The Inaugural Arkansas Graveler Crosses the Finish Line

After a 6-day ride across Arkansas, gravel cyclists from 35 states crossed the finish for Ozark Foundation’s inaugural Arkansas Graveler

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After six days, 366 miles and climbing over 25,000 feet of elevation, 250 cyclists, representing 35 states, crossed the finish for Ozark Foundation’s first annual Arkansas Graveler. 

The week-long event kicked off in Fayetteville at Donald W. Reynolds Razorback Stadium, making overnight stops at Byrd’s Adventure Center in Oark, Horseshoe Canyon Ranch in Jasper, Kenda Drive-In in Marshall, Ozark Folk Center State Park in Mountain View, Cave City Park in Cave City, and crossing the last finish line in Jonesboro at Arkansas State University’s Centennial Bank Stadium. Todd Shields, Chancellor of A-State said, “A-State was honored to serve as the finish line for the inaugural Arkansas Graveler as we celebrate the incredible human achievement of the ride, and the team of organizers who worked to showcase the best of what our great state has to offer.”  

The route spotlighted some of the best of the Natural State’s gravel roads, waterways and scenic overlooks. Mike Spivey, Ozark Foundation President and CEO, said, “From the rugged Ozarks to the rolling Delta, the Arkansas Graveler highlighted why Arkansas is called The Natural State. Everyone who finished this ride, today stand a little taller knowing they completed something truly epic.” 

Scotti Moody, Arkansas Graveler Event Director, said, “Rural Arkansas captured my heart. Our vision for the Arkansas Graveler has always been to enjoy the landscapes of Arkansas by bike while connecting with and relating to the host communities, vendors, and locals along the route. The Graveler attracted cycling visitors from 35 states across the country, and our participants experienced an overwhelming sense of homegrown Arkansas hospitality along the 2024 inaugural route.”

Local businesses reported record sales on the days Graveler participants rode through, and in return, these shops and organizations gave cyclists an experience to remember. Rhoda and Ruth from Ozark Bakery in Cave City made riders a special batch of fried pies; Mountain View Ice Cream cooled riders down from the heat; and Sunset Volunteer Fire Department came out to offer a cool mist spray to riders on one of the hottest climbs. “We have countless stories of local property owners offering up cold water to riders as they pedaled by. These random acts of kindness don’t go unnoticed, and they stamp a beautiful memory in the minds of those who came to visit here,” said Moody. Marshall High School opened their air-conditioned gymnasium for riders to camp overnight and get respite from the heat. Riders were again offered an air-conditioned campsite inside First Baptist Church of Cave City.

“The inaugural Arkansas Graveler event showcased the best of The Natural State, from our world-class outdoor recreation to our one-of-a-kind cultural attractions and cuisine,” said Shea Lewis, secretary of the Arkansas Department of Parks, Heritage and Tourism. “Local tourism industry partners and citizens went out of their way to help riders have an unforgettable experience, and we’re proud to have served as a host for this event alongside the Arkansas Economic Development Commission and the Arkansas Game & Fish Commission. It’s clear that Arkansas is solidifying its reputation as one of the top spots for gravel riding in the U.S.”

At the end of each day’s ride, participants were treated to a variety of outdoor recreational experiences, including fly fishing and archery hosted by Arkansas Game and Fish Commission. City Sessions of Northwest Arkansas set the stage every night with live music. Chef Biju Thomas, an official chef for Team USA cycling athletes during the Paris Olympic Summer Games, cooked up delicious farm-to-table meals. Beverages and snacks from 18 local businesses were served during the 6-day event.

Partnering with The Pack Shack, riders packaged over 15,000 meals for the Searcy County Civic Center food pantry in Marshall.

“I’m incredibly proud that the Graveler provided a platform for promoting The Natural State while delivering economic impact across the communities we touched. The 2024 Arkansas Graveler was a huge success, and now we have a template for greater impact in years to come,” Moody added.


About Arkansas Graveler 

The Arkansas Graveler is a new, annual gravel journey across rural Arkansas. Emphasizing state parks, public lands, community and cultural experiences unique to the Natural State, this route will travel deep inside what makes our state one of gravel's best-kept secrets. The 2024 Arkansas Graveler will connect the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville to Arkansas State in Jonesboro, stopping through five iconic overnight rural communities along the way, as cyclists pedal 340 miles in 6 days. It’s an invitation bringing together cyclists, local communities, musicians, chefs, creatives, families and friends. More at:

About Ozark Foundation
Ozark Foundation is a charitable organization that creates healthy and enriching outdoor recreational experiences in Arkansas that honor and celebrate the natural beauty of the Ozarks and elevate the region as a better place to work, live, and play. To fulfill the mission, Ozark Foundation partners with organizations to host, create, and operate a variety of outdoor recreational events in Arkansas. From world-class championship caliber races to fun outdoor family events, the foundation aims to position Arkansas as a premier outdoor recreation destination where all are welcome regardless of ability. More at:

About The Pack Shack
The Pack Shack is an Arkansas-based non-profit that works to supply provisions and opportunities for neighbors in need. Since 2013, more than 150,000 people in 40 states have packed over 30 million delicious healthy, meals for neighbors in need across the country. The Pack Shack started in northwest Arkansas in 2013 and has expanded to Columbus, OH and Orlando, FL and currently employs 11 full time people. Further expansion plans are underway. Learn more about The Pack Shack and their Feed the Funnel parties at

Submitted by the Arkansas Department of Parks, Heritage & Tourism
One Capitol Mall, Little Rock, AR 72201, 501-682-7606
E-mail: [email protected]

May be used without permission. Credit line is appreciated:
"Arkansas Department of Parks, Heritage and Tourism"