Mountain bike tourism made another move recently when a writer and photographer from Bike Magazine visited the area to gather information for a story set to appear in the May issue of the national publication.
“The additional publicity will make even more trail riders aware of what we have to offer here in Montgomery County,” according to local mountain biker Robert Cavanaugh.
Kristin Butcher, who writes for the nationally circulated magazine, said she and photographer Bruno Long spent several days in Arkansas visiting International Mountain Bike Association (IMBA) designated Epic Trails.
IMBA uses several criteria to award Epic designation to mountain trails, according to Cavanaugh. Trails should be single-track, and should encompass a challenging ride with natural beauty, all of which Montgomery County trails encompass.
The five Epic Trails in Arkansas include the Ouachita National Recreation Trail between Highway 88 west of Mena to Hot Springs; Womble Trail in western Montgomery County; and part of the LOViT (Lake Ouachita Vista Trail); Sylamore, near Mountain View; and the Upper Buffalo Trail in the Ozark Mountains.
Butcher met with several members of the Traildogs, a local group of volunteers who helped construct the LOViT, which ties together recreation areas and resorts on the south side of Lake Ouachita.
In addition to a visit with Traildogs, Phillip Carr filled the writer/photographer combination in on development of various marathons and other trail runs who are increasingly taking advantage of trails in the area.
More information will be available as the magazine gets closer to production and distribution, according to Cavanaugh.