In Northwest Arkansas’ “far east,” lies Eureka Springs, a Victorian village in the heart of the Ozarks. But just north of town—past the galleries and cottages and antiquing—Eureka Springs draws a decidedly different group of visitors–the adrenaline junkies.
The pilgrimage to Lake Leatherwood is a must-do for any cyclist looking for serious natural-feature downhill, and the park boasts seven, mile-long trails ranging from Green to Double Black Diamond.
Rock gardens, massive berms and huge senders (oh, my!) await advanced riders who dare take them on, while the Greens and Blues offer a fast, flowy ride for those just learning to downhill.
Not interested in grinding to the top? Shuttles are available to bring riders up the side—seven days a week from both the Leatherwood Sports Field and Miner’s Rock.
Beyond the downhill park, Lake Leatherwood also has 25 miles of low-impact, multi-use trails with impressive views of the lake, which features one of the nation’s largest hand-cut limestone dams—a living remnant of the work of the Civilian Conservation Corps.
For riders wanting to make a weekend out of the visit, plenty of options exist, with camp and RV sites, cabins, showers, a marina and cooking pavilions all readily available.
Coming from out of town and not sure when to visit? Consider June’s Fat Tire Festival, now 20 years running and offering all who attend “group rides and good vibes,” not to mention some serious downhill, super-d, short track and cross-country racing.
So the next time a friend asks for a local, lung-emptying downhill ride…Eureka! You’ve got it.