10 Best US Mountain Bike Towns with the Lowest Cost of Living

10. Bella Vista, Arkansas

  • COL Index: 87.20
  • Median Home Price: $166,200
  • Population: 28,000
  • Miles of Singletrack: ~125
Back 40 Trail. Rider: Steven Deckert. Photo: Nathan Wentz.

Finally, we reach Arkansas. When I polled our readers on social media to see what they thought the most affordable mountain bike towns are, Bentonville, Arkansas was one of the top responses. Unfortunately, Bentonville doesn’t quite make this list with a median home price of $193,100 and a COL index of 90.80. But cut almost $30,000 off Bentonville home prices and you have Bella Vista, which is literally within riding distance of Bentonville via greenway trail.

Photo: Dylan Shaddox

Still, $166,200 is a good bit steeper than some of the other towns on this list but as a southern town, Bella Vista’s COL Index of 87.20 still ranks lower than some western mountain towns with lower home prices. Many variables can impact how expensive a town is to live in, and depending on your life situation, one variable could be more important to you than another. To help you compare one place to another, I recommend Best Places’ cost of living comparison tool.

Like most towns on this list–and in the nation at large–housing is increasing in price in Bella Vista, with the median list price currently at $173,000. However, that rate of increase is much lower than other towns that we’ve covered already. Bella Vista is a sleeper town, and it looks to stay that way for the time being.

Rider: Nathan Wentz. Photo: Greg Heil.

Do we need to tell you yet again how good the mountain biking is in Bella Vista? Probably not, but let’s recap.

The Back 40 Loop beginning at Blowing Springs is the marquee Bella Vista ride. “The Back 40 Loop trail is just over 21 miles, and provides riders with variations of Arkansas singletrack, including rock outcroppings, man-made bridges, stream crossings, beds of pine needles, and long stretches beneath expansive bluff overhangs,” said Cassi Lapp, Communications Manager for the City of Bella Vista. “This trail also provides access to the Back 40’s eight main connector trails, each offering a different aspect of trail design including flow, hand-cut rock sections, berms, flat-out-fun downhill, and more.”

In addition, you can easily pedal down the paved greenway to access the network of trails around Slaughter Pen, which has everything from a massive jump park to flow trails to technical, old-school singletrack.

Conclusion

Numerous factors influence where we choose to live. While access to great singletrack and a relatively affordable cost of living rank highly for many mountain bikers, other factors like climate, culture, amenities, proximity to family, and many, many more also play a role in this determination. I hope this list is diverse enough that if you’re planning to move to a mountain bike town in the US, you can now find an affordable place to call home!

Still don’t feel like you’ve found the perfect spot? Check out these 10 honorable mentions, which are all worthy mountain bike towns.

Honorable Mentions

Terlingua/Lajitas, Texas

  • COL Index: 84.30
  • Median Home Price: $76,200, according to Best Places
  • Population: 58
  • Miles of Singletrack: 135

Kansas City, Kansas

  • COL Index: 80.90
  • Median Home Price: $86,800
  • Population: 152,000; 2,159,000 metro area
  • Miles of Singletrack: 130+

Del Norte, Colorado

  • COL Index: 96.10
  • Median Home Price: $125,300
  • Population: 1,600
  • Miles of Singletrack: ~100

Slatyfork, West Virginia

  • COL Index: 88.70
  • Median List Price of Homes for Sale: $133,450 
  • Population: 80
  • Miles of Singletrack: 150+

Ocala, Florida

  • COL Index: 88.20
  • Median List Price of Homes for Sale: $133,200 
  • Population: 59,000
  • Miles of Singletrack: 85+

Cable, Wisconsin

  • COL Index: 94.60
  • Median Home Price: $136,000, according to Best Places
  • Population: 825
  • Miles of Singletrack: 150+

Sturgis, South Dakota

  • COL Index: 93.90
  • Median Home Price: $136,300, according to Best Places
  • Population: 6,800
  • Miles of Singletrack: ~200

Salmon, Idaho

  • COL Index: 95.30
  • Median Home Price: $140,125 according to Best Places
  • Population: 3,000
  • Miles of Singletrack: 330+

Duluth, Minnesota

  • COL Index: 90.40
  • Median Home Price: $152,800
  • Population: 86,000; 279,000 metro area
  • Miles of Singletrack: 80+, and growing

Marquette, Michigan

  • COL Index: 93.60
  • Median Home Price: $159,900
  • Population: 21,000
  • Miles of Singletrack: 100+

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