OZ Trails is home to over 300 miles of mountain biking trails, but did you know non-cyclists can enjoy the trails too? Along with mountain bikers, the trails in Northwest Arkansas welcome trail runners. Let’s go over a few key tips for people looking to get into the sport of trail running.

Change up your stride.

If you are not familiar with trail running, it can be quite a shock to your routine from road running. In road running, long strides, and keeping your eyes up to look out for people or cars is common. For trails, use a short stride to keep your feet underneath you at all times. Maintaining balance across various terrains is key. Instead of looking up for oncoming obstacles, keep your eyes down to scan the trail in front of you. The last thing you want is to be caught off guard by rocks, divots, and steep terrain.

Notify people when you need to pass.

Secondly, it’s important to know how to pass other runners on the trail. Just like you would if you were driving a car, always pass on your left. It’s equally as important to announce when you’re passing someone (e.g., “On your left.” or “passing on your left.”).

Share the trails.

Runners, hikers, and cyclists share the trails. So, when faced with a tight situation, like a mountain biker ripping around a corner, who yields to who? While technically those on foot get the right of way, some say it is easier for a hiker to move than a cyclist. Either way, everyone needs to listen for those coming up behind them on the trails to avoid accidents.

Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate. 

Lastly, stay hydrated! There are now over twenty-five water fountains across the 100 miles of trails in Bella Vista. You can find green water fountains at trailheads, on top of steep hills, and practically in the middle of nowhere. This allows runners and cyclists to never worry about forgetting their extra water bottle or hydration pack again. The best part? These fountains will be open all year long without freezing during the winter months.

With so many trail systems to choose from in OZ, here are a few of our favorites for running:

Back 40, Handcut Hollow, Hobbs State Park, Lake Atalanta, and Mount Kessler.

To promote safety and accessibility for local trail runners, OZ Trails™️ and Rush Running Company are partnering on a brand collaboration. This partnership will be activated through online education and promotional efforts in support of trail running.

“If we want to make this one of the best outdoor recreation destinations, we need to work together to make that happen. This collaboration will help support and expand trail running in Northwest Arkansas by linking together two organizations with related goals.” – Mike Rush, owner of Rush Running

OZ Trails and Rush Running Co. now have co-branded t-shirts! Pick up yours today at the Rush Running Co. store in Bentonville.