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MTB in the Land of Oz: Best Trails in Bentonville, AR

Explore the best trails in the viral mountain bike destination of Bentonville, Arkansas.

Mountain Biking Moderate, Difficult, Severe, Extreme

Coler MTB Preserve - East
Photo: Bob Robinson


The name “Bentonville” now rolls off the lips of mountain bikers across the USA in the same breath as Moab, Crested Butte, and Pisgah. This constantly-growing mountain bike destination has risen from virtually nothing to one of the top mountain biking destinations in the country in what feels like just a few years. Of course, the full story is much longer and a bit more complicated than that, and required the investment of tens of millions of dollars to build these superb trails.

It’s not an exaggeration to say that the mountain bike scene in Bentonville wouldn’t exist without Walmart. The international headquarters of this gargantuan corporation still resides here where it was founded in Northwest Arkansas, and the Walton Foundation alone has contributed millions of dollars to the local mountain bike trail scene. As of 2017, they had invested over $13 million in singletrack mountain bike trails alone, with another $46 million invested in paved trails. That number has only increased since then.

Today, Bentonville plays hosts to mountain bike festivals like Outerbike, races like the Oz Trails Off-Road, and industry events like IMBA’s World Summit. In 2022, they’ll even hold the Cyclocross World Championships. If you love anything to do with two wheels, Bentonville is worth a visit!

But what about the trails themselves?

Imagine a type of mountain bike trail that you enjoy, and you’re likely to find it here in Bentonville! Whether it’s steep and rocky, flowy and filled with berms, stacked with jumps, laced with wooden features and bridges, pedally and mellow, or a combination of all these features… the diversity of the mountain biking in the rolling hills of Northwest Arkansas is truly impressive.

Begin your mountain biking adventure with the easily-accessible trails at Slaughter Pen. The Slaughter Pen area is filled with singletrack running in all directions, allowing you to create many different loops and combinations.

Next, head to Coler MTB Preserve for some of the fastest, most challenging descents in the region. You’ll have to pedal to the top a few times to sample all the trails, but every single one is worth it!

Finally, finish your trip off with a lengthy cross country epic combining the Blowing Springs and Back 40 Trails, known simply as “Back 40.”

Haven’t had enough? If you head further afield to other nearby towns such as Fayetteville and Eureka Springs, you’ll discover hundreds of more miles of trail to pedal!

Sources: https://www.bicycling.com/news/a26115749/cyclocross-world-championships-2022/ https://epicrides.com/events/oz-trails-off-road/event-guide/ https://outerbike.com https://www.singletracks.com/mtb-trails/northwest-arkansas-13-million-can-build/

Routes included

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