Northwest Arkansas for IMBA World Summit Attendees
If you’re in town this week for the sold-out International Mountain Bicycling Association World Summit (Nov. 10-12) in Bentonville, get ready for an environment of people that are passionate not only about mountain biking, but also about the great outdoors this area has to offer, and the culture of the surrounding cities.
Mountain biking is big in this region. With Bentonville (silver level) and Fayetteville (bronze level) Ride Centers located less than 30 miles apart, IMBA designated the two cycling communities as the Northwest Arkansas Regional Ride Center, the first and only region-wide ride center in the country.
In addition to great mountain biking, Fayetteville offers the fun that only a college town can with an arts and entertainment district, University of Arkansas, historic downtown, and unique locales like Terra Studios. Nearby Springdale is home to the Northwest Arkansas Naturals minor league baseball team and a tasty Taco Tour. Rogers is a shopping mecca and home to a vibrant downtown full of shops and eateries. Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, a premiere art museum in Bentonville, attracts visitors from all over the globe. Two other must-see museums are the Museum of Native American Museum and the Amazeum for kids. Bella Vista is a golf course Mecca, but also has challenging mountain bike trails and pretty parks.
Want to see a lot of these sites and cities by bike? Follow the Razorback Regional Greenway, 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, arts and entertainment venues, restaurants, historic sites, playgrounds, and residential communities.
The craft-beer scene is booming in Northwest Arkansas, where the Fayetteville Ale Trail continues to grow. Ten breweries are on this self-guided tour that rewards beer lovers who get their passport stamped at each one with a bumper sticker and commemorative bottle opener. While it started in Fayetteville, breweries on the trail also include those in the cities of Springdale, Rogers, and Bentonville.
In addition to urban offerings, there’s plenty of outdoor fun to be had in Northwest Arkansas.
State parks are nestled in valleys and found atop mountains. Devil’s Den State Park in West Fork and Hobbs State Park-Conservation Area in Rogers offer great mountain biking and hiking terrain in their hardwood forests. Click here for information on the great mountain bike trails and special rides offered at Devil’s Den and Hobbs during the Summit. When you take a break from riding, check out the Civil War history preserved at Prairie Grove Battlefield State Park and the Pea Ridge National Military Park.
The mix of things to do, indoor and outdoor, as well as attractions, historic and new, make this area of Arkansas a popular one to visit.