Slaughter Pen Phase III

Slaughter Pen Phase III includes a collection of short, fun trails within densely-wooded green space preserves that include abrupt climbs and fast descents.

Mountain Biking Difficult

Distance
5.1 km
Ascent
78 m
Descent
78 m
Duration
0-1 hrs
Low Point
351 m
High Point
393 m
Gradient
Slaughter Pen Phase III Map

Slaughter Pen Phase III is comprised of four small “pocket” parks where the terrain was too steep for housing developments. But "too steep" for housing translates to great mountain bike trails! Each of these wooded parks is filled with a collection of short trails with abrupt steep climbs and fast descents.

Description

There are several different trailheads throughout the system where you can begin your ride; however, I like to jumpstart my ride with the All American Trail. This exciting, mostly downhill, feature-packed trail begins just off the Bentonville downtown square. In 2018, the entrance was extended to begin across from a water splash pad (which makes for a refreshing romp following a hot day of mountain biking).

All American’s slab rock-laden banked turns, wooden and rock skinnies, small jumps, and high earthen banked turns are sure to get the adrenaline pumping.

You’ll also want to pause halfway down the trail to follow a spur trail that offers an overhead bird’s eye view of the world-renowned Crystal Bridges Museum of Art. Well-worth a pause in your ride.

Upon reaching the bottom of All American, take a short sprint on a paved bike path to cross NE A Street to enter the first pocket park on Rocking Horse Trail. I recommend riding this in a clockwise direction, transitioning to Boo Boo for a short climb to an elevated hub. You can continue to circumnavigate the park, but I enjoy using the momentum from the hub for a thrilling, fast ride down Choo Choo.

Choo Choo is a short downhill directional run with a continuous string of high-banked earthen berms that keep you rocking and rolling from side to side throughout the trail.

Leaving the park, you follow another paved bikeway to reach the remaining parks in the trail system.

Leopard Loop is a nice, flowy run, with a long, narrow wooden meandering bridge being the main attraction.

Just after entering Park Springs, riding counterclockwise, you ride over one of the highlights of this area, Phil Penny of Rogue Trails’ signature rock. In the middle of a sweeping rock-laden banked turn is a large rock in the shape of the state of Arkansas. The trails here also routes cyclists through a scenic water garden area.

After wringing all the fun to be had from the Park Springs trails, don’t bother returning to the street where you entered. Just drop down the hillside to reach the remaining section of trails via a tunnel. How cool is that?

Emerging from the tunnel, you enter the latest addition to this group of trails, a network of several old school “handmade” trails. I recommend climbing up the trail to your right on Apple Dumplin to ride counterclockwise, making sure you take the high ground when given an option to catch a couple of fun features. Then return, riding Black Apple Creek Trail, and finish with a challenging rocky ledge-y scramble on Apple Turnover.

Difficulty

Difficult

Mostly stable trail tread with some variability featuring larger and more unavoidable obstacles that may include, but not be limited to: bigger stones, roots, steps, and narrow curves. Compared to lower intermediate, technical difficulty is more advanced and grades of slopes are steeper. Ideal for upper intermediate riders.

Medium Exposure

2 out of 4

The trail contains some obstacles such as outcroppings and rock which could cause injury.

Remoteness

1 out of 4

Close to help in case of emergency.

Best time to visit

January, February, March, April, May, June, July, August, September, October, November, December

Features

  • Flow
  • Technical
  • Drops
  • Roots
  • Rock Slabs
  • Rock Gardens

Similar routes nearby

Guidebooks in this area