Article by: 417 Magazine
In Bentonville, Arkansas the trees aren’t the only things that come alive in the spring. As soon as the first day of good weather greets northwest Arkansas, seasoned and hobby bicyclists alike start hitting the trails, feeling alive with lush Ozark greenery blurring past them. Whether it’s the abundance of unique locally owned small businesses or a new art exhibit that draws you to Bentonville for the day, consider renting a set of wheels at Phat Tire Bike Shop or Spoke Adventures, both located conveniently right off the town square.
Both shops carry a variety of bike types for almost every user, including mountain, city, kid and electric bikes. “Bentonville has something for everyone,” says Aimee Ross, director of Bike Bentonville. “Whether you like to see the sights of the regional greenway in a casual stroll, mountain bike with your favorite buddies or make it a family affair, you’ll find some of the best trail development in the country.”
For Ross, it’s hard to narrow down her favorite trails, but she has a few go-to suggestions. For a meditative road bike trip, she suggests the Razorback Greenways, which spans a total of 36 miles from start to finish and runs through the heart of downtown Bentonville and the Bentonville Market District. For the cyclist who likes to keep their options open, she suggests the All American Trail, which starts right off the town square, passes the 21c Museum Hotel and leads to the Slaughter Pen Network with more than 30 miles of trails.
Coler Mountain Bike Preserve Network
The Coler Mountain Bike Preserve Network includes 20 miles of trails with flow, cross-country, rock, dual slalom and flyover trails, as well as jump features, and it connects to downtown Bentonville by a paved greenway trail. Even though it starts just a mile and a half from the town square, you can save your coffee fix for the onsite cafe. No matter which one you choose, Ross says you can’t go wrong. “All of these trails and trail systems have direct access to several restaurants, breweries, shopping opportunities and world-class museums,” she says. “All of which are bike-friendly, come as you are.”
Crystal Bridges Trail
Don’t forget about the trail at Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art. According to Ross, this trail is extremely welcoming to cyclists, and you can lock your bike up and head inside to visit the museum while you’re there. However, the art is not confined to the walls of the building, as there are sculptures along the trail too. “Bentonville is most certainly a bike-friendly city,” Ross says. “Bentonville is a great model for what other communities across the nation can do to create active, healthy lifestyles for their residents and their visitors.”