Two Northwest Arkansas communities were designated as “ride centers” by the International Mountain Bicycling Association for their outstanding large-scale mountain bike facilities that offer something for every rider.
The designations for Bentonville and Fayetteville mean those cities are considered to be among the best places in the world for mountain bikers to find outstanding trails.
Both cities were recognized with the honor at last week’s IMBA World Summit in Steamboat Springs, Colo.
“From a tourism standpoint, being designated by IMBA is huge,” said Misty Murphy, regional trails coordinator for the Northwest Arkansas Council. “It means cyclists around the world looking to ride the world’s best trails will see Bentonville and Fayetteville as places they can visit and be assured that they’ll find the experiences they want to have.”
Bentonville became one of only 10 silver-level ride centers in the world. Fayetteville’s bronze-level designation makes it one of only 16 communities with that designation.
The world has just one gold-level ride center: Park City, Utah.
The recognitions of Bentonville and Fayetteville come just days before one of the state’s largest mountain biking events: the Slaughter Pen Jam Mountain Bike Festival. It takes place Sept. 5-7 in Bentonville.
Regarding Bentonville, IMBA noted that the city has Slaughter Pen Mountain Bike Trails, Blowing Springs Trail and nearby Hobbs State Park. “What sets it apart is that the majority of Bentonville’s singletrack trails link directly to its urban trail system, allowing mountain bikers easy access to the city’s amenities,” IMBA wrote on its website.
IMBA noted the more than 50 miles of mountain bike trails in Fayetteville and its connections via multiple paved trails to the city’s downtown. “Special to the area are the trails of Mount Kessler and Mount Sequoyah, which offer backcountry experience through the natural beauty of the Ozark Mountains,” IMBA noted on its website.