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The Back 40 Loop

Intermediate/Difficult
 3.8 (5)

The best option near Bentonville for rolling singletrack through NW AR hardwood forest, housing and a golf course.


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Map Key

22.0

Miles

35.4

KM

98%

Runnable

1,362' 415 m

High

993' 303 m

Low

1,637' 499 m

Up

1,643' 501 m

Down

3%

Avg Grade (2°)

15%

Max Grade (8°)

Dogs Leashed

Features Fall Colors · River/Creek · Waterfall · Wildlife

Need to Know

See description for bathroom and water considerations, as well as TH parking.

Description

A rolling singletrack MTB-designed trail through typical NW AR hardwood forest, but also housing and even a golf course. The best option when staying close to Bentonville.

The Back 40 Loop is a rolling singletrack trail of typical NW AR hardwood forest, but also housing and even a golf course. If you are seeking a sense of isolation, you'll get that for stretches, but you'll also not have it for other stretches.

The trail is designed for mountain bikers and that is what you are likely to see when you're out there. However, I must say, they are the friendliest and most considerate mountain bikers I have encountered in my travels. That being said, you'll have to deal with sections of trail that are typical of MTB designed trails such as the rolls and unnecessary switchbacks.

The TH location shown on this page is simply a pull off on the side of the road. 2 proper THs are on the trail that have water (during the 'not freezing' season) and porta potties. One is at Gaylord and Lanceshire and the other is about 4 miles CW from the starting point here (Buckingham, I believe).

Given the starting point shown on this page, if you follow the path and go CCW you'll start off paralleling roads. You'll cross several streets and may become a bit disillusioned (as I did, initially) that this would be a painful 22 miles along roads. It got better, but then a lot worse when I started essentially running through a development and then the aforementioned golf course, actually crossing through the golf course at some point.

Fret not, about a mile past the golf course, after being a little to intimate with the surrounding development, things quickly get better (perhaps that first few mile just reset expectations).

From that point on, it was a lovely run. There were road crossings and there would be houses at the top of the ridges occasionally, but these were removed enough and mixed with enough total isolation to make it enjoyable.

Notes:

The trail is very easy to follow and all intersections are well marked.

My Strava said this was 18 miles with 3000 ft of elevation gain. Not sure who to believe.

There are only two bathrooms (both porta potties) along this root. If you run this, and tend to need facilities, you'll not have much privacy for the first several miles. I tend to need them early on then not need them as the run goes on. If this is the case for you, perhaps running clockwise is the way to go as there is a porta at the TH about 4 miles in and another at about the halfway point, as well as more isolation to make you feel comfortable doing what you must.

Water may need to be staged when fountains not on

Shared By:

Trail Run Project Staff with improvements by Jason Doedderlein

Trail Ratings

  3.8 from 5 votes

#12428

Overall
  3.8 from 5 votes
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Trail Rankings

#170

in Arkansas

#12,428

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1,944 Since Oct 31, 2016
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Photos

Bridge alone the southern portion of the Back 40 Loop.
Oct 27, 2016 near Pea Ridge, AR

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Mar 3, 2018
Eric Baker