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Bicycling in Arkansas

Download the Bicycling in Arkansas brochure or view it online.

Read the Bike Safety in Arkansas brochure online

Arkansas's Best Bicycle Tours

A great way to see the scenery of Arkansas is from a bike. The state is home to a range of road routes that highlight the varied regions of Arkansas. In Northwest Arkansas, a 36-mile long regional trail system has just been completed that extends from Bentonville to Fayetteville. In the Delta, the Mississippi River Trail winds along the Great River Road National Scenic Byway, allowing cyclists the chance to see some of the most fertile agricultural lands in the region. Southwest Arkansas is home to routes that lead to Queen Wilhelmina State Park and scenic views of the surrounding Ouachita mountains. And Central Arkansas is home to the famous Arkansas River Trail, where riders can traverse the Big Dam Bridge, a landmark in the city and the world’s largest bridge built specifically for bicycle and pedestrian traffic.

Along with diverse cycling terrain, the state also has a vibrant cycling scene that includes prestigious events like the Big Dam Bridge 100 in Little Rock, the largest cycling tour in the state, and the Joe Martin Stage Race in Fayetteville, one of the top pro and amateur cycling events in the nation. Arkansas is also home to the North American headquarters of the Spanish bicycle company Orbea.

Below are samples of a few cycling routes from across the state. This is just a taste of the many options that can be found here.

Happy riding! 

Arkansas River Trail

Take your bike and head to west Little Rock and the environs around Pinnacle Mountain State Park for your Central Arkansas road trip.  Pinnacle Valley Road, also known as the Arkansas River Trail, provides an excellent option. There’s not as much traffic through the park as there is on major thoroughfares and the vehicles that are there generally are driven at a slower pace.

From mile marker 15.0S to 17.0S, you’ll pass through beautiful rural scenery. The park includes the mountain, picnic sites, pavilions, recreation fields, boat launching ramps, and a playground.  Additional features are the Arkansas Arboretum, technical rock climbing, fishing, and canoe, kayak, and paddle boat rentals. Interpretive programs are offered on a regular basis and cover a variety of topics.  For more details on the Arkansas River Trail, check out arkansasrivertrail.org.

Mississippi River Trail

Grab your bike and head to the Arkansas Delta and travel along the state’s section of the Mississippi River Trail, a 10-state bicycling route that offers nearly 3,000 miles of on-road bikeways.

The Mississippi River Trail in Arkansas winds along the Great River Road National Scenic Byway from West Memphis to Marianna to Helena-West Helena, allowing cyclists the opportunity to gaze upon some of the most fertile agricultural lands in the region. Along the way, riders can visit state parks, historical sites and Arkansas’s only James Beard award-winning restaurant. Although the area is known for its flat geography, it’s also home to Crowley’s Ridge, a geological formation that rises above the alluvial plain from the boothill of Missouri to the outskirts of Helena-West Helena, so riders will encounter some rolling, hilly sections along the way.

The trail's website has an interactive map to help plan your trip. Check out www.mississippirivertrail.org for details.

Scott-England/Harper's Loop

The Scott-England Loop (35-50-miles) offers a smooth flat ride past some of the most beautiful road bike routes in the USA, featuring scenery such as cotton fields and pecan groves. The long version of this ride follows Harper's Loop, a signed cycling route from the Arkansas River Trail in North Little Rock to Hwy. 165. The shorter route starts at the Plantation Agricultural Museum State Park in Scott and continues to England where you make a right onto Hwy. 161, which loops back to Scott. This is the route for the Tour de Rock charity ride.

Lake Maumelle Loop

Beautiful lake views and heart-pounding hills await you on the 37-mile Lake Maumelle Loop, one of the best bicycle tours in Arkansas for early morning riders. Expect heavy traffic along Hwy. 10. Early morning rides are recommended. Start at the picnic area Pinnacle Mountain State Park on Hwy. 300. Take Barrett Rd. across from the picnic area entrance, turning right at Hwy. 10. Turn right onto Hwy. 113 (end of Lake Maumelle) and prepare for a strenuous climb up Wye Mountain. Bear right on Hwy. 300-which leads back to Pinnacle Mountain State Park.

Northwest Arkansas Razorback Greenway

The Northwest Arkansas Razorback Regional Greenway is a 36-mile-long, shared-use trail that extends from the Bella Vista Trail in Bentonville to the Frisco Trail in Fayetteville. 

The paved trail contains impressive bridges, follows along several creeks, runs through farmland and wooded areas, and connects to other trails, lakes, and parks. While the greenway offers plenty of scenic beauty, it also links dozens of popular community destinations, including six downtown areas, three major hospitals, nearly two dozen schools, the University of Arkansas, the corporate headquarters of Walmart, J.B. Hunt and Tyson Foods, arts and entertainment venues, restaurants, historic sites, playgrounds, and residential communities. Visit www.nwatrails.org for an online map of the entire trail.

Wheel A' Mena 30-Mile Loop

This route is one of the riding options that can found at the annual Wheel A' Mena (www.wheelamena.org) cycling event that takes place every September in Mena in Southwest Arkansas. As to details, starting in Janssen Park, ride out of town via Hwy 71 to Hwy 270. The ride is flat until a 3-mile ascent to the top of Rich Mountain, the second tallest mountain in Arkansas, and home to Queen Wilhelmina State Park and scenic views of the surrounding Ouachita Mountains.  The ride back from the top of the ridge is comprised of rolling terrain and eventually a 6-mile descent back to Janssen Park.

For those that want to take on a longer ride, there is also a 70 mile-route option featured in the event you can do too. Details on both of these routes ( the 30 and 70-mile options) can be found here: wheelamena.org/html/route.html.

Mena is the eastern terminus of the Talimena Scenic Drive, a 54-mile byway that travels the crest of Rich Mountain and Winding Stair Mountains between Mena and Talihina, Oklahoma. The byway features scenic vistas off both sides of the road and scenic pull outs with beautiful views.

Mississippi River Trail

Grab your bike and head to the Arkansas Delta and travel along the state’s section of the Mississippi River Trail, a 10-state bicycling route that offers nearly 3,000 miles of on-road bikeways.

Monticello to Warren Loop

This 45-mile loop features smooth roads with good shoulders and some hills. Starting at the intersection of Hwy. 35 and Hwy. 4 in Monticello, travel west on Hwy 4. Just beyond mile 6, turn north on Dickson Rd., which becomes Stafford Rd. at mile 9. After passing mile 12, turn left on Hwy. 35. Shortly past mile 18, turn left on Hwy. 15. Just past mile 29, turn left on East Church St. (Hwy. 4) and follow it back to the start.

Tour of Columbia County

This 65-mile route passes by two of the oldest country stores in the Arkansas-Louisiana-Texas region. Expect light traffic. Leave Magnolia on Hwy. 19S. Take it to Walkerville. Turn left on Hwy. 98 through Emerson, Atlanta, Village and McNeil to Ark. 19. Turn left on Hwy. 19 and travel back to Magnolia.

The Jasper Disaster

This 62-mile road route is quite difficult so be prepared to sweat. Depart from the biker-friendly town of Harrison on Scenic Hwy. 7 and travel to Jasper. Turn right on Hwy. 74 and go to Ponca. Make another right on Hwy. 43 back to Harrison. Expect three long climbs. Traffic is heaviest from Harrison to Jasper. At the junction of Hwy. 74 and Hwy. 43, turn left on Hwy. 43 for an opportunity to view elk in Boxley Valley.

Paragould-Piggott Loop

The hills of Crowley's Ridge Parkway give this 89.5-mile Delta ride lots of character. To begin one of the most beautiful road bike routes in the USA, start at East Lake and Hwy. 49 (in Paragould) and travel east on East Lake. Turn north on 22nd Ave. and east on Bard St., south on Twin Oaks Rd., then east on Hwy. 412. At just over 9 miles, go north on Hwy. 139. At mile 23, follow Hwy. 119 N., then turn east on Hwy. 49. Follow this into Piggott and then go west on Hwy. 62 to McDougal. Turn south on Hwy. 141 to mile 74 and turn left on Hwy.135. Just past mile 79, turn east on Greene Road then go south on New Friendship Rd. At mile 88, turn west on East Darling St. then south on Rector Rd. Travel west on Bard St., south on Vance St., west on West Northend Ave., then south on North Pruett St. to the start.

Rich Mountain Ride

This 60-mile road ride takes cyclists from Mena (take Hwy. 88- Talimena Scenic Byway) up Rich Mountain (a 14-mile climb) and into Oklahoma (88 becomes Hwy 1 in Oklahoma.) Lodging and dining is available atop the mountain (the second highest peak in Arkansas) in the lodge at Queen Wilhelmina State Park.

Hot Springs Loop

This 51-mile loop cuts through historic Hot Springs National Park with scenic views of the Ouachita Mountains. Start at the intersection of Grand Ave. and Central Ave. Travel north on Central Ave (Scenic Hwy. 7). At mile 6.5, go straight on Hwy. 5. At mile 20.5, turn right on Narrows Rd. (in Crows). Follow Narrows Rd. until it hits Hwy. 70 and turn right. Take Hwy. 70 (Grand Ave) back to the start.

Batesville-Ozark Loop

Cyclists pass a picturesque old mill on 21 miles of beautiful rolling hills. Many roads have wide shoulders or are lightly traveled. Starting at Batesville on North Central Ave. (Hwy. 69), go north following Hwy. 69 for just over eight miles. Turn left on Hwy. 106 and follow it to mile 14 where Hwy. 106 will take a sharp left and head east back to Batesville.

Some more of the best bicycle tours in Arkansas include:

The 11-mile Pea Ridge Tour, Fayetteville Scull Creek Trail (4.5miles), Little Rock’s Medical Mile, Tour of Lonoke Country (31 miles) , Sheridan to Carthage Ride (66 miles), Arkansas Post National Monument Ride (68 miles), and Delta Heritage Trail State Park.