|8 Miles||Out & Back System||1.6 Total Climbing Miles||2,454' Max||6.5% Avg Grade|
|10.4 Climb Index||100% Singletrack||2.9 Total Descending Miles||1,765' Min||39.0% Max Grade|
Overview: I have only ridden from the Eagleton Vista down to Earthquake Ridge so this review is based on this portion of the trail. The section from Eagleton Vista to Round Top Vista is about 1.5 miles long. This section of the trail starts off with a really fast and fun downhill, watch out for loose rocks on the way down. There are a few rough spots along the way so be ready to put the suspension to work on some of the rock gardens. There are a couple of climbs out there that are a little on steep side.
The section from Round Top Vista to Blue Haze Vista starts off pretty mild as you pedal your way through an exposed section of the trail. Along this same corridor you will have to traverse some of the more substantial rock gardens that exist on this trail. I think this section is a lot rougher then the section from Eagleton to Blue Haze, so be prepared. There is really only one big climb which is not real steep but still might put some into the granny gear. Once at the top you will start a fast descent down to the Blue Haze Vista, there are couple of tricky tight and steep switchbacks so watch out for those. After passing a few more rock gardens you will be at the Blue Haze Vista. This section is about 2 miles long.
The section of trail from Blue Haze Vista to Earthquake Ridge is the more traveled section of any of the sections of the Rich Mountain Trail. On this section it is mostly all downhill with a few small hills to overcome. There is only one big rock garden in this section and it is pretty mild compared to the other sections. This section will dump you out at the top of Earthquake Ridge on the west side of Hwy 88. This section of the trail is about 1 mile long. We use this section a lot when we ride the Earthquake Ridge Trail. We come up Earthquake Ridge Loop on the east side of Hwy 88 and when we reach the top, we get on the Hwy and ride up to the Blue Haze Vista and then come back down the trail to Earthquake Ridge and then on down Earthquake Ridge for one really long, fast fun downhill. The Rich Mountain trail is a welcomed member to the growing trail family here in the Mena area. It has made it possible to ride your bike on the trail from Earthquake Ridge to the Ouachita Trail.
Recommended Route: We normally ride up the east side of Hwy 88 on Earthquake Ridge and then hop on Hwy 88 and take it up to one of the Rich Mountain trailheads and bomb back down the Rich Mountain Trail, when we reach Earthquake Ridge we hang a right and finish up the downhill on the west side of Hwy 88 on Earthquake Ridge.
Rating: I rate this trail for advanced beginners and up if going downhill, going uphill requires a little more physical effort in some places and a new beginner probably would not enjoy these sections of the trail. There are a few rock gardens so technical skills will be good to have but not a necessity as these areas can be walked. The trail pretty much parallels Hwy 88 and there are a few bail out points along the way. I would not bring a novice rider to this trail.
|Athens Big Fork||Glenwood||9.5 miles||Int|
|Big Brushy Complex||Mena||15.5 miles||Int|
|Eagle Rock Loop||Glenwood||24 miles||Int|
|Earthquake Ridge||Mena||6 miles||Int|
|Fourche Mountain||Mena||26 miles||Int|
|Little Missouri||Glenwood||16 miles||Int|
|Ouachita Trail||Mena||104 miles||Int|
|Wolf Pen Gap||Mena||42 miles||Beg|
|Womble||Mount Ida||35 miles||Int|