Bentonville by eBike
The city of Bentonville, Arkansas, calls itself "The Mountain Biking Capital of the World." But it's so much more than that.
Bentonville, Arkansas: Electric Bike Adventures for Riders of All Ages and Skill Levels
Bentonville, Arkansas prides itself on cycling. So much so, it's been dubbed the "Mountain Biking Capital of the World." But what one might not realize is that this scenic town is perfect for all types of riders and biking preferences, including eBikes.
If Northwest Arkansas isn’t at the top of your travel bucket list, it should be. Being home to the world’s largest retailer’s corporate office, Walmart, has its perks; the town is not only on the business map, it’s also enjoying prosperity in the form of a thriving local food scene and one of the nation’s most impressive art museums. But while visitors are looking to discover all that Bentonville has to offer, from the vibrant downtown scene to the fresh air in the Ozarks - there’s one thing you can’t forget to check out: the biking scene!
Take it from World Champion kayaker and adventure athlete, Nick Troutman, who’s been exploring America’s emerging biking epicenter. “The biking was incredible with flow trails, pump tracks, steeper downhill style, some big jumps and everything in-between. It is truly amazing what has been built in Bentonville, and yet they continue to expand as they add 3 miles of trails every week indefinitely.”
Laura Montero, a Bosch eBike Systems Support Pro, and Kristie Holt, People For Bike’s Northwest Arkansas Bike Business Innovation Manager echo the opportunity for biking in Bentonville, with their go-to tips for how to best enjoy Bentonville’s vibrant biking scene embedded throughout this guide.
Where to purchase or rent an eBike:
There is no shortage of bike shops in Bentonville, all run by friendly staff members offering exceptional customer service. Bike Shop Joe's and Mojo Cycling are two local favorites, and visitors looking to rent an eBike should check out Phat Tire Bike Shop, a local chain with seven locations throughout Arkansas. The small business chain offers a wide range of products, including gravel bikes, mountain bikes, road bikes, electric bikes, hybrid bikes, and kids’ bikes. The business flagship is located on the edge of Bentonville’s town square, and offers daily rental options for riders looking for an electric bike or a wide range of different types of mountain and road bikes. The shop features a range of manufacturers, including Trek, Salsa and All-City, among others.
Best Bike Rides:
Bentonville is home to a wealth of trails for every level of mountain bike rider. The downtown area is safe for riders to traverse at ease, although the trails are where the real adventure begins. The OZ Trails organization has a one-stop website organizing many of the different trails, although it is important to note that not all trails approve of eBike riders. That said, there are 142 miles of mountain bike trails combined with Bentonville and sister city Bella Vista, and 34 miles of paved path on the Razorback Regional Greenway.
The Razorback Greenway is Bentonville’s big connector, making it very easy to get to anywhere by eBike, as class one and two eBikes are allowed on the trail. Completed in 2015, the 36 mile Razorback Greenway spans a large portion of Northwest Arkansas, connecting the bustling hubs of Bentonville and Fayetteville with the growing suburban communities of Rogers, Springdale and Lowell in-between. The Razorback Regional Greenway actually is a collection of 19 individual trails, all of which maintain their distinct identities. Visitors staying in the area should check out the 21C Hotel, which is a quarter mile from the trail and easily connects to Downtown Bentonville. Trail systems like Little Sugar, which is made up of an outer loop and several other trails that cut through the middle, offer riders plenty of options for routes.
Trails are well-marked to delineate difficulty, ranging from green to double black. Trail highlights include:
- Beginner Friendly Trails: While Bentonville has ample trails for experienced mountain bike riders, it’s also a great place for beginner riders (including kids!) to hit the trails.
- Catherine’s Crossing: A trail perfect for kids and young families, this route that is on Mercy Trail contains soft surface crushed gravel.
- Tweety Bird Loop: Situated within the Little Sugar Trail System, this is a 2-mile soft surface green mountain bike trail featuring small rollers and a low elevation change that is fun for all.
- Bentonville Bicycle Playground: Found situated within the Slaughter Pen trails this large urban mountain biking experience offers ample options for riders of all experience levels.
- All-American Trail: Overlooking the beautiful Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art and running parallel to the Crystal Bridges walking path (as part of the Razorback Greenway), this fun section of family riding is great for all ages.
- Intermediate to Experienced Riders:
- Slaughter Pen: An easily accessible trailhead just blocks from Bentonville Town Square, Slaughter Pen features skinnies, downhill trails, a jump park, and log rides. It’s important to note that not all trails within Slaughter Pen are approved for eBiking, although a great number are.
- Coler Mountain Bike Preserve: A very technical trail featuring big jumps, this preserve offers the highest concentration of challenging, MTB terrain. Coler Mountain Bike Preserve is situated a mile west from downtown Bentonville.
- Hobbs State Park: Known as one of Arkansas’s Monument Trails, this park features 40 miles of prime dirt ribbon and is easily accessible from the Tunnel Connector Trail from the state park’s visitor center. The course features ample downhill-only trails, as well as meandering flow lines with views of Beaver Lake.
- Back 40: The Back 40 trail system weaves its way up and down the ridges and valleys that undulate across the east side of Bella Vista, so you’re in for grinding climbs that alternate with fast, swooping descents.
- Tunnel Vision: A 25-mile loop of intermediate riding includes sweeping rides, scenic views and not surprisingly, a tunnel. Lots of climbing is rewarded with epic fast downhill runs.
- Fun bites and sites:
- Pedaler’s Pub and its adjacent brewery Bike Rack Brewing Co. are situated at the head of various trail heads, and offer visitors a fun local scene and convenient charging for eBikes!
- The Meteor, a favorite for cyclists to gather before and after rides, strives to be the front porch of the cycling and active-lifestyle community. The cafe offers specialty coffee drinks, an expansive selection of for-here and to-go craft beer and natural wine, house-made baked goods, an ingredient-driven food menu, and delicious Roman-style pizza. The bike shops offer a boutique retail environment that specializes in expert service and a carefully vetted selection of bikes, apparel, accessories, and Meteor-branded gear.
- Airship Coffee at Coler, which opened in the fall of 2020, is a one of a kind open-air cafe concept within the Coler Mountain Bike Preserve. It is only accessible by paved trail.
- The Momentary Museum’s RØDE Bar, located off the RØDE House with a walk-up outdoor window, is a perfect spot to stop for a drink. Grab a glass of beer, wine, or select cocktails, and enjoy the weather on the open pavilion of the Arvest Bank Courtyard.
- 8th Street Market is located in the center of the Market District, and offers delicious food trucks, restaurants, and shops.
- LOUISE Cafe is a modern all-day cafe in Thaden Fieldhouse that serves diner-style breakfast, brunch, lunch, and dinner. LOUISE has both indoor and outdoor seating facing the runway, providing incredible views of planes taking off and landing as you enjoy a great meal and dining experience!
Whether exploring one of the many trails, or just taking a cruise to one of the above adventurous sites, Bentonville’s overwhelming love for all types of bikes makes the journey accessible, safe, and most importantly: fun! From the paved trails and lanes in town for ease of shopping, eating, and getting to hotels -- to mountain biking and even gravel riding -- biking is a huge part of the culture in Bentonville.
Visitors looking to learn more about Bentonville’s bustling bike culture have multiple local resources, including Bike NWA and People For Bikes Bentonville. Bike NWA is Bentonville’s local advocacy organization, which has helped build the community’s access to bikes; while People For Bikes advocates for eBike legislation and the future of biking. They offer information about the world of electric bikes, by state, here.
Before planning any travel, please review all COVID-19 travel restrictions relative to the destination and your home state.
For more information on the destination, including booking hotels, information on specific attractions and more, visit https://www.visitbentonville.com/.