Fayetteville is set to host the annual Arkansas High Country Race, a self-supported 1000-mile ultra-endurance gravel bikepacking event, in 2020 and 2021.
Borrowing from multi-day backcountry hiking or backpacking, bikepacking combines cycling through rugged terrain with minimalist camping.
The Arkansas High Country Race connects several of the state’s natural divisions in central and Northwest Arkansas through a series of three gravel and paved road loops.
Starting from Fayetteville, cyclists will traverse the Ozark Mountains to the Buffalo National River Corridor, and into the Arkansas River Valley. From the River Valley riders dip through the Ouachita Mountains with sizable climbs and roller coaster ridges before climbing back through the Ozark Mountains to the finish line in Fayetteville.
The Arkansas High Country Race is scheduled to officially start from the Experience Fayetteville Visitors Center on Saturday Morning June 6th with a community rollout event. The Community Roll Out is an opportunity for local cyclists to ride with some of the country’s top endurance racers as they make their way out of Fayetteville along the Razorback Regional Greenway.
At the inaugural Arkansas High Country Race in June of 2019, winner Mike Dicken of Wyoming – an Arkansas native – averaged 158 miles a day to set the fastest known time with an official time of 6 days, 10 hours and 5 minutes. Ally Mabry won the women’s race with a time of 8 days, 15 hours and 9 minutes.
Event proceeds benefit the River Valley Ozark Off Road Cyclists, a branch of the Ozark Off Road Cyclists – a nonprofit focused on growing trail advocacy across the Arkansas Ozarks and the Arkansas River Valley.
Complete details, including schedule, registration and hotel information, are available at this link.