- Distance: 4 miles
- Level: Intermediate
- Route Type: Loop
- Location: Eureka Springs, Arkansas
Overview: Versatility in A Loop
Beacham Trail, one of the four trails surrounding Lake Leatherwood Park, offers a well-rounded biking experience for cyclists of varied skill levels. With short ascents and descents on mostly hard-packed terrain, interspersed with rocky ledges, the trail is accessible yet challenging. For a looped trail, Beacham uniquely caters to both clockwise and counterclockwise rides, depending on personal preference.
The Journey: What to Expect
- Terrain: A hard-packed surface combined with sections of rock ledges and roots.
- Elevation: Predominantly level but includes some short uphill and downhill stretches.
- Technical Sections: A couple of technical areas add some complexity for the experienced riders.
- Scenic Highlights: The trail offers scenic stops including Leatherwood Dam and a quarry.
From Eureka Springs, drive west on U.S. Highway #62 for about two miles until you reach Lake Leatherwood Park. Make a right into the park entrance and head for the parking areas near the lake.
- Versatility: With multiple terrains and varying difficulty, this trail suits riders of all skills.
- Lack of Flow: Critics point out the absence of proper grade and flow that could have elevated it to a true MTB trail.
- Great Scenery: The visual appeal of the area is undeniable, making for a rewarding ride.
- Best Direction: Clockwise seems to be the preferred way to enjoy the trail, offering a different riding dynamic.
- Rain Caution: Avoid riding just after rainfall as the wet surface can turn slippery, particularly over the rocky and rooted areas.
- Post-Ride Refreshment: With the lake nearby, a post-ride swim is highly recommended during hot weather.
The Final Verdict
Beacham Trail at Lake Leatherwood Park emerges as a versatile, if not perfect, biking trail. While lacking in a fluid layout, it compensates with its mix of terrains and the added bonus of stunning scenic stops. Whether you're a beginner getting the hang of mountain biking or an advanced cyclist looking for technical challenges, Beacham Trail caters to a broad spectrum of riders. Although clocking in at only 4 miles, it packs in a varied and memorable biking experience.