August 1, 2011 by wcobserver
By Adam Leslie
In a recent interview with a newly inducted Arkansas State Park Explorer, I learned that while staying in the park he had lost his training wheels for the first time. As we were talking about the fun of riding in the park, I learned that his sister had also lost her training wheels in the park. It was becoming a family tradition to learn to ride in the park. This got me thinking about the great tradition of pedaling in the park.
It all started several years ago when a few of the park staff went on a trip to a mountain bike festival. They returned to the park with the idea of creating a trail specifically for mountain biking. What they actually created was the first mountain biking trail in the state and focal point of one of the biggest races in the state. Several hundred people gather in the park every September for a weekend of riding and camaraderie.
If riding the trail is not your speed, we also offer some great road riding in the park. The climbs out of the valley make such a great course that people drive down to the park just to ride on our roads. In fact they are so well known that they are part of a road race that attracts professional riders from all over the world. Each spring the Joe Martin Bike Race holds one of many events in Devil’s Den State Park.
Of course it’s also fun to just ride around the campgrounds. Area A and E offer great loops off of the highway that make perfect bike tracks; in fact during the summer they probably see more traffic from bikes than cars. They make a perfect ride for a family or for kicking off those training wheels for the first time.
So whether you prefer trails, road, or training wheels we have you covered. So bring your bike down for some pedaling in the park, and remember to always wear your helmet.