(1) Run tough tires, (2) consider renting a full-suspension bike, and (3) seriously consider a full-face helmet.
If you pay attention to only one thing in this entire guide, may it be this: Run tires with sidewall protection and beefier tread than you are used to. The “chatty trails” need tires with bite and the baby heads and rock gardens need tough sidewalls for protection.
Depending on your experience level you can have a great time in Bella Vista on almost any rig. However, the trails of North West Arkansas were built by folks that love a full-suspension.
If you have not dipped your toe into that world, you might want to rent a bike for an afternoon and get a feel for it. Mojo Cycling is your goto for all rental and repair needs.
You can also give Mojo Cycling a call and see how you can set up your own bike for maximum enjoyment.
This really depends on how much you like your face.
North West Arkansas trails were hand-built by folks who love challenging technical aggressive riding. There are alternative routes around every Technical Feature, but it’s not always easy to know which line to take.
Of course, the choice is yours, but just know you won’t look out of place wearing the proper gear for this terrain.