LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – A multi-day bicycle ride across Arkansas from Fayetteville to Jonesboro has been set for 2024.
The Arkansas Graveler will run from Fayetteville on June 23 to Jonesboro on June 29. Its 336-mile span will occur on unimproved gravel roads, lending to the event’s name.
The six-day ride will run 55 miles from Fayetteville to Ozark on day one, then Ozark to Jasper for 56 miles on day two, followed by Jasper to Marshall on day three for a 55-mile run. Day four will run from Marshall to Mountain View for 51 miles, then Mountain View to Cave City for 49 miles, with the final leg from Cave City to Jonesboro on day six, a 70-mile run.
The Ozark Foundation is initiating the event. Executive director Michael Spivey said the event will present a challenge to cyclists while presenting opportunities for towns along the way, the latter receiving support from the foundation.
“Arkansas Graveler will showcase and celebrate the best of Arkansas – its natural beauty and culture – in a most unique and magnificent way,” Spivey said. “What’s more is that the route will present an incredibly epic challenge for cyclists from around the world.”
Spivey predicted that by the Graveler’s fifth year, the benefits to communities will increase exponentially, adding, “Additionally, Ozark Foundation will provide sizeable givebacks in each community to help address their respective needs.”
Riding on gravel roads and trails is one of cycling’s fastest-growing sectors and Shea Lewis, Secretary of the Arkansas Department of Parks, Heritage and Tourism, said Arkansas is well-positioned to become a leading destination for what is called gravel biking.
Registration for the event will begin Jan. 1, 2024.