The International Mountain Bicycling Association Model Trails Program recognizes destination-worthy mountain bike trail systems as ride centers and adventurous backcountry trails as epics.
Bentonville, Fayetteville and Hot Springs are Arkansas’ three ride centers, which recognizes large-scale mountain bike facilities that offer something for every rider and serve as a social and education hub.
Northwest Arkansas was given the first and only regional ride center designation as the Bentonville and Fayetteville ride centers are less than 30 miles apart.
Its epic designation denotes a a trail that offers a true backcountry riding experience that is physically and technically challenging, more than 80 percent singletrack and at least 20 miles in length.
Arkansas’ four Epic trails include the Upper Buffalo Mountain Bike Trial in the Ozark National Forest, the Womble Trail in Montgomery County, the Lake Ouachita Vista Trail near Mount Ida and the 108-mile Ouachita National Recreation Trail across western central Arkansas.
The Syllamo Trail system in the Ozark-St. Francis National Forest near Mountain View was previously an Epic but doesn’t meet the current standards and has been placed in the “Epic Hall of Fame.”