Conway is an incredible place for cycling. The city is one of only eight communities across Arkansas that has earned the Bicycle Friendly Community designation from The League of American Cyclists.
In Conway, you can hop on a bike from just about anywhere in town and go for a ride. In October 2020, the Conway Area Chamber of Commerce organized the inaugural Conway Regional Health System Biketoberfest to advocate for and call attention to the area’s growing cycling community. Presented by the Conway Convention & Visitors Bureau, Caldwell Toyota, and Meridian Investment Advisors, this monthlong celebration highlighted local cycling amenities and routes in four different riding formats: road, mountain, gravel, and community, which includes parks, pump tracks, and other family-friendly rides.
The Ride, Conway's full-service bicycle shop, has set all rides to start from the McGee Center on the west side of Conway. This is for congruity, as most all of its organized group rides meet and leave from this location. All rides listed below can be started from just about anywhere in town, as roads that have sharrows (shared-lane markings), bike lanes, or are generally just bike friendly in nature persist. Please post about your ride on social media using hashtag #BikeConway!
Downtown is one of Conway’s best destinations for cycling, and the Downtown-Old Town Route features some of the area’s finest sights. Beginning at St. Joseph’s Catholic Church, ride up Front Street to Main, cross over the tracks, and hit the newly paved Robinson Avenue. With low vehicular traffic and new bike lanes, enjoy views of the picturesque historic homes and churches along the avenue. The route concludes with a short climb to the top of Front Street, coasting past the new and historic Front Street developments back to St. Joseph’s. At 3 miles long, this route is the perfect sample of everything Downtown and Old Town Conway have to offer.
Conway’s first trail, measuring 3 miles in total, is also the city’s most popular. Perfect for new cyclists, Tucker Creek Trail offers users an option for a short 3-mile ride beginning at the Salem Road trail head or a 6-mile route beginning at Gatlin Park off Tyler Street. If you’re wanting to build your confidence, this route is the perfect place to do so. Start with a shorter route riding down to Hogan Lane and back, then level up by riding the entire length of the trail. As a side note, there are also mountain bike trails that run alongside Tucker Creek for the majority of this route. Tucker Creek Trail ends at Walmart right near the Bunny Slope mountain bike route.
South Conway is one of the fastest growing residential areas of the city. Did you know your home might be within just a couple miles of a new trail? Beginning at the trail head at Mimosa Drive, Stone Dam Creek ends at UCA and measures 1.8 miles round trip. What makes this route a must-see is the brand new pedestrian bridge over Dave Ward Drive, as well as delicious ice cream, pizza, and other restaurants right near the trail.
This Conway Advocates for Bicycling route is hands-down the most popular road bike route in Conway, a 38-mile special. If you feel like you are ready for an intermediate ride on the road, this is the route for you. You can turn early at Rocky Gap for a shorter ride with more climbing, or cut out the loop behind Mayflower High School to shorten the loop if you please. This route is on roads with very few cars and is mostly flat with a couple of climbs.
The Rocky Saltillo East Loop features the best views of Conway and Faulkner County in one route. This 35-mile route begins at the McGee Center on College, hits some hills on Tucker Creek Trail, then continues down Bruce Street all the way over the new interstate bridge near Conway Commons. From there, ride into Faulkner County, then Saltillo. The East Loop has undulating terrain with some good sections for coasting and high-gear pedaling on good pavement.
Looking for an elevation challenge? The South Hill Repeat Loop is a great route for climbing, climbing, and more climbing. Do it once, twice, or as many times as you can. The route is approximately 20 miles long, but the loop portion is 8 miles. Empy Hill is our “local legend” hill located right at the start of the loop portion of this route. It’s followed by the route’s longest section of relatively flat terrain so you can rest up before starting another climb.
Do not let the short distance of available trail fool you. This 5-mile trail at Cadron Settlement Park offers a load of fun and a great workout. Cadron consists of an “Outside Loop” that encircles the park and is a little more flowy and fast and an “Inside Loop” that snakes around on the inside and proves to be technical and challenging. Be aware – hikers have beat a path between trails which can lead to some confusion. Follow the Orange arrows for the full trail. Additionally, there is a purpose-built hiking trail at Cadron that is marked with Yellow arrows. This trail can also be ridden by MTB and consists of a pea gravel surface.
Located at Woolly Hollow State Park, Enders Fault is a wonderful mountain bike trail with two loops. Choose between the North and South routes or do both! The North Loop is more technical, while the South Loop has a long climb followed by a fun, fast downhill descent. Both loops measure approximately 5 miles in length and can be ridden in either direction.
This short beginner trail is located directly behind Walmart on Dave Ward Drive (35°04'27.1"N 92°29'43.7"W). You can access the trail either from Walmart or Tucker Creek Trail. The entrance from the trail is just past the red bridge. The trail has a loop on either side of a creek/ditch that runs right down the middle and is spanned by a single bridge. The total length is 1 mile and the trail is entirely flat. WARNING: Do not ride or attempt to ride this trail if there has been a recent rain. It will be a muddy and slippery mess.
At approximately 50 miles, the North Gravel Brewer Lake Loop offers longer saddle time for gravel riders. After the lead up section of road, the route is almost entirely on gravel. There are one or two fairly long climbs and not a lot of flat road, so be ready for a workout. The town of Springfield is a great place to catch your breath and take a water break. You’ll want to ride either a gravel or mountain bike on this route.
Give the North Gravel Union Chapel Loop a go for a good mid-level gravel ride of 35 miles with bits of pavement thrown in for some reprieve. The route has a great mix of hills and coasting. This route also runs through Springfield, a great place to catch your breath and take a water break. If you’re feeling adventurous, there are many off-shoot roads to connect to longer gravel adventures. You’ll want to ride either a gravel or mountain bike on this route.
If you’re unsure whether you’d enjoy gravel riding, the South Easterwood Mixed Gravel route is your pick. At about 40 miles, this “mixed” ride consists of mostly roads with a few gravel sections thrown in. This route shares many of the same segments as its “sister” road route, CAB’s Ride South Loop, so the gravel can be abandoned in favor of road if it happens to be an overly wet or chunky gravel day.