Hunt Down the Best Jump Lines Hidden in Bentonville

Go hunting in Bentonville, the mountain bike way: hunting for jumps in the forest.

Mountain Biking Moderate, Difficult, Severe, Extreme

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Coler: East Side
Photo: Bob Robinson

Description

Bentonville, Arkansas, is leading the charge for the world's most innovative and most progressive mountain bike trail construction. With the Waltons funneling tens of millions of dollars into trail development across Northwest Arkansas, the world's best trail builders have all sent a crew to Arkansas for at least a few projects. Some trail building companies have set up a second headquarters in Bentonville, and still others were founded in this region and almost exclusively build in Arkansas.

Thanks to these ingredients, Bentonville's trail system has grown into a bonafide national-level mountain bike destination! The kinesthetically-engaging singletrack bobs and weaves across the terrain, flowing up and down hills with a berm in almost every corner. While cross-country trails are necessary for any mountain bike destination and plenty of people enjoy riding them, the true tip of the trail design spear is the flow trail. And what's the pinnacle example of a flow trail? A massive, flowy jump line.

The lack of any significant topographic relief means that Bentonville can never truly become the "mountain biking capital of the world" as they've already labeled themselves. Still, the builders have done the best they can with the small hillsides and rippled terrain that covers this corner of Arkansas. When it comes to jump lines, instead of building massive 5-mile-long flow trails as you might find in Switzerland or Colorado, the name of the game here is "laps."

Laps on laps on laps.

Bentonville has taken to creating "gravity zones" that are designed so riders can pedal up the mountain and then race back down, over and over again. The best zones, such as Handcut Hollow, have one dedicated climbing trail surrounded by several downhill lines to choose from that rip back down the hillside. While you always pedal up the same trail to the hub at the top, you can choose a different line back down the hill every single time.

One consequence of Bentonville's lack of true mountains is that the best jump lines are tucked away in the forest wherever the builders have been able to find a hillside that's long enough or steep enough to yield the results that they're looking for. Thanks to this approach, the best jump lines are spread throughout the region, tucked away in hidden hollows, usually hidden from view. If you're heading to Bentonville to send it instead of pedal it, it's not immediately obvious where the best jump lines are hidden in the thick Arkansas forest.

That's where this guidebook comes in.

In this guidebook, you'll find a round-up of the best jump lines in Bentonville at the time of this writing. From the classic Slaughter Pen freeride zone, to Coler's ultra-popular elevated hub, to the newest additions of Medieval and Handcut Hollow, there are literally dozens upon dozens of jumps and drops ranging from beginner-friendly to expert-only to be launched and hucked across the region.

Go hunting in Bentonville, the mountain bike way: hunting for jumps in the forest.

Routes included

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