Adventure Quickies: 1200-Mile Bike Route Opens in Arkansas and Much More

Each Friday I share a round-up of some of the top stories from the world of exploration, adventure travel, and gear that I simply didn’t have the time or space to include elsewhere. These news briefs are meant to be short and to the point, while providing links where you can find out more. They may include everything from stories about events or expeditions that are taking place around the world, to gear and travel deals to save you some cash. With that in mind, here are this week’s adventure quickies.

  • 1200-Mile Bike Route Opens in Arkansas: The Adventure Cycling Association has announced the opening of the Arkansas High Route, a 1200-mile trail that runs through the Ouachita Mountains and across the Ozark Plateau. Riders will find the ARHCR is about a 50/50 split of trail and tarmac, providing a good mix of surfaces to explore for all kinds of riders. The trail officially opened May 1 and is the culmination of more than two years of work.
  • Mountain Hardwear Eliminates Flame Retardant Treament From its Tents: In a move that is better for both the environment and for its customers, Mountain Hardwear has announced that it is removing the flame retardant materials from all of its tents. The chemical treatment is a holdover from a bygone era that has little impact on modern tent materials, but is potentially toxic to humans.
  • Austin Adventures Launches Contest for Travel Bloggers: Montana-based travel company Austin Adventures has launched a contest for travel bloggers to give away a trip to Yellowstone National Park and dinner with the company’s founders. The Austin Adventures TBEX Travel Blogger Contest opens May 6 and runs through June 7. The challenge is to share why you want to visit the park for yourself. Easy, right?
  • IMBA Membership Drive is Underway: The International Mountain Bike Association has launched its 2019 membership drive encouraging new members to join and current members to renew. If you do sign up now, you’ll be entered to win a host of prizes, including a new bike from Pivot.
  • Antarctic Tour Operators Gather in Cape Town: The International Association of Antarctic Tour Operators (IAATO for short!) has gathered in Cape Town, South Africa to discuss the future of operating in the Southern Ocean and around the Antarctic. Cape Town is a popular point of embarkation for those companies, so it makes sense for them to gather there. On the docket will be discussing how they continue to take travelers to this part of the world while still protecting the fragile environment found there.
  • REI Adventures Launches New Line of Tours for Millennials: REI Adventures –– the travel arm for the gear retailer –– has announced a line of new trips designed specifically with millennials in mind. These new excursions fall into the Under 35 Collection, which are active excursions to North America, Latin America, Europe, and Asia. The trips focus on active escapes, including hiking, biking, paddling, and other sports.
  • Yamaha Returns to Snowshoe Mountain for GNCC: Aspiring off road motorcycle and ATV riders who want to learn from the best may want to attend Yamaha’s Grand National Cross Country (GNCC) University in June. The training session will be held June 19-21 at the Snowshoe Mountain Resort in West Virginia with attendees getting instruction and practical hands on experience riding the trails.
  • Bear Grylls Survival Academy Comes to United Arab Emirates: The Ras Al Khaimah Department of Tourism has announced that it has partnered with Bear Grylls to bring the Bear Grylls Survival Academy to the United Arab Emirates. The new survival school is scheduled to open in early 2020 on Jebel Jais, the tallest mountain in the UAE. It will offer courses on basic and advanced survival, team building exercises, instructions for outdoor enthusiasts, and much more.

That’s all for this week! More adventure quickies next Friday.

Kraig Becker