Ride The Railyard
By Rhonda Crone
Five or 10 years ago, northwest Arkansas locals might not have guessed that Rogers would be home to one of the most comprehensive bike parks and trail systems in the country, nor predicted it would be the center of a cycling destination that in fall 2016 would host the International Mountain Bicycling Association (IMBA) Summit. But, it is.
How did this all come to fruition? The City of Rogers hired Progressive Trail Design (PTD)—the company currently building The Railyard—to develop trails around Lake Atalanta and in the process discovered that a piece of land near the railroad tracks and the edge of downtown was perfect to tierevitalized Downtown Rogers to the trail system. Now from the near-complete dirt jump park The Railyard—with the bonus feature of an old graffiti-covered train car—cyclists can access the 10 miles of singletrack around the lake as well as the paved city trail. PTD owner Nathan Woodruff believes The Railyard ranks in the top five dirt jump parks in the country. “The next closest parks that even compare are Valmont in Boulder or Two Rivers in Nixa, Missouri,” he says. (Two Rivers was also built by PTD).
All this is happening right here in northwest Arkansas, with no slowdown in sight—for urban parks or mountain biking. Woodruff foresees unlimited growth. “What northwest Arkansas has done over the last eight years is amazing; going from virtually no trail in any city except Fayetteville to five epic singletrack trail systems stretching from Fayetteville to Bella Vista, all connected by the Razorback Greenway. [PTD are] currently working on designs for another potential 45 miles of singletrack in the area. I can’t say where and when, but I can say that they will be a sweet addition. Northwest Arkansas is becoming a nationally recognized biking destination.”
Cyclists can hit the dirt at The Railyard in early October.