This fossil hits Fossil Flats

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As I’ve said before, always take your bike when traveling the Natural State. This past week I was needed in Fayetteville for a business meeting. It would be an overnight trip since the meeting would start first thing Thursday morning so I decided to leave a little early on Wednesday to give me time to visit a trail that I had not ridden in over 10 years.

The last time I rode the Fossil Flats Trail it was not nearly as developed as it is now and we only did a small loop on it. At the time about half of it was a very rocky road until you crossed Lee Creek and then you got some nice singletrack for the ride back. This ride would be very different.

I arrived at Devil’s Den State Park around noon and outside from a bit of wind, it was a perfect day. After changing into cycling garb I was prepping the bike at the trail head when Tim Scott, Assistant Park Superintendent and avid mountain biker stopped by. He told me about a newer bit of trail that leaves the old roadbed just a few hundred feet down the trail. He also asked me to let him know about any downed trees that I came across on the trail so he could get that taken care of. (gotta love Arkansas State Parks).

I dropped down onto the new singletrack between the old roadbed and the creek. It is wonderful. Following the creek upstream winding into the woods and then popping out next to the creek. With one bridge in this section and the only bridge of the entire ride. I passed the turnoff for the Outlaw Loop (the 3 mile option) and headed to the upriver crossing of Lee Creek. I walked the bike across. The water was not too deep but I wasn’t sure of the line through the water.

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Soon after crossing I came up on the turnoff for the Sawmill Loop (the 4 mile option) and passed it by. I was off to Racer Hill (5 mile option). The climb was tough but not impossible, a good workout and once a the top I was rewarded with a beautiful down hill section that took me back down to the east side of Lee Creek. I finished off the loop crossing Lee Creek back into the campground area near the trailhead. It was a great ride. So great in fact that I grabbed a camera and headed back down the trail to get a photo.

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Again, I got down in the new section and put the camera on a rock and using a self-timer, got this shot:

The author negotiating the Fossil Flats Trail at Devil's Den State Park in Northwest Arkansas.
The author negotiating the Fossil Flats Trail at Devil's Den State Park in Northwest Arkansas.

The park is awesome and is a long time favorite. One of the original Arkansas State Parks with beautiful cabins, modern campgrounds, miles and miles of hiking, biking and horseback trails and is also home to the Northwest Arkansas Mountain Biking Championship.  Unfortunately, roughly 8 miles of riding was all I had time for since I had to be all cleaned up for a dinner in Fayetteville in a couple of hours. It was well worth the stop.

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