MTB in the Ozarks (Arkansas & Missouri)
Bentonville's Trail System and Recognition
Bentonville has long been recognized as a top-notch destination for mountain biking enthusiasts. Its extensive network of trails, renowned for their exceptional quality and variety, has attracted riders from around the world. By becoming the official "Home of the U.S. National Mountain Bike Team," Bentonville solidifies its position as the epicenter of American mountain biking. This recognition adds credibility to the city's trail system and showcases its ability to host world-class events.
USA Cycling's Commitment to Bentonville
USA Cycling, the governing body for cycling in the United States, has established a satellite office in Bentonville, highlighting its dedication to the growth of mountain biking in the city. Brendan Quirk, CEO of USA Cycling, expressed his excitement about Bentonville's pivotal role in American mountain biking. The community's warm welcome, combined with the city's world-class trail network, positions Bentonville as an essential location for Team USA's pursuit of medal goals at the 2028 Olympic Games.
Impacting the Community and Economy
The presence of the U.S. Mountain Bike National Team in Bentonville is expected to have a profound impact on the local community. The team will utilize Bentonville's trail system for training, which not only enhances the city's reputation but also attracts more visitors. This influx of biking enthusiasts will benefit the local economy, supporting businesses and contributing to the growth of the region. With Bentonville already hosting prestigious mountain biking events and competitions, the city's status as a top destination for outdoor enthusiasts is further solidified.
Developing a Talent Pipeline
With the 2028 Olympics in sight, the U.S. Mountain Bike National Team is focused on developing a pipeline of talented riders who can compete on home soil. Bentonville's selection as their training base signifies the city's significance in shaping the future of American mountain biking. Over the next five years, the team will seek out and nurture promising riders, aiming to maximize their medal count at the Los Angeles Games.
Bentonville's designation as the new home of the U.S. Mountain Bike National Team is a game-changer for the city and the sport of mountain biking in America. This decision cements Bentonville's reputation as a world-class mountain biking destination and signifies the community's dedication to promoting outdoor sports. With its exceptional trail network, world-class facilities, and strong community support, Bentonville is set to play a pivotal role in the success of Team USA at the 2028 Olympic Games. As the city continues to host remarkable events and attract biking enthusiasts from far and wide, Bentonville's position as the epicenter of American mountain biking is undeniable.
Mountain biking is an exhilarating sport that has been growing in popularity over the years. With its beautiful landscapes and challenging terrain, the Ozarks is a prime location for mountain biking enthusiasts. In 2023, the Ozarks will be hosting several exciting mountain bike events that are sure to draw riders from all over the country.
The first event is the Ozark Mountain Bike Festival, which will take place in April. This three-day festival will include races, group rides, clinics, and social events for riders of all skill levels. The festival will be held in Eureka Springs, Arkansas, which is known for its beautiful scenery and challenging trails. Riders can choose from a variety of races, including cross-country, enduro, and downhill events.
In May, the Big Mountain Enduro will take place in Branson, Missouri. This event is part of a larger series of mountain bike races that take place throughout the country. The Branson event will feature two days of racing on some of the most challenging trails in the area. Riders will compete for cash prizes and the chance to earn points towards the overall series championship.
In June, the Ozark Off-Road Cyclists will host the Fat Tire Festival in Fayetteville, Arkansas. This festival includes a variety of events, including races, group rides, and social events. The festival also includes a skills clinic for beginners and a women's-only ride. The highlight of the festival is the 50-mile race, which takes riders through some of the most beautiful terrain in the Ozarks.
The Slaughter Pen Jam will take place in Bentonville, Arkansas in July. This event is a two-day festival that includes a variety of events for riders of all skill levels. The festival includes a dirt jump competition, a pump track race, and a cross-country race. The highlight of the event is the downhill race, which takes riders down some of the steepest and most technical trails in the area.
In August, the Oz Trails Off-Road will take place in Bentonville, Arkansas. This event is part of a larger series of mountain bike races that take place throughout the country. The Bentonville event will feature a 25-mile race, a 50-mile race, and a pro race. The courses will take riders through some of the most scenic and challenging terrain in the Ozarks.
In conclusion, the Ozarks is a prime location for mountain biking enthusiasts, and 2023 promises to be an exciting year for mountain bike events in the area. Whether you're a beginner or an experienced rider, there's an event for you in the Ozarks. So, grab your bike, head to the Ozarks, and get ready for an unforgettable mountain biking experience.
The University of Arkansas (U of A) in Fayetteville has recently opened a new trail on campus, called the Fayetteville Traverse. This trail is a great addition to the university's outdoor recreation offerings and is quickly becoming a popular spot for students, faculty, and staff to get outside and enjoy the natural beauty of the campus.
The Fayetteville Traverse is a 4.8-mile trail that winds through the hills and forests of the U of A campus. The trail is open to hikers, runners, and mountain bikers and offers a range of difficulty levels, from easy to challenging. It's a great way to get some exercise and fresh air while taking in the stunning views of the Ozark Mountains.
The trail was designed and built by a team of volunteers and professionals from the Northwest Arkansas Trailblazers, a local trail-building organization. The project was funded by a grant from the Walton Family Foundation and was completed in 2020.
The Fayetteville Traverse is divided into three sections, each with its own unique features and challenges. The first section, known as the Razorback Greenway Connector, is a relatively flat and easy trail that connects the U of A campus to the Razorback Greenway, a 36-mile trail that runs through the heart of Northwest Arkansas.
The second section, called the Campus Loop, is a more challenging trail that takes hikers and bikers through the hills and forests of the U of A campus. This section features several steep climbs and descents, as well as some technical sections that require careful navigation.
The third section, known as the Mount Sequoyah Loop, is the most difficult part of the Fayetteville Traverse. This section takes hikers and bikers up and down the slopes of Mount Sequoyah, a 1,500-foot peak that offers stunning views of the surrounding area. This section is recommended for experienced hikers and bikers only, as it features some very steep climbs and descents.
Overall, the Fayetteville Traverse is a great addition to the U of A campus and the Northwest Arkansas outdoor recreation scene. It offers a unique opportunity for students, faculty, and staff to get outside and enjoy the natural beauty of the Ozarks, and it's a great way to stay active and healthy. Whether you're a seasoned trail runner or a beginner hiker, the Fayetteville Traverse has something for everyone. So if you're in the Fayetteville area, be sure to check it out!
The best mountain biking trails in Missouri include:
- Katy Trail State Park: a 237-mile long trail that follows the Missouri River and offers a flat and scenic ride
- Rock Bridge Memorial State Park: located in Columbia, Missouri, it has a variety of trails that range from beginner-friendly to challenging, with rocky terrain and steep climbs
- Emmenegger Park: located in St. Louis, it offers a variety of trails with a mix of technical and flowy sections
- Busiek State Forest and Wildlife Area: located in Ava, Missouri, it offers a variety of trails with challenging terrain and steep climbs
- Mark Twain National Forest: this forest has many trails with a wide range of difficulty levels, from smooth and flowing to rocky and technical.