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16.5 Miles Loop System 7.7 Total Climbing miles  1,814' Max 6.8% Avg Grade
52.36 Climb Index 60% Singletrack 8.5 Total Descending miles 830' Min 46.9% Max Grade

Overview: This loop is actually part of a much bigger loop called Eagle Rock Loop. The loop consists of two trails and a road. The first trail coming out of the Albert Pike Recreation Area is the Viles Branch Trail that is accessed from within the park. There is a nice little climb to the top of a rather large hill that has some really great vista's overlooking the park. Once at the top it’s all downhill to Forest Road 106, remember this road as you will be coming back on it. Cross the road and the Viles Branch trail follows the Little Missouri River. You will end up crossing this river about two times. One crossing in particular can be a little tense if there has been a large rainfall in the area. There is normally a rope across this section of the river for you to hang on to so that the current does not wash you away. Most of the Viles Branch trail is pretty mild as far as climbing goes. There are some technical areas on this trail that require some good handling skills especially around the Winding Stairs area. Speaking of Winding Stairs this is a must stop area because it has one of the most breath taking views on this trail. There is a nice swimming hole in this area and if the day is a scorcher there is a cave just on up the trail that no matter what the temp outside is the cave is always cool, being supplied with cool air from a local spring. There are plenty of rocks and roots on this trail so be prepared. Some sections may even be hike a bike for the less experienced riders. After some really nice flowing trail through the woods you will come to a junction of the Viles Branch and the Athens Big Fork trail. Head on up the Athens Big Fork, it is on this trail where you will experience one of the longest, steepest and yet ridable climbs. Beware that in the summer months this section can get really hot because it is located on an exposed side of the mountain. After you make it to the top of Brush Heap Mountain you are setup for one really sweet downhill. Careful on the downhill as it can be loose in places and steep. Once you’re off the mountain you will cruise a little bit on some single track and eventually pop out on Forest Road 106. Turn right onto Forest Road 106 and this will take you back to the Albert Pike Recreation Area.

Recommended Route: Once at Albert Pike drive across the bridge and park, the trailhead will be to the west of the parking area. Take this trail up the hill. Follow this trail across Forest Road 106 and all the way to Athens Big Fork Trail. Hang a right onto Athens Big Fork and take it to Forest Road 106. Turn right onto Forest Road 106 and follow it all the way back to the Albert Pike Recreation Area.

Rating: This is not a trail for a beginner. An advanced beginner and even some intermediate riders might find this trail daunting depending on their cardio and handling skills level. Most intermediates and advanced riders should be able to do this route with out much problem. Take plenty of water there are no bail out points. Check with the forest service before heading out there, Albert Pike is seasonable closed as well as parts of the trail.

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Minimum Skill Level

Novice

None

Beginner

Little

Intermediate

Mostly

Advanced

Some

Expert

None

Trail City Length Skill
Athens Big Fork Glenwood 9.5 miles Int
Bear Creek ATV Glenwood 31 miles Int
Big Brushy Complex Mena 15.5 miles Int
Charlton Mount Ida 4 miles Beg
Eagle Rock Loop Glenwood 24 miles Int
Earthquake Ridge Mena 6 miles Int
Fourche Mountain Mena 26 miles Int
Lake Ouachita Vista Mount Ida 36.5 miles Int
Little Missouri Glenwood 16 miles Int
Ouachita Trail Mena 104 miles Int
Rich Mountain Mena 8 miles Int
Shady Lake Mena 3.5 miles Int
Viles Branch Glenwood 13.5 miles Int
Wolf Pen Gap Mena 42 miles Beg
Womble Mount Ida 35 miles Int

Glenwood, AR

Partly Cloudy

32.5°F

MAX 32°F, MIN 31°F
Humidity:
98%
Visibility:
16.1km
Wind:
0km/h West

FORECAST

Fri

MAX 69°F

MIN 46°F

Sat

MAX 70°F

MIN 38°F

Sun

MAX 65°F

MIN 38°F

Arkansas Trail Rules

Ride Open Trails: Respect trail and road closures — ask a land manager for clarification if you are uncertain about the status of a trail.

Leave No Trace: Be sensitive to the dirt beneath you. Wet and muddy trails are more vulnerable to damage than dry ones. Don't cut switchbacks. Be sure to pack out at least as much as you pack in.

Control Your Bicycle: Inattention for even a moment could put yourself and others at risk. Obey all bicycle speed regulations and recommendations, and ride within your limits.

Yield Appropriately: Riders yeild to foot and horse traffic. Riders traveling downhill should yeild to ones headed uphill, unless signed for oneway or downhill traffic only.

Never Scare Animals: Animals are easily startled by an unannounced approach, a sudden movement or a loud noise. Give animals enough room and time to adjust to you.

Plan Ahead: Know your equipment, your ability and the area in which you are riding and prepare accordingly. Always wear a helmet and appropriate safety gear.