The region’s network of mountain biking trails is quickly gaining a reputation as one of the country’s best with accolades in several magazines and blogs over the last few years.
A crew of 10 writers, editors, photographers and videographers from bike magazine rode the region’s trails for two weeks last fall to test out the 2017 model mountain bikes for its annual “Bible of Bike Tests” article, which acts as a gear and destination guide. It published in January.
National Geographic in May named Bentonville one of America’s 20 Best Mountain Bike Towns, although the article notes trails throughout the region. The towns were selected for their “bucket- list rides, new trail development and a variety of outdoor recreation, and a fun, bike-friendly vibe,” according to its website.
Other towns included well-established mountain biking meccas like Moab, Utah, and Crested Butte, Colo.
Bentonville made Outside magazine’s list of “The 28 Best Trips of 2016” and again as one of “The 25 Best Towns of 2017,” with its trails cited as a highlight.
The numerous, glamorous reviews reignited Chris Strobel’s interest in mountain biking.
“I kept seeing really good, really, really good reviews. People from all over the world come here, pro riders and everything,” he said July 27 at the Slaughter Pen trailhead. “I thought if they’re doing it, it must be good.”
Strobel used to mountain bike wherever he could when he was younger. There weren’t specific trails dedicated to mountain biking when he was growing up in Missouri, he said.
He bought a $150 bike and hit the trails again a couple of months ago, trying out Bentonville’s Slaughter Pen, the trails at Hobbs State Park-Conservation Area…