NW Arkansas trip 2022 report

The inaugural LMBC Northwest Arkansas Club Trip in April was a huge success. Despite weather reports of scattered showers all weekend, we enjoyed epic rides each day at multiple locations, including Hobbs State Park, Blowing Springs, Back 40, Little Sugar, and the classic Slaughter Pen. NW Arkansas proved to be the perfect spring riding destination because many of the trails are ridable when wet and, unlike our home trails, are not damaged due to their rocky base.

Adam Jones at a water crossing.

This year, most of us camped at Blowing Springs RV Park in Bella Vista, which provides easy access to the Back 40 trail system as well as the Blowing Springs trails that surround the campground. Some brought RVs, some brought tents, and there is even the option of renting ‘tiny cabins’ on site, so Blowing Springs was an excellent choice to accommodate everyone in the group. It is also very close to a wide variety of vacation rental properties and motels, including the famous Bike Inn Bentonville, for those that prefer real beds and bathrooms.

Group photo at a tunnel.

On Friday, the weather was good as expected, and after setting up camp, most of the group explored the trails around Blowing Springs. Some of the crew that arrived the day prior was lucky enough to spend the entire day riding the Slaughterpen trails, which has expanded into a massive system featuring everything from techy hand-cut trails to sculpted jump-lines and huge pro-level features.

Saturday morning, the rain arrived and was heavy enough that we decided to spend the morning at the world famous Crystal Bridges Art Museum and wait for the rain to lighten up. That afternoon after some delicious lunch in downtown Bentonville, our patience was rewarded with epic rides at Little Sugar and Hobbs State Park. We broke into a few different groups, but the rides ranged from 15-25 miles with approximately 2,000-3,000 feet of vertical and featured gorgeous views of Beaver Lake and some of the best trail riding in the state!

Nothing better than camping breakfast!

After some long hours in the saddle on Saturday, we were ready for our recovery potluck dinner around the campfire. Dinner featured burgers and brats, a veggie hash on the cast iron, a variety of side dishes, and even a homemade carrot cake! Finally, after some well-deserved rest, we enjoyed a solid ride on the Back 40 trails on Sunday morning before heading back home. Back 40 has some of the most classic original trails in NW Arkansas and ventures deep in the backcountry, so it was a perfect end to a weekend of epic riding.

All in all, it was a great weekend, and we want to thank everyone who came down and shared it with us. We plan on doing it bigger and better next year, so stay tuned for more information!

Story By Matt Paschang

Photos by Samantha Jones

Matt Paschang ridding off into the Arkansas wilderness.

LMBC NW Arkansas Trip 2022

April 15th-17th

Join the Lawrence Mountain Bike Club for a weekend of awesome trails, friends, and fun! Come down for the day, camp out for an overnight, or rent an AirBnb for the weekend! There are trails and lodging options for everyone. We’ll be riding some of the best hand-cut singletrack, world-class downhill lines, and professionally sculpted dirt jumps in the Midwest!

The group coordination will be informal, so everyone is on their own to find campsites and lodging accommodations. We will be working to coordinate a group dinner on Saturday night, so we’ll communicate more on that as the date approaches. Please reply to the email if you are planning on attending, so we can get an idea of attendance and where everyone is staying.

The club will gather each morning after coffee and breakfast and break up into groups based on riding style and location. There will NOT be guided rides, but there will groups of varying skill levels, speeds, and riding styles that everyone is welcome to join!

Camping Locations:

  • Coler Mountain Bike Preserve: The newest campground in Bentonville, right in the heart of the city. It is complete with a brand new bathroom and shower-house facility, elevated tent platforms, and parking spots for van and truck camping. We recommend booking your site ASAP, as these sites get reserved quickly!
  • Blowing Springs Park: Just north of Bentonville in Bella Vista, Blowing Springs has options for tent camping, RV hookups, and now Tiny Cabins! It also backs up to the Blowing Springs trails and the Back 40 Trails.
  • Hobbs State Park: If Coler and Blowing Springs camping is full, there are numerous camping spots surrounding Beaver Lake, Hobbs being one of the best.

Vacation Rental Options:

  • The Bike Inn Bentonville: a bike-centric motel-style inn in downtown Bentonville. The Bike Inn
    has a ton of bike-specific amenities, like washing stations, tools, van hookups, and more.
  • VRBO.com & AirBnB.com: if you are averse to sleeping on the ground and want to relax in more comfortable accommodations, there are plenty of sweet spots available for rent!