Have you ever wanted to sell everything you own and just "take off?" Travel the country's back roads, paddle down a meandering stream, experience breath-taking mountain views, walk among 100-year old trees, and just marvel at America's beauty? That is the dream that my partner, Betsy, and I decided to make a reality. This blog describes our adventure. The food we eat, people we meet, sights we see, and the enjoyment we find in traveling.

Saturday, April 22, 2017

Mount Magazine State Park, Arkansas

If you are ever driving through Arkansas a trip to Mount Magazine State Park is a must.  Mount Magazine is the state’s highest point topping out at 2,753 feet and delivers sweeping views of broad valleys, lakes, winding rivers, and distant mountains.  The rugged rock outcroppings protrude from the densely wooded forests.  What makes this park even more spectacularly beautiful is that it is surrounded by National Forest lands encompassing glorious acres of woods.

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In the late 1800’s, the railroad made travel easier and people were drawn to the area for its cooler weather and awe-inspiring scenic beauty.  Resort lodges and restaurants sprang up and the resort “Town of Mount Magazine” began.  Soon a post office, parks, streets and a dance pavilion dotted the town.  The town took a turn when drought, erosion, and the Great Depression brought the town to collapse.  The 1934 Resettlement Act purchased all the private land on the mountain and was shortly transferred to the U.S. Forest Service.  In the late 1930’s and 40’s, the Works Progress Administration built campgrounds, trails, cabins, and a lodge were constructed.  A fire destroyed the lodge in 1971.  In 1998, Arkansas State Parks entered into a cooperative agreement with the USDA Forest Service to develop Mount Magazine State Park.  The lodge reopened in 2006 and graces the same beautiful setting as the original structure. 

We found this park very relaxing which is kind of amazing because there is so much for outdoor enthusiasts to do making it hard to sit still.  There are miles and miles of hiking trails, horseback riding, hang gliding launches, cycling, and some of the most dramatic locations for rock climbing and rappelling.  The diverse mountain ecosystem offers amazing bird watching and wildlife viewing and provides habitat for over 90 species of butterflies.  Many were brightening the woods when we were there.  We were there at a time when wildflowers were blooming so the forest floor was lit up with color.  The higher altitude and cooler weather on the mountain meant that trees had not leafed out yet but a look down in the valley was a stark contrast with trees fully leafed out.
 
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The park has a relatively small campground with a meek 18 sites with full hook-up (two of which are 50 amp).  Campsites are well-spaced with gravel pads and patios with fire pits and picnic tables.  We so enjoyed hanging around our campsite but for those that don’t camp you will be perfectly comfortable in the lodge or cabins.

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The Lodge at Mount Magazine has breath-taking views and some rooms have spa tubs on their balconies to enjoy the view.  Thirteen cabins dot the ridge line offering the same awesome views and Jacuzzi tub options on your balcony.  At the lodge is The Skycrest Restaurant which is a nice treat for those not wanting to cook.  We decided to have drinks one evening on the veranda enjoying the setting sun lighting the valley.  The next day we popped in for lunch where $6 got a plate of open-face prime rib sandwich, mashed potatoes, salad, and squash casserole.  Pretty good deal if you ask us. 

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This state park so worked for us.  It was the combination of the reading in a quiet wooded campground, being able to go to the lodge for a drink, lunch and great view and spending hours walking in the woods.  The park is a good 30 minutes drive from the nearest town so you may want to stock up so you can just relax on the mountain.

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4 comments:

  1. You can't beat those state parks. That prime rib sandwich sounds like a good deal and good meal.

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  2. Fun page.

    But, as I sit here in the spot next to you at Holland State Park, here in beautiful Michigan along the sandy (cold and windy) shores of Lake Michigan.... it appears you have some updates to do

    Just sayin...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. How right you are. But, with so much to do it is hard to sit inside at the computer.

      Delete
  3. KARWEI Boskoop is de brandkrakers die het doel van Boskoop, Benthuizen, Waddinxveen, Moerkapelle en omringende zones bieden! Wij bieden de mooiste firecrackers in het assortiment! Inderdaad, zelfs mensen uit Gouda, Zevenhuizen, Bodegraven en Reeuwijk komen ons voor onze Vuurwerk Voorverkoop! Dit is bovendien door onze energieke firecrackers activiteiten! We hebben een substantiƫle groepering, die raketten, grote batterijen, jongeren vuurkrakers en geweren bevat. Alle hoge kaliber, tegen een agressieve kosten! Dus woon je in Alphen aan nook Rijn, Boskoop, Waddinxveen, Benthuizen of Moerkapelle? Of, aan de andere kant, leeft u verder weg? Bijvoorbeeld in Gouda, Bodegraven, Zevenhuizen of Reeuwijk? Probeer niet te vallen en gestopt door!

    ReplyDelete

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