Guidebook

Best Backcountry MTB Rides near Hot Springs NP

Head into the little-traveled backcountry of the Ouachita Mountains on these 3 long-distance trails.

Greg Heil

Description

While Hot Springs National Park might be one of the smallest national parks in the USA, the trail system doesn't stop at the park boundaries. Just outside of this national park, an intricate network of singletrack has been constructed that provides some of the best mountain biking in Arkansas! While you can ride plenty of singletrack close to the town of Hot Springs, if you head deeper into the Ouachita Mountains, you'll discover three incredible backcountry mountain bike rides, all of which have been assigned the IMBA Epic designation!

The closest of these three epics to Hot Springs is the 38-mile Lake Ouachita Vista Trail, also known as the LOViT Trail. "The entire trail is classic singletrack, with roots, rocks, dense pine forests, and creek crossings," writes local mountain bike journalist Bob Robinson. "And none of these rocks were hauled in like some of the other trails in the region—Mother Nature put these rocks there just for our riding pleasure."

Next up, the Womble Trail is another 37-mile epic that traverses "steep, rocky climbs" on "narrow trails cut into the mountainside with intimidating drop-offs, and fun, flowy descents," according to Robinson. This IMBA Epic is highly-acclaimed and attracts riders from across the country!

One end of the Womble Trail connects to the Ouachita National Recreation Trail. The 105-mile continuous section of the Ouachita NRT mapped here forms the longest mountain bike trail in the state of Arkansas, providing the perfect setting for an epic bikepacking adventure! Even better, combine the Womble Trail and the Ouachita NRT with some roads for a lollipop route of epic proportions.

Lake Ouachita Vista Trail
The best Routes on FATMAP, hand-picked by FATMAP’s Editorial team.

Lake Ouachita Vista Trail

60.8 km
1,460 m
1,512 m
The LOViT trail is a sweet IMBA Epic singletrack that has everything you’d want in a mountain bike ride.
Moderate
Private
Womble Trail
The best Routes on FATMAP, hand-picked by FATMAP’s Editorial team.

Womble Trail

59.9 km
1,425 m
1,446 m
The Womble Trail is an IMBA Epic Trail that offers 37 miles of steep, rocky climbs; narrow trails cut into the mountainside with intimidating drop-offs; and fun, flowy descents.
Severe
Private
Ouachita National Recreation Trail
The best Routes on FATMAP, hand-picked by FATMAP’s Editorial team.

Ouachita National Recreation Trail

169.6 km
4,326 m
4,783 m
The longest mountain bike trail in Arkansas!
Difficult
Private