Jill Rohrbach, travel writer
Arkansas Department of Parks and Tourism
If you like to bike, number one on your list of things to do in 2016 should be visiting The Railyard Bike Park in downtown Rogers. It’s the newest off-road offering for Northwest Arkansas, which is fast becoming an excellent cycling destination.
The park, located at 299 E. Cherry St., is named “The Railyard” because it is located only blocks from the Arkansas-Missouri railroad and some obstacles are made from recycled trains. Its signature piece is a full-scale rail car set on real railroad tracks that bikers ride through.
This dirt jump bike park includes features such as wall rides, “whale tales” and concrete lips. It is designed to accommodate riders of all different skill-levels, from beginner to expert, and different types of bicycles, from striders to full suspension bikes and dirt jumpers to BMX. The park is open daily from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m., has lights, a pavilion, restrooms, water fountains, bike wash station, observation decks, dog park, and a large parking lot.
Funded in part by The Walton Family Foundation and connected to the Lake Atalanta trail system, The Railyard opened Nov. 7, 2015, and is expected to draw local residents and visitors from outside the region. Also putting a huge spotlight on this area is the upcoming International Mountain Bicycling Association’s World Summit, which Bentonville is hosting on Nov. 10-12, 2016.
In addition, IMBA’s 2015 Model Trails recognition included the Northwest Arkansas Regional Ride Center. With the Bentonville (silver-level) and Fayetteville (bronze-level) Ride Centers located less than 30 miles apart, the two towns have formed the first and only region-wide Ride Center designation. Mountain bikers visiting the Ozarks can double-down with a wide range of riding to choose from and two cycling-crazed communities hosting some of the nation’s finest trails.