Fall is debatably the best time to visit Bentonville, Arkansas. The leaves are changing, the temperatures are in the 60s, and bicyclists are out in force. Get ready for dirt, sweat, and beers as you explore the best of Bentonville’s mountain bike scene.
First, drop off your belongings at your bike-friendly hotel. Prefer Airbnbs? Many of them in the area are bike-centric and even have bike storage and wash stations. If you drove to town, leave the car behind, too, because you’ll be able to ride to virtually all your destinations whether you’re headed to a trailhead, restaurant, coffee shop, or museum. Ride to the Slaughter Pen trailhead, where you’ll kick off your ride on All American. Wind through the dirt trail with rock berms and various features, then choose your own adventure.
For cross country trails, try:
For downhill-style trails, try:
- Boo Boo and Choo Choo
- Tech hub trails (Walter’s Whistler, Rim Trail, Techgnar)
- Schroen Train
- Castle trails (Uwabami, Catapult, Medieval, Dragon Scales, Loam Wolf, Wildfire),
- Jesse’s Last Stand
After riding the trails, head back up to the Bentonville square for dinner. Check this list of riders’ favorite places to eat after putting in some miles! Some highlights include: Pedaler’s Pub, Pressroom, Wright’s BBQ, The Meteor, and Oven & Tap. After enjoying a meal and drink, head back to the hotel or Airbnb to rest up because tomorrow will be FULL of riding!
Enjoy a cup of coffee and breakfast at any of the great local spots like The HUB, Airship Coffee, The Meteor, Onyx Coffee, Ozark Mountain Bagel, Sunny’s on Second, and Heroes Coffee. If you like technical and downhill trails, ride over to Handcut Hollow (you’ll need to take the connector trail near the bottom of Schroen Train to J St., or ride on the road through neighborhoods to J St. from the Bentonville square). From the parking lot, take the trail south of J St. to pedal up to the hub, where you can choose from six DH lines. REMEMBER: pre-ride, re-ride, then free-ride. Check out each of the lines, hit your favorite one on repeat, and explore the 7-mile traverse trail.
Ride over to Coler Mountain Bike Preserve, where you’ll find 17+ miles of trails with everything from smooth green to difficult, technical black trails. Highlights at Coler include:
- The Coler hub with multiple downhill lines ranging in difficulty
- Thunder Dome, a popular and local-favorite dual slalom trail
- Oscar’s Loop
- Esther’s Loop, a 4-mile cross country trail
- Good Vibrations, a beginner-friendly dirt trail adjacent to the greenway
- Airship Coffee for a snack, coffee, smoothie, or beer
To end the day, ride back to the hotel or Airbnb to clean up and explore Bentonville’s art scene before heading to dinner. Treat yourself to a fine dining experience at The Preacher’s Son, The Hive, Conifer, Bar Cleeta, or Aoi Sushi. If you prefer something more laid-back, try Pressroom, Bentonville Taco & Tamale, Barley & Vine, Table Mesa, Tusk & Trotter American Brasserie, Flying Fish, or anywhere at 8th Street Market.
The morning of departure is a great opportunity to ride some trails you didn’t get to earlier in the weekend or want to ride again before heading home. Wake up early, grab a coffee, and ride for a couple hours before checking out and hitting the road. Don’t forget to return your rental bike* if you didn’t travel with your own bike!
- OZ Trails are e-bike friendly!
- Many trails are bi-directional (except downhill trails). Please navigate trail traffic politely and considerately.
- Bring lights and a bike lock.
- Check the weather and pack appropriately. Layers are most helpful, especially during the fall when it significantly cools down in the evening.
*Bike rental resources:
- OZ E-Bikes
- Phat Tire Bentonville
- Gearhead Outfitters
- Specialized Experience Center
- Mojo Cycling
- Spoke Adventure
- Encore Rentals
- The Hub Bike Lounge
- Smiley Bike Rentals