All Bella Vista trails are multi-use trails except for Tanyard Creek, which is for pedestrians only. Dogs are allowed, but must be on a leash. https://www.theoutbound.com/arkansas/hiking/hike-the-tanyard-creek-nature-trail
Bikers and hikers share the rest of the 100 miles of trail system. The system has engineered trails for all levels of bikers and hikers, from beginner to advanced in either mode.
Courtesy and safety on the trails.
While Bella Vista trails are multi-use trails, they are of varying widths and elevations. Most are two way trails and you may encounter both bikers and hikers on the trail. It's largely about common sense that will keep everybody safe and free to experience the trail and nature however makes them happy. The exception to two way trails are several gravity session experiences--which are designed for downhill thrills with a single uphill return to the top.
Heads up. Especially for those who have stopped and have heads down to take a photograph of a scenic view or identify a native flower. For those of you focused on something other than the trail, step aside if possible in order to let other trail users pass by.
Most traffic rules are based in common "safety" sense. When hiking with others, be prepared to step quickly into single file allowing others to pass.
When you're going downhill on narrow path, yield to uphill traffic. It takes more energy to go uphill than down. If passing another hiker, call out "on your left" and do so. Biker's will do the same. If you are being passed, it makes sense to pause, step to the right and wait a moment.
Although mountain bikers are supposed to yield to hikers, it's better to be safe than right. Many of the Bella Vista trails are designed for speed. Don't be caught surprised to find a trio of three mountain bikers swooping one after another down the narrow path. Be alert especially on curves with less visibility through the foliage and be prepared to step aside. You will likely be able to hear the wheels turning, but it takes a great deal of concentration on the part of the biker to maneuver the bike at speed over the trail and between the trees. And in spite of the visible bravado, bikers come with varying levels of skill and experience.
Please be extra vigilant when hiking with children. Help them understand the appropriate etiquette and safety, but since they don't have experience with driving a car, the whole passing on the left habit is not ingrained.
In some situations hikers and bikers will have to share the road with automobiles. Extra courtesy and attention is demanded here. In spite of being in a huge area Ozark forest, Bella Vista is a residential community. It is the through the generosity of Bella Vista residents, many of whom have given the trail access to cut through their private property, that the trails exist and are available without cost to the public. This is another "better safe than sorry" recommendation. It is easier for you to see a big car or school bus coming around the corner than for them to see you shoot unexpectedly out of the forest. When you are walking or biking on the the street, follow standard traffic rules. For hikers, that means walk single file on the left side watching approaching traffic.
Stay on trail within reason. We encourage exploration, but have respect for the surrounding wildlife and plants. They are a large part of what makes spending time on Bella Vista trails worthwhile.
Maintaining 100 miles of trails in Bella Vista falls, in large part, to volunteers. This team of mountain bikers and residents are kept busy removing fallen trees, branches, and natural forest debris after rain, wind, storm. Use of the trails is free and there is no janitorial service. As the saying goes, leave only footprints--or fat-tire-tracks and a little rubber.