The Singletrack Mind of Northwest Arkansas
Even if you were living under a rock, you’d recognize that Northwest Arkansas is becoming a nationally respected mountain biking destination. We say this because even if that rock wasn’t sitting in the middle of our 250 miles of natural-surface trails, it’s likely the trail builders would find you eventually at the pace they are moving dirt to develop new trails throughout the region.
Bella Vista will soon be home to over 100 miles of world-class trails for mountain bikers! The new trail system of about 50 miles is to be funded by a $3.9 million Walton Family Foundation grant. Check out the concept map below, which includes plans for 11 tunnels to bypass busy road crossings. The project is currently underway and expected to be complete by late 2019. Once complete, the new Bella Vista trail system will increase the total number of natural-surface trails in the region by more than 20 percent!
”“This summer, we seized opportunities that helped us reach ambitious trail-building milestones across Northwest Arkansas. From doubling down on Bella Vista trails to building the largest pump track in the U.S. in Springdale, the Oz Trails network continues to grow.
We are building on that momentum by formally introducing the Coler Mountain Bike Preserve, a public recreation destination in Bentonville. Coler will provide a singular experience where cyclists can get a taste of almost every type of trail the region offers, nestled within its 300 acres…
As we close in on 400 miles of trails and paved paths, this progress demonstrates people in the region value our trails. We are committed to living up to our reputation as an emerging powerhouse destination for mountain biking.”– Tom Walton
This effort aims to cement Northwest Arkansas as a premier mountain biking and public recreation destination. The existing 16-miles of mountain bike trails will be augmented by all sorts of amenities, including 25 tent and hammock camping sites, two renovated open-air barns for small group events, yoga platforms and a grove of trees for meditation and contemplation. That’s not all…for those looking to refuel, relax or reflect, Coler will also feature a café with scenic overlook, multi-use pavilions and the Berm, a hillside building at the intersection of the preserve’s trails where individuals can enjoy panoramic views. In this instance, you have to read it to believe it. Visit HERE, or HERE, or HERE for more details.
Wait Wait..There’s more.
From the Great Oz…Oz Trails that is.
In partnership with Fayetteville Parks & Recreation, the Ozark Off Road Cyclists have announced the re-opening of Gregory Park as a Mountain Bike Park in Fayetteville, Arkansas!
With support from the Walton Family Foundation and partners Progressive Trail Design, Progressive Bike Ramps, and Fast Rack Modern Cycling Solution, TODAY the park is open!
As part of the project, the OORC facilitated 1100 hours of community volunteerism to construct a new multiuse perimeter trail for hikers, bikers, trail runners and dog walkers that also serves as a return line to session the flow trails!
1100 hours of community volunteerism!? Shout out to OORC, that deserves to be repeated.
Before You Go!
The Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette recently teamed up with Kelly Williams, board member of the Friends of the Arkansas Single Track mountain bike club and director of the OZ MTB Patrol, to showcase the Back 40. The video is designed for an audience warming up to the idea of mountain biking and is designed to show that the Back 40 was designed for all ages to ride. If you or someone you know is in that camp, it may be worth sharing this intro video to them.