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Earthquake Ridge Trail

Nearest Towns:

Mena, Arkansas

Landholder:

Ouachita National Forest

Trail Highlights
Approximately 5.5 miles of single track trail.  So nice you will want to ride it twice!  The trail parallels the Talimena Scenic Byway on the north and south sides of Rich Mountain with four loops. One to the North, South, East and West. Each loop returns close to the Visitors Information Center.  Riders will view several interesting rock formations as well as a variety of plant and animal life. A variety terrain provides a great mix of trail that all skill levels can enjoy.    The trail crosses the Talimena Scenic Drive in three places.  Allow 40 minutes to 1 1/4 hour for  one complete loop.  The trail holds up well in wet weather, and is suitable for year round riding.  Modern bathroom facilities, and water are available (Closed in Winter) as well as picnic tables and barbeque stands. 

Surrounding Area
Wilhelmina State Park.   Only One Mile from Mena, Arkansas.  Just 12 miles up the Talimena Scenic Drive to the Queen

The Trails
The Trail consists of narrow single-track. Suggest riding in a "Counter Clockwise" direction. If riding all the loops in that direction does not provide you with a good workout, reverse direction and repeat the whole trail clockwise.

Earthquake Ridge Trail Loop provides a steep climb, parallel to the Talimena Scenic Drive. Beginner riders may find themselves pushing their bikes for short sections of the steeper climbs. More experienced riders can test their climbing skills on the ascending tight switchbacks.  After crossing the highway at the top, a descent back to the lower highway crossing provides time to catch your breath.  You can either cross the highway and return to the VIC or continue on to the Southern Loop.

The Southern Loop descends with lots of mild turns over varied terrain. This is the newest addition to the trails and provides excellent views of dogwoods in bloom in the spring. A short steep climb out and you have just a short ride back to the VIC. 

From the VIC you can then take the Fern Loop. A fast trail through the narrowly placed trees to some very tight descending switchbacks and then down to the creek bed. You can then return back to the VIC by way of the gradual ascent over a rocky section or cross over to the Carriage Loop and the Settler Loop by way of a short gradual climb out of the Fern Canyon. 

The Carriage Loop and Settler Loop provides fairly flat trail with tight and twisty singletrack. This is the easiest section of trail. Beginners may want to ride this section first. Built in what used to be an orchard, it is now regrown with large pine trees. The fairly flat terrain covered with pine needles provides a pleasant ride, and eventually ties into the Earthquake Ridge Trail Loop.

Loop Ratings

  • Easiest- Settler Loop and Inner Loop
  • Challenging- Southern Loop
  • More Challenging- Fern Loop
  • A Real Workout- Earthquake Ridge Loop

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