White Zone Selfie

The White Zone

Ozark Outdoor Supply Gift Guide

The WHITE ZONE is for loading and unloading only…
if you have to load or unload, go to the WHITE ZONE…
you’ll love it…
it’s a way of life…

Frank Zappa, The Central Scrutinizer

I’ve never been a fan of naming trails by the color of their blazes. Sure, it’s probably an easy, organized way to do it but where is the creativity? Where is the descriptive nomenclature? Where is the fun? I was discussing my dislike for trail names based on the paint color that was on sale at the local hardware store with Fred Phillips, the force behind the Iron Mountain Trail System and owner of DLT Multisport, when he had a brush stroke of genius. What if the trails at Iron Mountain were named after Frank Zappa songs and lyrics? The possibilities are mind blowing. That conversation was over a year ago.

White is not a color…okay, maybe it is.

A new, almost 5 mile long, section of trail opened up recently at Iron Mountain and true to his word, Fred named it The White Zone. Sometimes, change is hard but it’s a start. Now whether you like Frank Zappa’s music or not, whether you think the rainbow should be the be-all, end-all of trail naming, if you’re a mountain biker, you will love the White Zone, it’s a way of life.

Added to the northwest section of the Iron Mountain trail system, the White Zone is just shy of 5 miles long and takes advantage of it’s proximity to one of the cleanest lakes in the country, DeGray Lake. Views of the water, distant islands and the rocky shorelines abound. The trail was built by the experts at Progressive Trail Design (PTD) and is fast and flowy. You can pick up the trailhead at the bottom of the hill on the north side of the west parking lot. You can ride down the hill straight to it but I recommend warming up on some of the other 17+ miles of trail in the system.

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White Zone Selfie
For the team, I stopped the flow and took a selfie

The White Zone can be ridden in either direction and is designed to give riders a great experience either way. Last week I rode it clockwise, starting with some bigger hills where momentum would easily take me up and over the tops that soon give way to shorter hills that allow a fast rider to get a little air under their tires.  Before long the trail takes a turn and gives the cyclist the thrill of the first extended decline, the first of many.

It’s hard to not smile while riding this trail and while talking to others who have ridden it I’ve found a consensus. This is a fun trail. Short climbs are always rewarded with fast, fun descents. Bench cuts high above the water give the feeling of being much more remote than the trail actually is and by the time you finish a lap you want to try it again in the other direction. There is not much technical on the trail but speed can add it’s own challenges.

So if you’re looking to load some good times or unload some mental baggage, go to the White Zone, you’ll love it, it’s a way of life.

Fleet Feet Little Rock, now hiring.

Here is a short video that doesn’t do the trail justice (you gotta be there) along with some advice from The Central Scrutinizer. Enjoy and we’ll see you on the trail.

The White Zone from ArkansasOutside on Vimeo.

 More on the White Zone here. Also follow the Iron Mountain MTB Trails Facebook Page.



Link to Northwoods Trails, Hot Springs, AR.

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