Road Cycling

Arkansas's Best Bicycle Tours

Here is a look at a few trail and road bike routes available across the state:

Arkansas River Trail

The Arkansas River Trail winds its way across the entire metropolitan area, through Little Rock and North Little Rock, and connects 38 parks, six museums and over 5,000 acres of federal, state and local parkland – easily one of the best bicycle tours in Central Arkansas.

Mississippi River Trail

Projects like the Mississippi River Trail highlight road bike routes in the Delta as part of a 3,000-mile network of bicycle-friendly roads that connect 10 states–perfect if you’re looking for a bike tour that’ll last you a few days. An 85-mile portion of the route offers cycling-friendly roads and multi-use pathways from West Memphis to Helena-West Helena. The trail's website has an interactive map to help plan your trip. Check out 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, primarily off-road,shared used trail that extends from the Bella Vista Trail in Bentonville to the Frisco Trail in Fayetteville. The trail 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, historic sites, parks, playgrounds, and residential communities. The Razorback Greenway has been a goal of regional planners, cities, and residents of northwest Arkansas for more than two decades. This vision was supported by the Northwest Arkansas Regional Planning Commission, which in 2000 began a long-range planning process that included regional trails as a key component.

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 bike 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 cycling 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.