While Fayetteville is a haven for competitive cycling and mountain biking, casual bike rides around the city are one of the most popular things to do in Fayetteville. It’s a great way to experience everything the city has to offer — restaurants, shopping, nightlife — while still enjoying the beautiful outdoors Northwest Arkansas and the Ozarks are known for.
Fayetteville has been designated a Bicycle Friendly Community — the highest ranked city in the state — and there are many Bicycle Friendly Businesses. The University of Arkansas is also a Bicycle Friendly University.
Many visitors to Fayetteville bring their own bikes to ride around town. Others rent bicycles at one of several bike stores throughout the area, since they offer all kinds and sizes for every skill level. If you're planning on hopping on a bike while in town, here are some of the best rides throughout Fayetteville:
It all starts with the Northwest Arkansas Razorback Greenway, a 36-mile biking and pedestrian trail that is the longest system of interconnected trails in the state. It stretches from the south side of Fayetteville to near the Missouri border. As all roads lead to Rome, all hard-surface trails in Fayetteville connect to the Razorback Greenway.
No matter where in Fayetteville you’re staying, you can easily make your way to the Razorback Greenway. Or, since it runs through the heart of the city, you can start pretty much wherever you want. For example, three Fayetteville microbreweries on the Ale Tail — West Mountain, Columbus House, Fossil Cove — are either on or right next to the Razorback Greenway. It runs through the Downtown & Dickson Street Entertainment District, as well as the Uptown District, so you can use it to get to all the most popular restaurants, stores and bars.
This 4.5-mile, multi-use trail loop surrounds one of Fayetteville’s most popular outdoor destinations, Lake Fayetteville. Located at the northern city limits, aka the Uptown District, the Lake Fayetteville Trail features both natural scenery and a pedestrian bridge that overlooks a stream and spillway waterfall.
Along with being home to the North Shore Disc Golf Course, Lake Fayetteville park also includes two skills courses – one for beginners and one for intermediate riders. The courses include low-lying, wooden bike ramps designed to teach slow-riding technical and balance skills. The beginner’s course ramps sit 6-12 inches off the ground and can accommodate children learning to ride balance bikes. The intermediate course includes larger features for more experienced riders, with log and stone obstacles and ramps as high as 3.5 feet.
Popular attractions located near the trail include the Botanical Garden of the Ozarks and Mae Farms, a food truck court at the park entrance off College Avenue.
Washington-Willow Historic District
This residential neighborhood is listed on the National Register of Historic Places as it contains more than 100 historically and architecturally significant homes, with styles including Victorian, Italianate, neoclassical and craftsman bungalows.
Located across College Avenue from the Downtown & Dickson Street Entertainment District and Wilson Park, this 37-acre historic district lies at the foot of Mount Sequoyah and one of the most breathtaking views in Fayetteville. While it’s relatively flat and easy biking around this beloved neighborhood, cruising up and down Washington, Willow, Walnut and Olive does include a few hills — after all, we’re in the Ozarks.
Besides the homes, another popular historical attraction in the district is the Headquarters House, located at College and Dickson. This Greek Revival-style house served as a command post for both Union and Confederate armies during the Civil War. The building now houses a museum and the Washington County Historical Society, but on April 18, 1863, the Battle of Fayetteville took place there.
Along with a variety of restaurants, boutique shops and live-music venues located in the Downtown & Dickson Street Entertainment District, popular nearby attractions include the Walton Arts Center, Theatre Squared, food truck courts Shulertown and the Yacht Club, and the University of Arkansas campus.
Town Branch Trail
At the south end of the city, aka South Fayetteville (SoFay) District, the Razorback Greenway stops and the Town Branch Trails begins. Across 15th Street from Walker Park, the first section of this 2.2-mile, east-west trail includes at 50-foot bridge spanning Town Branch Creek, which the trail follows and crosses several times before ending near the I-49 interchange at Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard.
Along the trail you’ll find Greenhouse Park and cross Razorback Road near Baum Stadium, so this trail is particularly fun on Razorback baseball game days. It also passes by Mr. Taco Loco on School Avenue, where the Experience Fayetteville staff has been known to celebrate “Taco Tuesday.”
The Town Branch Trail, much like other trails in Fayetteville that comprise and splinter off from the Razorback Greenway (Mud Creek Trail, Scull Creek Trail, Frisco Trail), showcases the natural beauty found within the city limits and allows visitors to “get out” without having to go far.
For a list of bike stores in Fayetteville that rent bicycles, check out the “Outdoors” section of the Fayetteville Visitor’s Guide.