9 Comments

  1. Do you by chance have a printable map of this loop, or know a website that we could find one?

    Thanks!!

    1. Hi Julie! Sorry, I don’t really have an easy way to produce a printable version that would work for you. If you don’t have a GPS device, you could download the file and open it in Google Maps or Google Earth and create your own written turn-by-turn version.

  2. I’m thinking about checking this route out next month as my first bike packing trip. Do you have any recommendations on where I could leave my car and camp for one night along the western edge of this route? I’m coming from Dallas and it would be closer to start somewhere along there. Also do you think there will be good water sources? Thanks!

  3. Author

    There is a Parking area for the Ouachita Trail about a half mile south of where this route crosses HWY 7. Coordinates for the parking area are approximately 34.774128, -93.087907. You could park there and ride the short distance north to where the route crosses HWY 7.

    You can camp pretty much anywhere in the National Forest. There are a variety of official national forest campgrounds sprinkled throughout the ONF, but the only one along the route is at Lake Sylvia. Lake Sylvia actually has water, power, and bathrooms if you need that. Most of the rest in the national forest are undeveloped, just spots with maybe a chemical toilet.

    There’s plenty of water this time of year, many of the valleys have streams you’ll cross. I’d recommend treating/filtering anything you use.

    A few notes from me about Arkansas vs Texas gravel having ridden both. The ONF rocks is a quite a bit chunkier than what you’ve got in Texas. I’d recommend a bigger tire than the 32-35c I’ve seen people down in Texas running. The hills are a steeper too. You’ll get roughly a 1000′ of elevation gain per 10 miles.

    Let us know about your trip after you go!

  4. Are all the Sylvia trails one network with the 70 being made up of the others or are they each their own loop?

    Any “jewel” of the group?

    Thanks!

    1. Hey Sean. I’d go with the 50. It’s a “greatest hits” type ride. Good luck!

    2. Also, you might look at the Camp Harrison ride. Currently my favorite. It’s a little more varied and adventurous.

  5. This will be my first bike packing trip. I am planing to do this End of August early September. IS that a good time frame ? Is the Silvia 70 well marked trail? Is there an item check list y’all can share?

    1. Hi. End of August/early September would be fine. Just keep in mind it might be a little dry, so you’ll want to bring plenty of water. Route navigation is only available via a GPS track, which you can download from this page. There are no markers denoting “Sylva 70,” but the dirt roads are all well maintained. As for a checklist, these guys (http://www.bikepacking.com/bikepacking-101/) do a good job of laying out the basics. I hope you enjoy Sylvia! Lots of campsites around and beautiful views to enjoy.

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