Black Bass Lake: Eureka, AR

The jewel of Arkansas, Black Bass Lake is a trail teeming with wildlife and rare rock formations. Tucked away in the 1610-acre Leatherwoods national forest, there´s a 3 mile mountain biking trial that is more scenic than supersonic. The Black Bass trail takes you under some breathtaking lime-stone formations before winding down to the water´s edge.

Description & Difficulty

The parking lot is situated at the bottom of the trail serving as both entrance and exit. That means there´s a steep climb to get to the top of the trail. Once you reach even ground the trail flattens out into a smooth wide berth which is a welcome relief from the steep climb before.

A wooden bridge over the lake is where the trail really starts. Here there´s two options: a fluid, beginner’s circuit known as the sycamore trail or the upper bluff trail which is more advanced. Of the two, you´re better off taking the upper-bluff which has some tricky technical sections but the pay-off of stunning overhead rock formations.

The upper bluff trail is a lot of fun and rejoins the sycamore trail toward the end. Here, you can either head directly down to the parking lot or continue forward for some more technical sections and rocky ledges. The ride is a little short overall, so if you´re traveling a long distance you may want to look elsewhere.

These trails are not difficult to ride but can be a little overgrown at certain times of the year which really slows the experience down. Some maintenance would be welcome.

Eureka springs has over 25 miles of trails so there´s a lot of potential for expansion. It’ll be exciting to see how they connect Black Bass Lake into the network of trails in future. For now, it´s a trail for beginner´s with enough to keep intermediate riders entertained.

Local Information

For any questions related to the trails during different times of years you can get in contact with the Eureka Springs Parks and Recreation Commission. There´s a few local mountain bike clubs the best of which is OORC. The local town is Eureka springs with a few lodges and wood cabins that can be booked. For the cheapest prices, you may want to look at staying further.

Photo by Arkansas Outside via CC BY-2.0

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