Near the shore of Beaver Lake just east of Rogers, Arkansas, Hobbs State Park’s Hidden Diversity Multi-Use Trail is a system of loops and spurs that allows hiking, biking, and horseback riding. With such a variety of interested groups, maintenance is never lacking at Hobbs. It also drains very well and is a great place to have fun in the woods when recent rains have left other trails too wet.
For mountain biking, the trails offer big climbs rewarded by smooth descents—sometimes fast mixed with twisty. Besides feathering your brakes and pedaling, there aren’t any special skills required at Hobbs. In several spots the trees are close enough in the turns that I do not advise gazing off into the woods.
Like many northwest Arkansas trails, there’s plenty of loose gravel and close trees to make you a little nervous in the tighter curves, and you won’t find many berms at Hobbs. Off-camber curves are common, but manageable. There are no rock gardens or big drops, only a few minor tree roots here and there, and riders of all levels can find fun.
There are a few opportunities to catch a little air, but only if you want it. If you’re bored without extreme technical challenges, then don’t ride at Hobbs and then complain about it. Coming from a hiking and nature photography background, I enjoy being in the woods whether I’m going fast or slow, going up or down nasty technical sections or, if needed, walking my bike.
My personal favorite at Hobbs is Bashore Ridge Loop, but Dutton Hollow Loop is a close second. Each is about 3 miles, with good downhill flow before an uphill climb that isn’t too terribly long. The connector from the Piney Road parking lot to the split between Bashore and Dutton is a fun stretch in itself.
Little Clifty, at nine miles the longest of the loops, offers similar landscape and features as its shorter siblings, but somehow it seems like there are more interruptions. It features a few big curves in sections that pass near the road, and a fairly fast and narrow descent to the creek crossing. The climb out is relatively long for those accustomed to the other trails in the extreme northwest corner of Arkansas.
I have not ridden the War Eagle Loop, so I can’t comment on it. This is a personal journal, not a review site, so I might say more about War Eagle Loop some day, but I might not.
The woods there still show evidence of widespread ice storm damage from a few years ago, and one section obviously burned, either planned or unplanned, not long ago. Some trails in Hobbs State Park close during certain hunting seasons in the winter. Check the state’s site for details.
My Strava tracks at Hobbs – If you click one, then Strava will prompt you to login. Also, I ride to be out there, not to beat anybody (obviously):
- First ride, April 12, 2015, parking not at Piney Road, but ending up there waiting for my brother to get me.
- Next ride, August 1, 2015, parking at Piney Road lot.
- Third ride, September 9, 2015 – Mojo Cycling group ride parking at Piney Road lot.
Closures for Hunting Seasons:
Friends of Hobbs:
MTB Project’s Guide for Hobbs: