes you can find tons more trail to ride of all types–dirt jump parks, trials, downhill, and enough cross country to eat up days and days of your well-earned time off. Some of it gets pretty remote.”

 
Rider: Tandie Bailey. Photo: Carl Zoch

Rider: Tandie Bailey. Photo: Carl Zoch

Must-Ride Trails:

Beer:

Bike Shops:

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# Comments

  • k2rider

    Wait a tic….I could be mistaken in my old age but wasn’t Breckenridge hailed as THE top spot in another article just a month or two ago? Now it makes the list of the NEXT 10 places to ride instead of being THE place to ride. I remember that article because it surprised me as I don’t know a single soul that has ridden at Breck or even suggested a road trip with break being the destination. I admit I can never figure out how you come up with these lists anyway. I know for me that while the town itself isn’t anything fantastic (at least it isn’t uppity Bend), OAKRIDGE definitely should be in anybodys FIRST top 10 riding areas to check out as the riding there is top notch!!

  • azdb

    RE Matthew at North Shore comment….you just described my perfect riding scenario……..wow……no doubt there is sort of west centric bias. I am from AZ, 40+ years now, Ill never leave and have tons of riding near including Sedona area, but I have to someday go east for a trip, Arkansas has been an intrigue, but what you described is my ideal setting. Urban commute to trail system and water to boot….Awesome.

  • k2rider

    Yeah, that was the Breckenridge reference I was referring to. If it’s the #1 MTB destination in the WORLD, I would still expect it to make the top of the list in the USA as well….rather than “the next 10” list. Not that it matters anyway, I appreciate the articles as they keep me motivated to keep reaching out to try new areas. I’m be ticking Crested Butte, Downieville and Tahoe off my list this Summer.

  • Bentjammer

    Stokesville, Virginia is home of the Shenandoah Mountain 100. Local to Harrisonburg which is home of the Massanutten Hoo-Ha and Tour de Burg. Some nice technical east coast rocks and roots if you like that sort of thing.

    • Dylan Judy

      Agree with Bentjammer! Stokesville is great… there are some incredible and quite technical trails in the Shenandoah valley between Winchester and Harrisonburg VA. If you want very technical, check out Elisabeth Furnace near Strasburg VA.

  • Whistlepig

    Bellingham is definitely worthy of the list although I’m a bit surprised since it’s not really on a lot people’s radar as a destination. It can certainly be a very demanding place to ride when wet and can be tough in the dry too. Lots of good beer, a very strong community mountain biking vibe, easy trail access, and wicked fun trails are in store for visitors.

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