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The Back 40 Loop - Segment 3: Blowing Springs to Hwy 340 (Library)

 4.1 (23)

Flow, creeks, steep sections, high bridges, bluffs, beautiful scenery, this segment has it all!

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1,242' 379 m


988' 301 m


568' 173 m


535' 163 m



Avg Grade (2°)


Max Grade (8°)

Dogs Leashed

E-Bikes Allowed

Family Friendly This section in particular has some great bridges and scenery that kids will love, particularly the trails adjacent to Lake Ann. The Spillway waterfall is also very nice...creeks are always fun!


I want to emphasize one thing. The Back 40 Loop is great in either direction. HOWEVER, if you intend to ride The Ledges on your loop, then you may want to start at Blowing Springs and go counter clockwise. That will set you up to ride that trail in a good direction, and still make the Back 40 Loop. To ride counter clockwise, simply reverse the directions that are outlined below.

CLOCKWISE: Start at Blowing Springs. From the parking lot, you can either ride up the paved road past the gatehouse, or follow one of the multiple loops to get to the NE trailhead kiosk. From here, make a short climb on the small lollipop North Loop at Blowing Springs to get to the "Back 40 Loop" sign.

From here, continue on to the flowing climb that's not steep, and cross Kingsland. Dropping in off Kingsland, you'll encounter some nice flow and speed as you descend into the valley. This leads you to a cool, narrow rock ledge than runs along a creek bed. From there, it's rolling terrain until you cross Trafalgar.

Once again, you'll encounter another fun, steep descent as you drop in off Trafalgar. If you have some "play time" or surplus energy and want to see some picturesque bluffs and more fun trail, head down Summit School, which is a short loop that will bring you back to the Back 40 Loop. Follow the Back 40 Loop signs and climb up to Buckingham.

Cross over and descend along a long power line right of way, and ultimately make a hard right turn into a section with two deep gravity cavities with wooden bridges at the bottoms of them. There is an alternate line around the deeper one if you aren't comfortable with that much speed. Shortly after, you'll get to the "bluff bridge," which is a structure that is integrated into the side of a rock bluff! Some serious engineering went into this feature, and it's a great place to stop and rest a bit.

Leaving the bridge, you have some great flowing trail that gives way to two options: 1) A technical, hand-cut high line or 2) A flat low line.

Next you'll ride below the Lake Ann Dam and cross over to the new bridge that spans the spillway waterfall. You'll want to stop here for some pictures and to look around a bit. Continue and climb this steep section (only super-humans will avoid the hike-a-bike at one point) to Hwy 340 and you've completed section 3!

Again, this loop is great in either direction, so ride it both ways to get the full experience!


Shared By:

Charles Williams

Trail Ratings

  4.1 from 23 votes


  4.1 from 23 votes
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in Arkansas


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3,994 Since Sep 14, 2016



Highlight video of Segment 3. This doesn't capture a lot of the scenery due to the scaled down view, but this is a very scenic part of the trail system, and the waterfall spillway bridge is a must see!
Nov 7, 2016 near Bella V…, AR
Small rock drop near the Bluffs SE of Lake Ann.  Get some speed up, because there's a rock on the landing to wreck rims!
Nov 6, 2016 near Bella V…, AR
Bridge over the Lake Ann Spillway Waterfall.  It's a "must see" on your Back 40 ride!
Nov 6, 2016 near Bella V…, AR
Riding the "Bluff Bridge" along the trail near Hwy 71.  A great feat of trail engineering!
Nov 6, 2016 near Bella V…, AR
Cruising the "Bluff Bridge" along Hwy 71.  Great example of integrating wood with a limestone rock bluff.  Incredible!
Nov 6, 2016 near Bella V…, AR
RIders on the "Bluff Bridge" near Hwy 71.  Notice the extensive rock work.
Nov 6, 2016 near Bella V…, AR


Current Trail Conditions

All Clear 16 days ago
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Sep 3, 2022
Todd Ward
Blowing Springs TH -Segment 3 -Segment 1-Flo Ride -Summit School. Fantastic Singletrack contains all types of riding, there are some tough climbs. 16.5mi — 2h 33m
Sep 20, 2021
Alexander Jonathan
out and back from sugar ridge to Bellow Springs. exhausting but fun ride. 13.6mi
May 5, 2021
Scott Heckert
11mi — 2h 22m
Nov 2, 2020
Atsuko Ohtake
Apr 28, 2019
Darryl-Tara Psychos
Great trail with lots of flow. Climbs are easy with instant rewards on the downhill sections. A few technical sections with easy bypasses. 6mi
Nov 22, 2018
Gypsy_ Haas
Jul 17, 2018
Gene Kemp
Apr 22, 2018
Mike G
Awesome trail. Cool rock over hangs and creek crossings. 7mi