Bentonville, AR

Bentonville is what you get when your yearly trail construction budget is several million dollars.

Ten years ago the Walden Foundation (yep, the Walmart corporation) hired the best trail construction companies and turned them loose. Their goal was to build a trail destination that could attract prospective corporate employees. To ensure trail integrity, maintenance is performed by city employees, so trails are always in good shape.

Is it worth the 16 hour drive from Tampa?

Most definitely. Halfway between Tampa and Bentonville is Birmingham, which has great trails in Oak Mountain State Park. On the way back, stop at Cold Water Mountain in Anniston.

After riding there three years in a row, have I ridden everting?

Not even close. Besides, I saw three under construction trails in Bentonville, plus nearby cities like Fayetteville also have exceptional trails. Nearby state parks have old school trails if that is your thing.

Is there something for every level rider?

20% easy - 60% intermediate- 15% advanced - 5% stupid (lots of Red Bull level structures).

Are trails easily accessed and well marked?

From our B&B we rode to over 100 miles of singletrack without using a road. A multi-use trail that starts at the city square connects all of the trails. TrailForks and MTBProjects worked fine.

City communities have trails with features leading to public schools. Running parallel to the school's sidewalks were features every kid could love.

Greenway parks connect communities to the trails and town.

There are downhill sections that emulate Whistler.

Many of the newest trails feature structures. Before attempting any of these, I would want to be covered in multi layers of bubble-wrap.

But mostly it was miles and miles of intermediate level trails with spectacular scenery.

We found very reasonable B&Bs in town with easy access to the trails, and there is a campground right in the middle of all the trails, Motels seemed to be next to the interstate, which might require a short drive. But as a whole, the town is very bike friendly.