Russellville, AR 72801
Phase I of the Syllamo Mountain Bike Trail is completed and ready to ride! This phase offers the mountain bike enthusiast 21.3 miles of trail, mostly single track. It consists of three interconnecting loops, which are accessible from the Syllamo Trailhead on Arkansas Highway 5, the White River Bluff and Scrappy Mountain trailheads on Green Mountain Road.
The trail name dates back to an infamous resident of the area in the early 1800s. A Creek Indian named Syllamo roamed these hills and valleys that were eventually anglicized and named for him --Sylamore. You might notice all the tributes to Syllamo-Sylamore Creek, the Sylamore Hiking Trail, the Sylamore Horse Trail, the Sylamore Ranger District, and the community of Sylamore.
This is the first phase of a multiple phase project. Phase II is under construction and will add an additional 16 miles of trail. An additional grant for Phase III has been secured. The Sylamore District, along with partners, hopes to eventually have a mountain bike trail system that will total approximately 85 miles with several trailheads in strategic locations. The Forest Service's goal is to provide mountain bike trail opportunities that can be enjoyed by all skill levels within one trail system.
White River Bluff Loop: The shortest loop, 4.5 miles round trip. This loop is best accessed from the White River Bluff trailhead. Trail is marked with green blazes on brown fiberglass posts. Approximately 1/2-mile from the trailhead, you will come to the beginning of the actual loop. The loop can be ridden in either direction. Portions of the trail are quite technical and beginner level riders might have to walk their bikes, but the views are worth the effort. Spectacular views of the White River and its valley the North Sylamore Creek Valley and surrounding Ozark Mountains abound.
Bald Scrappy Loop: 7.3 miles of scenic Ozark Forest This loop is best accessed from the White River Bluff trailhead. This loop is marked with orange blazes. It is also accessible from the Syllamo Trailhead, but with a 1.9-mile ride to the connection with Bald Scrappy Loop. If you leave from the Syllamo Trailhead the connecting trail (a portion of the Scrappy Mountain Loop) is marked with blue blazes. Be advised there is a 600-foot vertical difference in the high and low point on this loop. So no matter which way you go there will be some fun downhill runs and challenging uphill climbs. Much of this trail is suitable for beginners, with a few short stretches that are more suited to intermediate level riders.
Scrappy Mountain Loop: 12 miles of steep Ozark Mountain terrain. This loop offers switchbacks up and down steep mountainous slopes and three creek crossings. This loop is best accessed from the Syllamo Trailhead on Arkansas Highway 5 or the Scrappy Mountain trailhead on Green Mountain Road. It is marked with blue blazes. Like the Bald Scrappy Loop, this one also has a 600+ foot vertical difference between the high and low points. Much of this loop is beginner friendly but some sections, such as the steep switchbacks and the “Stairway to Heaven” will require the less experienced rider to walk their bikes.
General Information: The map shows the length of all trail segments, so riders can plan almost any length of ride they want. Shorter downhill rides are made possible by shuttling vehicles. To do this, leave from Green Mountain Road and end your ride at AR Highway 5. The trail crosses AR Highway 5, as well as several crossings of Forest Service roads. All crossings are announced with a typical red and white stop sign. Please be careful at all road crossings. If you have a roof rack on your vehicle, be aware of any overhanging limbs along Green Mountain Road. Although rather rough, with care Green Mountain Road can be negotiated by almost any vehicle. Maps can be obtained by contacting the Sylamore Ranger District at (870) 269-3228 or Blanchard Springs Caverns at 1-888-757-2246, or downloaded from this website.
The surrounding area: Discover one of the most spectacular and carefully developed caves anywhere, Blanchard Springs Caverns, located just minutes away from the trail. Visitors can enjoy float fishing and canoeing on the White and Buffalo Rivers that border the east and west sides of the district. The Ozark Folk Center State Park is devoted to preserving the rich heritage of life in the Ozark Mountains. It is located in nearby Mountain View, the Folk Music Capital of the world, which has numerous motels, restaurants, and shops. Campgrounds, both Forest Service and private, are nearby. If you want to park your bike for a day of hiking, the Sylamore Ranger District offers 55 miles of hiking trails for your exploration.