SYLLAMO TRAILS, ARKANSAS
The Syllamo Mountain Bike Trails are an IMBA (International Mountain Bicycling Association) EPIC designated trail system. The system is broken up into 5 distinct loops with numerous levels of terrain and elevation change, stretching for more than 50 miles in Blanchard Springs Recreation Area, Arkansas. Much of it is singletrack. The big gem sits in the middle of an amazing and inspiring landscape, runs over thousands of acres of the Ozark National Forest, and offers vistas of the serene White River, Sylamore Creek Valley, and luxuriant Ozark Mountains.
If "variety is the spice of life," then the Syllamo Trails are pretty spicy! Sweet flowing singletrack, exposed technical terrain, and awesome views await in this remote Arkansas setting.
There is a $3 day-use fee.
All five loops can be accessed from four different trailheads. All trailheads have gravel-surfaced parking for approximately 20 vehicles, a bulletin board with information for a small donation/fee (kept locally to help maintain the trail and the trailhead facilities), and a pit toilet. Staying at Branchard Springs Campground may be a good strategy for those endeavoring to ride all 50 miles.
There are three secondary trailheads on Green Mountain Road (gravel):
Note that no camping allowed at the trailhead. Camping is allowed at Blanchard Springs Campground.
There are multiple trailheads available to begin this ride. How much you complete is up to you.
From the campground, start on Jack's Branch Loop Spur and take it until you reach Jack's Branch Loop. It is recommended to head counter-clockwise from here. Eventually, you'll encounter the Scrappy Mountain Loop. This loop is recommended to ride in the clockwise direction and has blue markers. It is said to be one of the most technical loops with frequent steep pitches with large elevation changes and long, difficult, sustained climbs. It includes more frequent sections of very difficult ascents and descents requiring constant bike control to avoid injury. The trail surface requires advanced technical skills to negotiate numerous difficult rocky obstacles.
The Bald Scrappy Loop is marked in orange and is best ridden counter-clockwise. This loop intersects the White River Bluff Trailhead where the White River Bluff Loop can be accessed. The White River Bluff Loop is marked in green. It doesn't have a lot of elevation gain, but the climbs can be tough and technical. Most of the technical, rocky sections are by the river overlooks. Besides the few technical sections, this trail is quick and flows well when clear of down trees. Upon completing this smaller loop, turn left (CCW) back onto the Bald Scrappy Loop. Turn left when you re-encounter the Scrappy Mountain Loop. It will take you either back toward the campground or onto more of the trail system.
Next, you'll encounter Jack's Branch Loop on your left, twice. The second left will let you continue on your EPIC adventure. The first left takes you back the way you came from the campground. Assuming you continue to take the loop counter-clockwise, your next big decision will be when you arrive at Bad Branch Loop. If you are all in it to win it, then follow the red trail markers in the clockwise direction. Bad Branch is a 12-mile loop but has two connectors that can be used to shorten the loop to 4 or 8 miles. It has just under 1,000 feet of elevation gain, and is the least technical of all the loops at Syllamo.
After completing Bad Branch Loop, it is time to head back toward the campground on Jack's Branch Loop. Don't forget to turn right onto Jack's Branch Loop Spur when you get there. Otherwise, you'll be headed out on another epic adventure.
Disclaimer: This is one of many routes that can be taken. There are parking areas throughout the trail system that create many route options for whatever ambitions you may feel.
Syllamo Mountain Bike System has everything to keep you interested all the time. Call your friends. It’s time to Syllamo!
Some of the information contained on this page has been sourced from:
You can also find out more about Syllamo’s trails here.
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1,666 m / 5,466 ft
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