The Bentonville - Blowing Springs Tour is a ride featuring the Slaughter Pen trail system in Bentonville to the Blowing Springs trail system in Bella Vista.
The ride is a mix of singletrack and paved bikeways through the beautiful forests of Northwest Arkansas.
The Slaughter Pen trails have a lot of variety, including a fun gravity line down Medusa
. Blowing Springs is free-flowing singletrack that contours through hardwoods and around rocky cliffs.
The Slaughter Pen and Blowing Springs trail networks are two separate systems. Each one can be accessed and ridden individually. Together they make a nice half to full day of riding.
The Bentonville - Blowing Springs Tour starts at the Crystal Bridges Trail parking area just north of the water park in downtown Bentonville. Roll out on the paved trail and look for The All-American trail on your left, just past the entrance to the Crystal Bridges museum.
The All-American is a super fun intro to Slaughter Pen trails; very flowy and progressive, feature everything found on the trails throughout the system. Expect a series of optional lines ranging from ladder bridges and boulder to small rollers and berms.
At the end of The All-American, stay left onto the paved trail and pass under a road, pedaling until you reach The Urban Trail
. Turn left and pedal on an easy singletrack connection to Phase I of the Slaughter Pen trail network. The route parallels the paved bikeway but provides the woods experience.
Roll off The Urban Trail
and back onto the bikeway for a brief time to connect with Seed Tick Shuffle
. Stay left and cruise on easy singletrack all the way to a major intersection where you'll access Tatamagouche
is a middle hillside traverse that climbs to start and the contours to an intersection with Medusa
. Make a hard left to climb up to the start of a wickedly fun gravity fed downhill section.
Initially, you'll build some speed through big bermy turns. The route then transitions to steeper terrain, deep rollers and tabletop jumps. The finale of this section takes you on giant wooden wall ride. followed by a series of quick turns and another wall ride. Stay left at the bottom to pedal back on a connector trail to the intersection with Seed Tick Shuffle
Make a right to roll out the the paved bikeway and head out toward the Blowing Springs Trails. You'll be on pavement for a bit on a scenic bike route heading north. After two underpasses, make a right crossing the Bella Vista Lake outlet. Pedal towards the hillside and follow the bend around to the left, passing a trail intersection on your right. As the path straightens out, look for another intersection on your right and jump off here onto singletrack.
This next part of the ride is a short fun section with big roof rocks and a hanging bridge.
The trail climbs steeply and then switchbacks to a large rock overhang. From here the route descends sharply and the climbs again before contouring around the cliff to a hanging bridge.
Continue on to another section of overhanging rock before descending back to the paved trail.
Head north again, this time all the way to the Blowing Springs trails. The paved path ends at Veteran's Way. Go straight here for a short distance and then bear left on Dartmoor Rd around the elementary school. Turn right at the next two intersections to get on the Copper Elementary Spur. Pedal up here to connect the South Lower Trail.
When the trail splits, stay right on the South Upper Trail and ride it out to the Central Spur. Turn right and head towards the north side of Blowing Springs. Pedal a few stroke first on North Lower Trail and take a quick right on the North Upper Trail. You'll do a quick loop to the east before heading back to the west, first contouring through the trees before navigating an extended rock ledge.
At the far end, jump out onto Central Spur at the bottom of the hill and pedal back to the east. From there take a hard left onto North Lower Trail to finish a complete tour of Blowing Springs.
The last part of the route takes the paved path back to The Urban Trail
. Right before the Bush Push
, turn right on doubletrack to connect to Angus Chute
. Cross the Bush Push
and then stay right onto Razorback Ridge
. Climb briefly and then traverse the ridge to a fun downhill with a few switchbacks. Stay right at the bottom to retrace steps back to the parking area in downtown Bentonville.