3 NW Arkansas cities rank in Top 20 Best Places for BikingJuly 16, 2020
Northwest Arkansas is a mountain biking paradise. People for Bikes recently released the 3rd annual ratings of best cities for bicycling. Arkansas is the only state to have three cities rank in the top 20. Rogers, Fayetteville, and Bella Vista scored high across the five criteria: ridership, safety, network, reach, and acceleration.
Northwest Arkansas cities scored especially high in the acceleration category, due to how quickly the cycling infrastructure and ridership is growing.
"The investment in bike infrastructure, education, bike culture, volunteer and community capacity building is truly world class," Jenn Dice of PeopleForBikes said of the region.
Rogers was ranked No. 6. Local favorites include Lake Atalanta and Railyard Bike Park, the city’s one-of-a-kind jump park. The city is working to link the existing and new trails together to provide recreational and alternative transportation routes for Rogers’ citizens.
Fayetteville, ranked No. 10., is home to hidden gems, including the popular bluff-lined trails at Kessler Mountain. The city boasts extensive trails, street bike routes, and several bike rental shops.
"We are extremely proud of what we've been able to do here in Fayetteville," said Mayor Lioneld Jordan. "A community that – just 20 years ago – didn't have a single bike lane or a shared-use paved trail is now in the top ten in the nation. It's remarkable progress."
Bella Vista also made the list at No. 14. In Bella Vista, cyclists enjoy the Back 40 Trails which were built in 2016. With more than 50 miles of trails, Bella Vista is a cyclist’s dream.
Other Arkansas cities that made the Top 100 are Bentonville at No. 39 and Springdale at No. 74.
Mountain biking serves as a major economic driver for the region by not only increasing tourism but fostering infrastructure improvements that improve quality of life in the region and attract talent for Arkansas’ thriving industries.