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Festival celebrates off-road biking

by Flip Putthoff | March 30, 2021 at 7:00 a.m.
Big splash contest is a popular event at the annual Ozark Mountain Bike Festival at Devil's Den State Park. (NWA Democrat-Gazette/Flip Putthoff)

The 32nd annual Ozark Mountain Bike Festival at Devil's Den State Park is Friday through Sunday, featuring mountain bike rides, a mountain bike poker run and the popular big splash contest.

Most rides are on the 6.5-mile Fossil Flats Trail, one of the first trails in Arkansas built for mountain biking. Rides of 6.5-miles on Fossil Flats Trail require two creek crossings.

All events are free. Helmets are required on all rides.

A beginner ride of 6.5-miles on Fossil Flats Trail starts at 2:30 p.m. Friday. A night ride for intermediate-level riders is at 7:30 p.m. A bright light source is recommended for this 6.5-mile intermediate ride.

On Saturday, a family ride is at 9 a.m. Adults and children are welcome on this beginner ride. Riders can choose from 3-mile or 5-mile routes. A ride for ladies only is at 10 a.m. A workshop for beginner rides is at 11 a.m. along Fossil Flats Trail.

A crowd is sure to gather on the shores of Lee Creek at noon on Saturday for the big splash contest. Here riders start at the top of the hill and ride at break-neck speeds into Lee Creek to see who can make the biggest splash. Extra points are awarded for style and creativity.

Saturday afternoon events include a 6.5-mile beginner ride at 1 p.m., kids skill course at 2 p.m., a 10-mile intermediate ride at 2:30 p.m. and a bicycle poker run at 4 p.m. All riders are invited to a cookout at 7 p.m. at the park pavilion.

Sunday's activity moves to Lake Fort Smith State Park for a 12-mile ride at 10 a.m. on the Boston Mountain multiuse trail.

For details contact Devil's Den State Park, 479-761-3325 or email devilsden@arkansas.com.

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