HOT SPRINGS NATIONAL PARK, Arkansas — Registration begins July 4 for the 2022 edition of the challenging 1,000-mile Arkansas High Country Race that takes bicycle competitors on a loop that encompasses much of the toughest mountain terrain in Arkansas.
Hot Springs is the host community for this year’s ARHC race and again for the 2023 race. The race begins on October 8 in downtown Hot Springs.
Riders may register online at BikeReg.com.
The Arkansas High Country Route was developed by Arkansas’s own Chuck Campbell in partnership with Adventure Cycling. The ARHC route covers over 1,000 miles of Arkansas terrain and comprises pavement and gravel roads with singletrack options, including two IMBA Epic Trails, the Womble and LOViT (Lake Ouachita Vista Trail). It takes riders through the beautiful scenery of the Ouachita Mountains, Ozark Plateaus, and Arkansas River Valley. The full route can be broken down into three separate, shorter loops: the southern, central, and northern ARHC loops.
More information is available at www.arkansashighcountry.com.
“We are excited to be the host city for the fourth year of the Arkansas High Country Race,” said Traci Berry, trails coordinator for Visit Hot Springs. “Hosting the race gives us an opportunity to showcase our unique, historic town as well as the three IMBA Epics located in our region: the Womble, LOViT, and Ouachita National Recreational Trail by offering a third option for the event, the Triple Crown – connecting all three of the IMBA Epic Trails, to cyclists from all over the country.”
Race director Andrew Onermaa said, “My excitement level is through the roof with the incorporation of the South Loop and the Ouachita Triple Crown for this year’s edition of the Arkansas High Country Race. The buzz around the Arkansas High Country being one of the premier bikepacking events in the country won’t let down with an epic (literally International Mountain Biking Association trails denoted EPIC) mountain bike loop around Lake Ouachita in addition to the ‘High Country’s Greatest Hits’ in the southern region of the route via the South Loop. Three races, one event. It’s gonna be a party in Hot Springs.”
Johnny Brazil, the owner of Jackalope Cycling and ARHC Race in Russellville, said, “I am stoked to see what the Arkansas High Country Race looks like with Hot Springs style and access splashed into the event. Also, I look forward to collaborating with our statewide cycling community for another year of highlighting the beauty of Arkansas cycling opportunities and letting the world see how amazing and tough our terrain can be.”
With Hot Springs being chosen as the host city, the riders who have done the race multiple years from other starting points will have to reevaluate their strategy.
“As many as 150 riders will come to Hot Springs to push themselves and their bodies to the absolute limits in a race where just finishing is winning,” Berry said.
We have more information on the route in this article from 2019.