Are you looking to get some exercise near the Bentonville or Bella Vista, Arkansas area? Walking is an excellent way to get moving, manage a healthy weight, and strengthen your pelvic floor. The American Heart Association recommends 150 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise (such as brisk walking) throughout the week for fitness. Thirty minutes per day, 5 days per week is easy to remember and is not too time consuming. Here are some of my favorite places to walk in the Bentonville and Bella Vista, Arkansas area in no particular order.
Bentonville – Coler Creek Trail
Coler is my favorite place to enjoy a walk in the local Bentonville area. Renew Physical Therapy is a 4-minute drive to the North Entrance, so it makes it very convenient. It also has a cool coffee shop Airship Coffee with plenty of outdoor seating. They also offer breakfast, lunch, baked goods, and snacks. Walking from the North Entrance to Airship Coffee is about .75 miles. So, a brisk pace to the coffee shop and back can fulfill your time and get your heart rate up! Tip: you can still count the total walking time if you take a coffee break at that halfway point. 😊
Parking for this trail can be tricky if you go at peak times. There is a north and south gateway marked on the map. Be sure to get familiar with the different parking options before you head there for your first visit. There are three parking lots on the South Gateway that offer easy access to the trail.
Bella Vista – Tanyard Creek Trail
This area has a combination of paved and rugged trails. Hiking up the grassy hill to Lake Windsor can really get your blood pumping. Uphill walking is great for the pelvic floor. Remember to keep your core engaged, and your ribcage stacked over your pelvis. Many people with stress incontinence feel more confident running and walking uphill due to the positioning of the body. It’s definitely worth walking up to the dam because on the way down, you will see a pretty waterfall (pictured at right)! If you are not up for the challenge of walking the hill, the loop trail is about 0.8 miles, so you can easily get your steps in with a few times around the loop.
Bella Vista – Lake Norwood/ Mildred B Cooper Memorial Chapel
My family loves walking in this area. There is a small rugged trail that leads to Lake Norwood. We typically take the loop 2-3 times to get in a 30-minute walk. This path is hilly, a little rocky, and requires good foot and ankle stability. Navigating this trail not only works your balance, but is also very beneficial to your pelvic floor. The posterior tibial muscle in your foot/ankle is strongly tied with hip muscle performance (Kulig et al, 2011). A weak ankle affects your body all the way up the chain to your hips and pelvis. It’s important to keep these small muscles strong for overall function!
Side note: You can view the lake from one of the park benches along the trail and tour the chapel at the beginning of the trail. The chapel is stunning and offers beautiful views! The chapel is for public use and is also available for event rentals. On a Saturday, you may see a wedding taking place.
North Bentonville Trail
North Bentonville Trail is paved trail that is shared by bikers and pedestrians and features access to Bentonville Bark Park and Slaughter Pen Mountain Bike Trail. We also love the bike-inspired art along the trail. This trail is 2.2 miles, so this one may take around 45 minutes to complete if walking at a comfortable pace. This trail is heavily populated by bikers, so it is important to always be on the lookout!
We are fortunate to have so many beautiful trails in our area. If you are tired of walking on the treadmill or through your neighborhood, get out and enjoy the nice trails we have in the local Bentonville and Bella Vista area!
Kulig K, Popovich JM Jr, Noceti-Dewit LM, Reischl SF, Kim D. Women with posterior tibial tendon dysfunction have diminished ankle and hip muscle performance. J Orthop Sports Phys Ther. 2011 Sep;41(9):687-94. doi: 10.2519/jospt.2011.3427. Epub 2011 Sep 1. PMID: 21885910.