I dipped from the Twin Cities about 9am on Wednesday. A friend tagged along on what was a little over a ten hour drive down to Bentonville, Arkansas. Bentonville, home of the Waltons.. Not much of note on the drive, pretty flat part of the country. We rolled into Horse Shoe Bend campground in the late evening. The campground was empty early on in the week, which was awesome. We scored two camp spots right the bank of the Beaver Lake. By the weekend this camp ground turned into a full blown party. Ha!
The riding was awesome. The trails had a super familiar feel to them, almost as if I was back in Copper Harbor. We rode three different trail systems: Slaughter Pen, Coler and The Back 40.
We rode The Slaughter Pen trails first. The first thing I noticed was how awesome it was marked. Everything was labeled so damn well! Haha. It really didn’t matter what turn or split we took, every trail had me smiling. The trails do have a weird feel to them. Normally when I travel to mountain bike I am heading to small towns, mountain towns, or the middle of nowhere. It really isn’t the case here. There is a lot of tree/ shade cover, but when you rip in and out of the trees you peer up to mansions, industrial buildings, and even slums or paved connector trails. Either way, Slaughter Pen was a blast. Fairly short mileage but was happy with it considering we spent the previous day sitting in the car.
MTB Project Link: HERE.
Coler trails were awesome too. And it’s weird that there isn’t more out there on all the trails here. Every trail splits from the Coler Ridge and the Hub, then, circles around and dumps out at two different spots. Of all of them, Rock Solid was one of my favorites. Its super fast, flows..even the tech is flowy. Ha. Oscar’s loop was a fun pedal and thought it was awesome. We were advised to ride Oscar’s clockwise which I thought worked out well. We didn’t ride too much of Cease and Desist as it was pretty washed out from the rain. The tables, drops and huge berms looked sick. I believe this is one of those spots you could spend all day ripping laps or get out early and then hit up another trail system in the afternoon. The climbs aren’t too bad, plenty of juice should be left in the legs after a morning of ripping here.
The back 40 was one of my favorite rides. I would even put in my top ten list. We parked at the Water Tower in the north east end of the trail system. You can either ride the trail system clockwise or counter clockwise. We rode counter clockwise and hit the substitute Ledges section. I agree with MTB Project, if you only have time for a ride, counter clockwise would be my decision and thought it flowed super well. Again, easily a top ten ride, thought it was a blast.
MTB Project Link: HERE.
All in all, it was a super rad trip. Quick, five days. Two days of driving, three riding and camping. For those of you on a budget, between the two of us we spent $450 bucks in five days that included gas, food and our sleeping arrangement. (Hate paying for camping spots, but its nice to have a shower!)
A shout out to Zac Milner, Dude is a boss. Thank you for all the trail advice. And so thankful for all the crews, I think 5 or 6, creating awesome ass trails for the rest of us to rip and enjoy. Such an incredible source of enjoyment that reaches so many. Can't thank you enough!