All photos: Rush Urschel
Fall is in full force in the Ozarks, and to those new to the area, there’s almost an overwhelming number of options to explore.
From the cities to the parks and all the fun-filled places in between, Northwest Arkansas has a lot going on this time of year. Luckily, the Razorback Regional Greenway serves as the gold standard of starting spots for those looking to get their bearings in the area, and in just an afternoon of riding, one can visit some of the best local hotspots the region has to offer along the way.
The Razorback Greenway will take you from the square in Bentonville into the heart of Fayetteville’s downtown area.
It is a gorgeous ride, and along with the natural beauty visible from the trail along the way, there are also a number of pitstops and offshoots worth checking out.
To start our Greenway ride, we were shuttled out to the Bentonville square with the goal of taking our time getting back to Fayetteville, and seeing what stood out to us.
Below are some of our favorites stops, along with a list of the biking essentials you’ll need to enjoy the ride.
While this might seem like a no-brainer, it is easy to forget to make sure you bike is well-tuned and tires aired before departure. Spend 15 minutes or so the day before the ride to identify any tweaks and tune-ups needed before the next day’s ride. If you don’t have a bike, there are a number of rental options throughout town. Phat Tire Bike Shop, located right off the Bentonville square, is one option for renting bikes in the region.
Available for almost all smartphones, these handy apps are designed to help you stay on the right course, keep a desired pace, or simply record your activity to gauge improvement or share with friends.
Camelback/water bottle and small snacks – Hydration is a must on a ride this long, and some light snacks are also highly recommended. The ride can take a couple hours, and the stomach must be appeased.
You need your brain to tell your legs to keep peddling, and a helmet helps protect it should you fall. Not everyone in our group wore a helmet on our ride, but they are always a good idea none-the-less.
Areas of Interest
Crystal Bridges (Bentonville)
I’m cheating on this one. While technically not on the Razorback Greenway, it would be a terrible oversight to not mention Crystal Bridges (600 Museum Way, Bentonville), a world class museum located less than a mile from the trail and the Bentonville square. Its outdoor aesthetics with an incredible outdoor sculpture garden are matched only by the inspirational art within. The exhibits change often, and so be sure to keep an eye out for announcements in order to catch them all. Ride, run, or drive at your leisure, but above all, just go to this must-see local attraction.
Core Brewery Pub (Rogers)
After about 17 miles on the trail, you’ll notice a raised glass spotted structure with an inviting patio that overlooks the city. This is Core Brewery’s Rogers taproom (located at 1800 S. Osage Springs Drive, Suite 225), and it is well worth the stop. Serving a rotating selection of fine local beers, and with ample snacks and seating, they are used to welcoming weary trail traversers.
Kick your feet up in celebration of completing the first section, but don’t get too comfy as many miles still lie between you and Fayetteville.
You luckily can’t miss this one. Right on the edge of the Springdale/Fayetteville border is this beautiful sight, and a great place to take a break before the final section. Benches, food trucks, and bathrooms are all available here, and an extra 5.5-mile loop for those looking for some extra exercise. This bonus trail features great views of the lake from several interesting angles, but the main view on the left en route to Fayetteville is my personal favorite.
Wilson Park (Fayetteville)
Less than a mile off the Scull Creek Trail once you get into Fayetteville is my personal favorite park in the city. It is a short loop around which you are bound to see people playing everything from basketball, tennis, frisbee, to lounging about in the brand new hammock hotel.
A great reflection of the city, and an active place for all kinds of outdoor activities, Wilson Park makes for a bustling but restorative break before hitting the downtown area.
Puritan Brewing Company/Fayettechill Clothing Company (Fayetteville)
The bike trail leads directly into Dickson Street, and while going west will lead you into the heart of the Arkansas Razorback campus if you wish to explore it, east will take you to a superb ending spot. Puritan Brewing Company (205 W. Dickson St.) has everything from coffee, craft beer, to sandwiches, and their knowledgeable staff are sure to help you find the perfect reward for your journey.
Connected to them is Fayettechill Clothing Company, which offers technical apparel for your next ride on everything from socks to shirts. Those who made the trek all the way from Bentonville receive a 15% discount on all in-store items as well. The two businesses include a recently added patio area with a picturesque view of the downtown area (Old Main in particular looks stunning at sunset), make for an ideal last stop before heading home from a day on the Razorback Greenway.
Check out these stops offered on the Greenway to observe firsthand what has catapulted NWA to the top of bike-friendly areas in the country.
Visit their site for weather and road conditions, as well as an extensive map.
The natural and constructed stops listed here are just a few of my favorites, and I’m sure those making similar trips will find their own areas that resonate strongly with them.
A friendly and vibrant trail, you’ll observe the young and old alike making use of this wonderful public and private works project.
Extra Comfort Gear / Necessities
If you bike often, then your backside will appreciate the extra comfort these padded shorts offer.
Help keep your grip steady despite the sweat bound to occur as you conquer the hills.
The drinks and snacks along the way aren’t going to pay for themselves. Just make sure to pack them somewhere safe, ideally within a bag or secured enclosure.
Stable and sweatproof are my mantra when shopping, and for their price I haven’t found any better than these.
Short Sleeve, Longsleeve, Hoodies, and more variants all found in Basecamp.