Short on time but want a taste of the good stuff? This quick loop can get you out into the Ozark National Forest and through Devil’s Den State Park with time to spare. Leaving out of Downtown Fayetteville, you’ll get warmed up on curvy Highway 265 before passing south of Prairie Grove – home to one of the largest intact Civil War battlefields and Prairie Grove Battlefield State Park. If you need to top off the tank, a bustling gas station is available just 6-miles from town. Riders in the mood for some history can consider stopping in Cane Hill to see one of Arkansas’ first colleges and learn about Civil War activity in the area.
From Cane Hill, our Devil’s Retreat route follows the smooth flow of Cove Creek down into the National Forest where the dirt and gravel roads become more dynamic. Adventurous riders can opt to jump onto one of the trails of the Buckhorn OHV Trail System. Once you finally find pavement, a quick left onto the curvy and scenic Highway 220 will take you into Devil’s Den State Park. One of Arkansas’ most visited State Parks, Devil’s Den is known for its accessible hiking and mountain bike trails. This is a great spot to take in some history on the Civilian Conservation Corps’ building of the park in the 1930s, view Quickdraw Triple Falls in the rainy season, or go for a short hike to the Devils Icebox - one of the parks many caves.
The climb out of Devil’s Den features narrow, switchback curves that lead you to more dirt roads heading back towards Fayetteville. A gigantic I-49 overpass spans the valley you travel through as you rip gravel into West Fork. From West Fork, the route follows Highway 71 for a scenic blacktop ride back to town.
After the ride, Fayetteville offers plenty of restaurants to refuel yourself like the popular South Yard development – home to three new restaurants including the Memphis-based Central BBQ, Fayetteville Taco & Tamale, and soon-to-be open Meteor Cafe!
Featuring everything you’d expect from a barbecue restaurant, Central BBQ tops your favorite protein with their signature slaw for a tasty sandwich. Fayetteville Taco & Tamale uses seasonal, local ingredients to shape a menu of elevated Mexican food favorites including tamales, enchiladas, tacos, and fajitas with a signature Arkansas style. The hard part can be choosing where to eat!