Guidebook

Hunt Down the Best Jump Lines Hidden in Bentonville

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

Greg Heil

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.

Slaughter Pen Freeride Zone
The best Routes on FATMAP, hand-picked by FATMAP’s Editorial team.

Slaughter Pen Freeride Zone

2.1 km
19 m
19 m
The OG jump line at Slaughter Pen
Extreme
Private
Slaughter Pen Phase I - Outer Loop
The best Routes on FATMAP, hand-picked by FATMAP’s Editorial team.

Slaughter Pen Phase I - Outer Loop

6.3 km
106 m
106 m
Slaughter Pen Trails Phase I crisscrosses the hillside with several old-school trails packed with short climbs, wooden bridges, sharp banked turns, and a short downhill run packed with many fun features.
Severe
Private
Coler: East Side
The best Routes on FATMAP, hand-picked by FATMAP’s Editorial team.

Coler: East Side

9.0 km
218 m
220 m
If you're into jumps, drops, rock gardens, and other fun MTB stuff, Coler MTB Preserve East is a Must Ride!
Extreme
Private
Medieval Loop
The best Routes on FATMAP, hand-picked by FATMAP’s Editorial team.

Medieval Loop

4.3 km
61 m
61 m
A fast intermediate jump line with surprisingly big hits.
Moderate
Private
Coler: Thunder Dome Lap
The best Routes on FATMAP, hand-picked by FATMAP’s Editorial team.

Coler: Thunder Dome Lap

1.1 km
24 m
24 m
Coler MTB Preserve West is loaded with wood features and also the only dual slalom run in this part of the country.
Difficult
Private
Handcut Hollow: Gravity Laps
The best Routes on FATMAP, hand-picked by FATMAP’s Editorial team.

Handcut Hollow: Gravity Laps

16.5 km
426 m
426 m
An efficient plan for hitting all of the downhill runs at Handcut Hollow.
Severe
Private
Huntley Gravity Zone
The best Routes on FATMAP, hand-picked by FATMAP’s Editorial team.

Huntley Gravity Zone

6.1 km
161 m
161 m
The most efficient way to hit all the runs in the Huntley Gravity Zone.
Difficult
Private
Hammer Down

Hammer Down

1.0 km
28 m
28 m
A fresh jump line with big tabletops.
Severe
Private
Slaughter Pen Phase II - East
The best Routes on FATMAP, hand-picked by FATMAP’s Editorial team.

Slaughter Pen Phase II - East

2.4 km
45 m
45 m
Slaughter Pen Phase II East is a set of narrow rocky trails that will challenge your handling skills and provide a feeling of accomplishment after riding them.
Severe
Private