Arkansas Gains Regional Ride Center Designation


Northwest Arkansas Creates First and Only Region-Wide Ride Center

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. —  Northwest Arkansas has been recognized as a Regional Ride Center by the International Mountain Bicycling Association (IMBA).  IMBA recognizes trails and trail systems around the world that “stand out as models for the best” mountain biking trails. This is the first and only region-wide IMBA Ride Center designation. The Regional Ride Center includes trails in Fayetteville and Bentonville as well as trails within an hour radius.

Fayetteville was designated as a bronze-level Ride Center in 2014 by IMBA, recognizing the City as a model for outstanding mountain biking trails and locations.  Mountain biking trails within Fayetteville’s parks system include Lake Fayetteville, Lake Sequoyah, Lake Wilson, Mount Sequoyah, and Kessler Mountain.

IMBA’s announcement of Northwest Arkansas receiving a Regional Ride Center designation stated, “With the Bentonville (silver-level) and Fayetteville (bronze-level) Ride Centers located less than 30 miles apart, the two towns have formed the first and only region-wide Ride Center designation. Mountain bikers visiting the Ozarks can double-down, with a wide range of riding to choose from and two cycling-crazed communities hosting some of the nation’s finest trails.”  Steve Schneider, who lives in northwest Arkansas, is the South Central Region Director for IMBA. Through his knowledge, encouragement, and enthusiasm – mountain biking trails are flourishing in the area.

Additionally, the Ouachita NRT in Arkansas was named one of six “Epic” trails is 108 miles. The IMBA says of the trail, “Newly opened to mountain bikes, this long-distance National Recreation Trail explores remote sections of the Ouachita Mountains. Expect rugged trail surfaces and some hike-a-bike, but also rideable climbs and rowdy downhill sections. The trail also connects with the Womble Trail, another IMBA Epic in Montgomery County—string them together for a mega-Epic!”

And Hot Springs received one of 13 Regional Ride Center designations this year, too. The IMBA sys, of Hot Springs, “[It] isn’t just home to outstanding mountain biking, it’s also a first-class tourist destination. The geothermal baths alone have been bringing visitors to the area for hundreds of years. Trails, horse racing and historic hotels define the downtown area, while three IMBA Epic trails are just a short drive away—including the state’s newest Epic and longest mountain bike trail in the state at 110 miles long, the Ouachita National Recreation Trail. The Central Arkansas Trail Alliance and other volunteer-led groups help keep the trails in top shape.

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