For most mountain bikers around the USA, the explosion of new, creative and innovative mountain bike trails in Arkansas may appear to be an overnight success story. However, the growth that we have experienced here in The Natural State in the construction of new trail systems over the past two years has actually been decades in the making.
Our very own Lake Leatherwood Gravity Trails Project (LLGTP) is a great example.
Although actual trail construction took only a single year, trail planning took years, and it followed a set of proven processes. Executive Director of Eureka Springs Parks & Recreation Commission, explained that before you can expect businesses and citizens to contribute money to a new trail project, you have to demonstrate that you are a reliable partner and also present a plan that will benefit the community.
The Ozark Off Road Cyclists (OORC) began work to establish themselves as a credible partner over 20 years ago, when OORC President Dave Renko approached the city of Eureka Springs with an idea to put on a mountain bike race at the city’s Lake Leatherwood Park.
The Eureka Springs Fat Tire Mountain Bike Festival (now headed into its 22nd year in 2020) has largely been successful in part due to the expanded network of trails OORC is responsible for constructing.
Now, in addition to our trails here in Eureka, trails are popping up from Springdale to Rogers up to Pea Ridge, Garfield, with more to come. Northwest Arkansas has become an exciting destination for mountain biking (both for amateurs and pros.)
Some of the trails, here in Eureka Springs pack some serious features with our very own top tier trails. LLGTP is one of our most popular downhill runs.
Aaron Rogers and his Rock Solid Trail Contractors crew constructed the final features in the Fall of 2018 including a pair of native-rock, temple-like hubs located at the entrance to two different sets of downhill runs. With the boost these hubs provide, cyclists will launch their high speed downhill adventure with just the stroke of a pedal.
The seven downhill, feature-packed trails elevate riders’ adrenaline and push their skills, without forcing them to endure the payback of pedaling back up the mountain thanks to an easy shuttle route.
The new downhill trails are progressive in design, with one beginner, two intermediate, three advanced, and one expert trail, sure to please the palate of any downhill connoisseur.
Both beginners and experts alike will want to start their adventure with DH 6, fast green-rated trail filled with high earthen berms and rollers. There’s nothing too technical on DH 6, but it’s challenging enough for riders to hone skills before tackling the more aggressive runs.
Note: A berm is a level space, shelf, or raised barrier separating two areas. It often serves as a fortification border/separation barrier on mountain bike trails.
When you’re ready to up your game, move on over to DH 4 and DH 5, which are blue runs. These runs ratchet up the speed and technical aspects with short air gaps, smallish drops, chunky rock gardens, and more high, earthen berms.
Then, for those who dare, when leaving the shuttle drop off take the short pedal over to the south hub for DH 1, DH 2, and DH 3, which are all black diamonds. These are not the same mountain bike trails your Daddy rode.
For riders possessing the right skills, this set of runs jack up the fun meter. They feature several massive gap jumps, technical rock slab descents, narrow rock ledges, lots of kickers, a unique pirate’s log plank drop, and plenty of towering earthen banked turns.
All the jumps on these runs have ride-arounds, however even the ride-arounds include some pretty technical rock slab descents that riders will have to navigate.
Then there is DH 7, a double black diamond, super fast descent with the most challenging jumps, gaps, and rock slab sections of all the trails. Discover for yourself why this is a double diamond.
Once again, Eureka Springs offers more than you can imagine. Downhill mountain bike thrill junkies in the central section of the USA no longer need to trek out west to get their fix. Come check out BIKE EUREKA for all the trail information offered here and come visit our eclectic city of Eureka Springs, Arkansas and defy gravity right here.
Check out this cool commercial featuring mountain bike action right here in Eureka.