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8 Stunning Mountain Bike Trails in Central & Northeast Arkansas


Having rediscovered the state’s beauty, Arkansans are spending more time outdoors in 2020 than they have in a long time and enjoying all that gives Arkansas its nickname, The Natural State. Mountain biking is a great way to experience the scenery and trails of central and northeast parts of the state.

We can laugh now as we think back upon the product shortages that occurred this past spring. At the time, amid all the other uncertainty, we felt compelled to buy more than what we needed of necessities like toilet paper. But other items became popular as well. Every outdoor industry saw increases in sales from boats and campers to personal outdoor equipment like kayaks and bicycles.

So if you were among the thousands of Arkansans who purchased a bike this spring, you might want to know where you can go to enjoy a nice ride. Here is a collection of mountain biking trails across central and northeast Arkansas.

Lercher 15 in McRae
Photo courtesy of Eric Stevens

The Lercher 15

The Lercher 15 is a members-only multiuse 17+ mile trail system located on BJ Ranch in McRae. Membership cost is just $40 per year and helps the owners to maintain the trails and provide amenities such as restrooms with hot showers, picnic and grilling areas and a bike wash station. The trails are located on a working cattle ranch so visitors must give right-of-way to all cattle and be willing to sign a waiver.  Learn more about the Lercher 15 on their website or Facebook page.

Arkansas River Trail
Little Rock

The Arkansas River Trail is central to the Big Dam Bridge and was named “Best Bike Trail in the South” in 2011 by AAA Southern Traveler magazine. Three routes along the trail system were designed specifically for cyclists and include over 125 miles of paved cycling trails, bike lanes and rural roads. The trail is perfect for both road bikes and mountain bikes. The River Market in Downtown Little Rock provides access to the trail where visitors can find plenty of parking and bike rental options.

The Syllamo Trail
Mountain View

The Syllamo Trail boasts about 50 miles of interconnected loops though out the Blanchard Springs Recreation Area in the Ozark National Forest. This primarily single-track trail varies in difficulty. Beginners will enjoy portions of the trail, but difficult stretches do exist. Parking for this trail is located about 10 miles north of Mountain View on state Highway 5. Learn more about the trail here.

Village Creek Mountain Bike
Photo courtesy of Arkansas Department of Parks and Tourism

Village Creek State Park

Village Creek State Park in Wynne is an often-overlooked gem; its mountain bike trails are just one of many adventures. Within the park, riders will find about 25 miles of multiuse trails of varying difficulty. You can find maps and difficulty ratings for each of the nine trails here. The Village Creek visitors center does have a limited number of rental bikes available, but call ahead for current restrictions or to see if you need a reservation.

Craighead Forest Park

Craighead Forest Park is a beautiful multiuse day park and overnight campground. The mountain bike trails within the park are a highlight for cyclists in northeast Arkansas. Trails with nicknames like Screaming Eagle, Dragon’s Back and The Switchback are welcoming to all levels of riders. Find the skills park at Access #5 so you can practice before hitting the trails.

Sunken Lands Cultural Roadway

Bikers with a love for history will enjoy this 56-mile trail that connects cultural stops and museums in the rural northeast Arkansas communities of Tyronza, Lepanto, Dyess and Marked Tree. The trail takes its name from changes that occurred to the land following the New Madrid earthquakes in the early 1800s. Historic sites along the bike route include the Johnny Cash Boyhood Home and the Dyess Museum, Hampson Archeological Museum State Park and the home from “A Painted House” which appeared in the movie based on John Grisham’s novel. Although you can begin at any point along the trail, but most start at the Southern Tenant Farmers Museum in Tyronza. View a trail map here.

Searcy Bike Trail

The city of Searcy maintains nearly 12 miles of paved walking and biking trails that connect between several parks. The trails are paved and relatively flat, making them ideal for beginners and families. The route is shared, so you may encounter people walking and running. The trail does cross several major roadways. You can view a route map here.

Photo courtesy of Arkansas Department of Parks and Tourism

Enders Fault

Located within Woolly Hollow State Park, Enders Fault is a 9-mile, moderately difficult trail that begins just past the camping area. Riders will encounter a few steep climbs, but will be rewarded with scenery and several stream crossings. If you take your first left and follow the loop trail in a clockwise direction, you can enjoy a nice ¾-mile trip back down the hill at the end of the ride. View a map and more information here.

Not located in central or northeast Arkansas? No problem! Check out these 8 Epic Mountain Bike Trails in Northwest Arkansas.

Cover photo courtesy of Arkansas Department of Parks and Tourism


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Julie Kohl works from home as a writer and teaches art part-time at a local private school. A former Yankee who was "converted" to the south by her husband, Julie has grasped on to rural life in a sleepy, blink-your-eyes-and-you'll-miss-it town in central Arkansas where they raise chickens, farm hay and bake bread. Julie loves adventure and sharing it with her husband and son. They frequent the trails, campgrounds and parks of Arkansas, always on the hunt for new adventures and new stories to share. Learn more on her blog Seek Adventures Media.

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2 responses to “8 Stunning Mountain Bike Trails in Central & Northeast Arkansas”

  1. […] state parks, national forests and other protected land, there are thousands of miles of hiking and biking trails scattered across the state. As we move into late winter and begin to see more signs of spring, […]

  2. […] 8 Mountain Bike Trails in Central and Northeast Arkansas […]

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