The Fly's Eye Dome via Crystal Bridges' north lawn
Mountain Biking has been on the rise over the last few years in Bentonville, Arkansas. With more than 28 miles of all-level trails and skill parks, it's no wonder that mtb enthusiasts from all over the country are flocking to B-Ville.
Photo Cred: Collin Wheeler
Aside from the insurmountable access of trails on either side of the pedal, Bentonville knows how to do bridges. And from an intermediate mountain biker's perspective, the room to grow as an athlete is infinite.
Start out peddling low gear down All-American which will lead you to the Slaughter Pen trails. Gap jumps on your left and pump tracks on your right, you'll start to sing a biker's lullaby in your head as you fall into a dirt roamer's paradise.
Make friends right in the parking lot and hop on a group ride, take a solo journey, or bring your own biking partner (BYOBP). I was lucky enough to follow Collin around on the trails and explore as many miles as we could squeeze into a hot & humid two days.
We explored around downtown Bentonville, mostly walking around alleyways and checking out store fronts since Covid-19 has most retail locations at a hault. The town square was was very chic with lots of history. We stopped by to look in the windows of the original Walmart, a small curbside retail shop dated back from 1950.
Walton Family Foundation
When I first learned that Wal-Mart funded the mountain bike renaissance in Bentonville, I had to process that the two were even related.
In 1950, the Waltons opened a "five and dime store" in Northwest Arkansas. A passion for retail led to an overwhelming success of Walmart stores. After celebrating the 25th anniversary of Walmart, they established the Walton Family Foundation. The foundation focuses on three areas: Improving K-12 Education, Protecting Rivers and Oceans and their communities, and investing in the Waltons' home region of Northwest Arkansas and the Arkansas-Mississippi Delta.
In 2017, bicycling provided $137 million in eco-benefits to the Northwest Arkansas regions. The Walton Family Foundation continues to invest into biking initiatives, as these trails bring about a sense of feel to the community along with support for local businesses.