Walks in the woods help us maintain our bond with Mother Nature. Since the majority of our travels focus on the downtown districts, we relish the opportunity for a nature break. Bentonville has worked hard to incorporate nature and city into a mish-mash that blends the line. Striving to become the “Mountain Biking Capital of America” has created a focus on healthy lifestyles in the heart of Northwest Arkansas. We made a short side trip to Coler Mountain Bike Preserve to see how this Ozark city has bonded with the biking community.
We want to thank Visit Bentonville for hosting our visit. Rest assured all opinions are our own.
Stretching Our Legs
Many people have asked us how can we maintain any type of healthy lifestyle with all of the fantastic food we consume during travel. To be absolutely frank, it can be a challenge. You may have read how we like to focus our itineraries on walkable paths. We strive to squeeze in as many steps as possible, so that we can enjoy that last bite of food guilt-free. When we learned that Coler Mountain has a series of walking trails, we knew a stop was in order. On the west side of the city, we found wide open trails designed to handle foot and bike traffic.
Commune with Nature
It didn’t take us long to realize that the folks who designed Coler Mountain Bike Preserve were focused on blending it with the landscape. As we strolled along the main pathway, we could hear bikers riding along the trails in the surrounding woods. There are actually over 17 miles of trails crisscrossing the nearby hillsides and dales. A babbling stream runs alongside the path and periodically we would see groups cooling themselves in the flowing waters. It was clear that this was much more than just a simple trail network.
Coffee in the Woods
As we moved further along our walk, we began to notice more people walking toward us with cups of coffee. This certainly caught our attention, as we felt ourselves delving deeper into the park. Perhaps we had walked farther than I realized, or else we had entered some alternate universe where coffee comes as a reward for exercise. Much to our delight, we rounded a curve in the path and came upon a large area filled with people resting and relaxing. Sitting on an elevated grade we spotted Airship Coffee.
If you have followed our Instagram account, then you know how passionate we are about coffee. It’s a morning ritual for us and we have enjoyed a cup of java in every city and town we have visited. In fact, we have ordered up a cup in some interesting settings, like a converted blacksmith shop in Lindsborg, Kansas. It’s hard to quantify what the most unique location would be, but you have to admit that finding one in the woods is quite unexpected. This coffee shop is designed to offer visitors an unplugged experience by framing the park while you relax over a refreshing break.
Nature Break at Coler Mountain
We ordered our caffeinated drinks and a couple of baked treats. Sitting there watching everyone enjoying a nature break was refreshing. While we have never been mountain bikers, we were feeling the urge to try it out. It may not have happened on this trip, but who knows what future visits may hold for us. In the meantime, we were happy to watch others pedaling through the park-like setting of Coler Mountain. Strolling back to our car, we knew that this short excursion had burnt off some calories that we could bank for a later treat. After all, it’s all about balance. How do you squeeze in exercise on the road?