New Wheel A’ Mena Cycling Tour Debuts in Mena

 
Mena is the site of a new cycling event set to debut this
September. The Wheel A’ Mena ( love the name!) bicycle tour is a tour of the
Ouachita Mountains via the Talimena Scenic Drive.
 
The tour is staged out of Mena,
which is at the foot hills of Rich Mountain, which at 2,681 feet, is the second
tallest mountain in the state. Two tour distances ( 70 miles and 30 miles) will
be offered. The event is on September 22, and is being billed as a tune-up ride
for the popular Big Dam Bridge 100 miler  in Little Rock September 29.  
 
Both tours start and end at Janssen Park. The road bike tours ( which include steep climbs but also multiple rest stops) include scenic views and both include a spin through Queen Wilhelmina State Park on top of Rich Mountain. Mena was founded in 1896 as a railroad town at the eastern foot of Rich Mountain. It is the eastern terminus of the Talimena Scenic Drive, a 54-mile byway that travels the crest of Rich and Winding Stair mountains between Mena and Talihina, Oklahoma. Thirteen miles northwest of town is Queen Wilhelmina State Park. The byway and park provide expansive views of the Ouachita Mountains. 
 
The Mena Depot Center in town greets visitors with history exhibits and railroad memorabilia. In Janssen Park is a 1851 log cabin still on its original site. If you might be looking for side trip after the ride, located east of Mena in the Pine Ridge community, the Lum and Abner Jot ‘Em Down Store and Museum houses memorabilia related to the popular 1940s radio comedy team of Lum and Abner. The late Norris Goff of Mena portrayed Abner.
 
For more details on the bicycle tours visit www.wheelamena.org

 

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