Just a few blocks from the bustling downtown of Rogers, Arkansas, lies the trailhead for Lake Atalanta, a local gem with appealing features for everyone in your pack.
Fully renovated in 2015, the park reopened with four miles of well-lit hard surface trails that wind around the spring-fed lake, along with 10 miles of soft-surface multi-use trails.
Locals enjoy the challenge of “greeting the trail where it is,” a rugged natural single-track that includes short climbs, gravity drops, berms and a few little rollers. The flowy downhill sections aren’t crazy, except for “Mustang Sally” where riders encounter a faster track that boasts some tricky “shark fin” fades.
Dustin Slaughter, a local guide and former BMX and endurance rider, calls it “the perfect spot for those looking to experience something different” in a region jam-packed with world-class rides.
“What I tell my friends is, if you know the local route, entering on the south trailhead, you can hit the downhills, and it’s great for endurance training. I love it for a morning warm-up before grabbing lunch downtown and heading off on an afternoon ride.”
At the head of the trail is The Railyard, a skills park featuring for slope-style lines, world-class dirt jumps, ramps, tabletops and berms for every level of rider. Whether you’re there to hit the 20-foot gaps on the proline or cruise over some beginner rollers, adrenaline will be pumped.
Photo: City of Roger
For those looking for something a little less intense, the park itself is built to accommodate visitors of all ages, with fishing piers, playgrounds and several bathroom facilities. The well-lit paved track guarantees that you can catch a killer sunset before making your way safely back downtown for a salad and wings at The Rail or a local IPA at the Ozark Beer Company.
More of a hunter-gatherer? The park is packed with chanterelle mushrooms and groves of walnut trees, so for those who know their flora and fauna keep your eyes to the ground when they aren’t on the trail. Dustin, who grew up in Rogers, is excited about what the renovation means for his community.
“When I was coming up, the lake wasn’t a place you’d necessarily want to hang out at. But with the new lights and track, any night of the week there are a ton of people out and about, riding, hiking, jogging and just hanging around. It really is a preferred spot for locals—an inclusive, neighborhood gem.”