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Womble Trail - IMBA EPIC

Intermediate/Difficult
 4.4 (38) RECOMMENDED ROUTE

An example of a true mountain bike trail - rugged and fun with plenty of climbs.


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Map Key

35.5

Miles

57.2

KM

95%

Singletrack

1,271' 387 m

High

581' 177 m

Low

4,093' 1,248 m

Up

3,748' 1,142 m

Down

4%

Avg Grade (2°)

29%

Max Grade (16°)

Dogs Unknown

E-Bikes Unknown

Features -none-

This trail is used for hiking and biking only. Forest Service may close down sections during controlled burns. Don't feed the bears.

Overview

The Womble is considered the jewel of the Ouachita Mountains as far as trails go. This is by far the most famous trail in the state with folks driving in from all over the country to try this epic ride. It is also the key element of the Ouachita Challenge and Womble Classic Mountain Bike Race held each year.

The Womble is listed as an IMBA Epic Ride and even made it into a couple of the bike mags.

Need to Know

Section near Hwy 27 trailhead can be a little sketchy. There are seasonal creek crossings.

Description

Womble Trail is mostly made up of loose rock with occasional areas of hard-packed dirt. There is plenty of climbing and a couple of the climbs are steep and sustained, especially as you get closer to the Ouachita Trail on the North half of the Womble. The downhills are a blast - some of which require a little nerve as the trail skirts in and out of coves hanging just off the side of the mountain.

There are quite a few creek crossings but most are small and easy to cross. The larger creeks have bridges, so they are not too much of an obstacle. Be aware, there is one creek on the Northern part of the trail that is rather large and can be a bit tricky to cross, especially if there has been rain in the last few days.

There are a some technical areas out there, but you don't have to be a trials rider to get over them. Womble features a lot of ridge riding and some areas with steep drop offs to one side, so if you are squeamish on narrow trails and heights, you may want to walk these sections. The trail really offers up a little bit of everything - from nice, mostly flat terrain, to rugged, mountain terrain.

The trail crosses a couple of Highways and they are Hwy. 270 just Northwest of Mount Ida. Hwy. 27 north of Mount Ida the trail actually uses the bridge over Lake Ouachita to get to the other side. Just North of the bridge crossing the trail jumps across Hwy. 88. There are not a lot of bailouts along the trail unless you know the back roads and even then, depending on how far you have ridden you might still have a long ride ahead of you.

If a person was wanting to ride this whole trail in one day, I would suggest starting at the Hwy. 27 trailhead of the Ouachita Trail which is about 18 miles North from the Hwy. 270 and Hwy. 27 junction in Mount Ida and riding the trail heading South to North Fork Lake, you'll need a shuttle unless you plan on riding back. By doing it this way, you'll get all the big climbs out of the way at the start!

For just a half day adventure, a popular ride is from North Fork lake to the Hwy. 27 trailhead of the Womble (not to be confused with the Hwy. 27 trail of the Ouachita Trail).

If you are looking for a quick easy ride go to the Hwy. 298 trailhead - Ride East until you come the the third dirt road crossing, and then turn around and head back. If you still want more, keep heading West across Hwy. 298 and go until you get to the bottom of Mauldin Mountain, then turn around and head back. This little section is perfect to take novice riders out on. It's mostly flat, with a few technical sections involved.

History & Background

When you come from North Fork Lake and have come over Mauldin Mountain you'll start down a section of the trail that is flat and raised. This use to be the old rail road bed for the Womble Timber Company. There use to be an old town just south of this called you guessed it Womble, Arkansas.

Contacts

Shared By:

Kenny Davis

Trail Ratings

  4.4 from 38 votes

#285

Overall
  4.4 from 38 votes
5 Star
58%
4 Star
29%
3 Star
11%
2 Star
3%
1 Star
0%
Recommended Route Rankings

#4

in Arkansas

#285

Overall
489 Views Last Month
35,926 Since May 30, 2014
Intermediate/Difficult

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62%
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34%
3%

Photos

View from the top of the first climb out of the Highway 27 (Fishing Village) Trailhead.
Feb 10, 2016 near Mount Ida, AR
Taking a break. Fishing Village TrailHead to Lake North Fork - amazing October weather and super clean trail.
Oct 15, 2016 near Mount Ida, AR
Womble Climb
Oct 16, 2019 near Mount Ida, AR
On Mauldin Mountain
May 30, 2014 near Mount Ida, AR
Just past Gaston Mountain
May 30, 2014 near Mount Ida, AR
Hwy 27 to Hwy 88 TH
May 30, 2014 near Mount Ida, AR

Weather


Current Trail Conditions

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Check-Ins

Jul 11, 2020
Kyle Artz
Nothing "EPIC" about this trail. I have never before eaten so many spider webs. Seems no one rides this trail anymore. Go to Northwoods instead! 10mi — 1h 15m
Apr 30, 2020
Dustin Schrieber
broke hub at mile 27 and ended up pushing a lot to a bail out 31mi — 4h 30m
Nov 15, 2019
Jeremiah Gentry
Womble 10mi
Jun 13, 2019
Jacbo Shields
Ticks galore... be smart and safe, unlike me. I biked most of the trail and probably picked 30+ ticks off of my legs from the knees down.
May 27, 2019
Zach McMahon
9.4mi — 2h 40m
Oct 12, 2018
Francisco Ponce
May 26, 2018
Scott Edwards
Dec 1, 2017
Russell Adams

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