The first section, 15 miles, of the Back 40 single track mountain bike trail in Bella Vista is now open.
The Back 40 is planned to be a 40-mile trail system. The Back 40 Loop is the main trail within that system that circles the east side of the city. A portion of that main trail, along with several secondary trails, make up the 15 miles that are currently open. The remainder is still under construction.
There isn’t really a starting point for the loop, but rather four trailheads for access — Buckingham Trailhead, Lake Ann Trailhead, Bear Hollow Trailhead, and Blowing Springs Park.
The trails embrace the city’s hilly topography of bluffs, waterfalls, and deep wooded areas.
The Back 40 is expected to open in its entirety this fall in time for the International Mountain Bicycling Association’s World Summit held in Northwest Arkansas in Nov. 10-12.
Trail users should be aware of posted rules and directional signs, as well as construction barricades. An official trail map will be completed once construction is finished, but an electronic version can currently be found at https://trails.cast.uark.edu/.
Additionally, the Back 40 is the first of a multi-phase project that plans for a total of 150 miles of natural-surface trail through the City of Bella Vista’s 45 square miles. The construction of the trail system is by NWA Trailblazers and has been fully funded by a $3 million grant to that organization from the Walton Family Foundation.
What you need to know
5 a.m. to 10 p.m.
Bear Hollow Trailhead — Gosforth Drive and Derwent Lane
Buckingham Trailhead — Trafalgar Road and Buckingham Drive
Lake Ann Trailhead — Castleford Drive and Wem Lane
Blowing Springs Park — Blowing Springs Road
Directional signs are posted along trails to signify location and level of difficulty.
There currently are no services on the Back 40 trails, so be prepared with enough water and/or nutrition, especially on hot summer days.