Where is Mount Magazine State Park
Located in the western region of the state, Mount Magazine State Park resides entirely in Arkansas. The state park is located in Logan County and provides visitors with access to Mossback Ridge and Signal Hill; two popular recreation sites near Mount Magazine. The park contains a visitor center, a campground, several hiking and biking trails, a lake, and areas designated for rock climbing and hang gliding. The closest cities to Mount Magazine State Park are Corley and Havana. The park is also located 116 miles and a two-hour drive northwest of Little Rock, 105 miles and about a two-hour drive south of Fayetteville, and 57 miles and about an hour drive east of Fort Smith. The Ozark National Forest and the Ouachita National Forest lie north and south of the park.
How Large is Mount Magazine State Park
Mount Magazine US State Park covers over 2,200 acres. The park’s geography mainly consists of forested hill sides, mountainous peaks, and lakes. The park is the highest state park sight in Arkansas and sits at an average elevation of 2700 feet. The highest point in the park is the summit of Mount Magazine which is named Signal Hill. Upon the hill sits an area designated for hang gliding, several hiking trails, and the Lodge at Mount Magazine. The park contains four lakes; Blue Mountain Lake, Cove Lake, Spring Lake, and Cedar Piney Lake. Each of these lakes contain several freshwater species anglers can target, and every lake is open to swimming with the exception of Cedar Piney Lake.
Mount Magazine State Park Weather
The weather at Mount Magazine State Park changes frequently throughout the seasons. In summer, temperatures in the park average between 50- and 85-degrees Fahrenheit, and winter temperatures in the park average between 25- and 55-degrees Fahrenheit. The hottest days of the year fall upon Mount Magazine State Park in June, July, and August. The coldest days of the year arrive at the park in December and January. On average, Mount Magazine State Park receives about 40 days of rain per year. These days amount to a yearly precipitation total of about 45 inches. Occasionally, the park will receive snowfall during the winter months. However, yearly snowfall totals in Mount Magazine State Park rarely exceed over ten inches.
When did Mount Magazine Become a State Park
Mount Magazine State Park first became a state park in 1998. The park’s history before this includes two stints as National Forest Land. In 1938, the park was designated as part of the Ouachita National Forest, and in 1941 the park was rezoned as a part of the Ozark National Forest. The conversion process from forest land to state park land took 22 years. The park is currently maintained and managed by the Arkansas Department of Parks and Tourism. Before European influence, Native Americans inhabited Mount Magazine and the area surrounding the park seasonally.
Things to do in Mount Magazine State Park
Mount Magazine State Park offers visitors a unique getaway complete with the promise of various outdoor recreation options. Our State Park Visitors Guide outlines the most popular adventures and experiences found in the park below:
Explore the Visitor Center
The visitor center at Mount Magazine State Park is the perfect place for visitors to begin their park adventure. The visitor center contains several exhibits and displays that discuss the park’s ecology, wildlife, history, and Native American culture. Several staff members also work within the park’s visitor center and are a great resource to use when looking to gain an answer to a question you have about the park.
Hiking in Mount Magazine State Park
The various trails that make up the Mount Magazine State Park trail system meander through the park’s woodlands and around the park’s four lakes. These trails offer visitors of all experience levels the opportunity to explore the great outdoors of Arkansas. Information at the visitor center, including park maps and trail guides, can provide additional up to date information on the park’s trails.
Bike the Huckleberry Mountain Horse Trail
Mount Magazine State Park maintains two trails that are designated for biking use. These trails are the Will Apple’s Road Trail and the Huckleberry Mountain Horse Trail. The latter of the two is the most popular, and it provides bikers with an interesting yet not overly challenging ride through the park’s woodlands.
Go for a Swim in Spring Lake
The summer’s in Mount Magazine State Park can be quite sunny and hot. Visitors looking to escape the sun’s rays should take a dip in Spring Lake. The lake, along with Cove Lake and Blue Mountain Lake are designated for swimming and fishing. The other lake in the park, Cedar Piney Lake, is only designated for fishing.
Cast a Line in the Lake
The most popular freshwater species targeted within Mount Magazine State Park are largemouth bass, bluegill, catfish, and bream. Each of the park’s four lakes have been known to produce numerous good-sized individuals of each species. All anglers casting a line into the lakes in Mount Magazine State Park should be equipped with a valid Arkansas Fishing License. These licenses can be purchased online from the state’s resource department or from several local establishments near the park.
Mount Magazine State Park provides a home to a vast number of woodland species. Visitors in the park normally spot deer, racoons, opossums, and a vast list of bird species. Black bears also maintain a healthy population within the park’s borders. Lucky visitors may catch a glimpse of one of these bears while out on the trail. Bears should never be approached and should always be treated like wild animals.
Experience the Butterfly Festival
Every year Mount Magazine State Park hosts the annual Mount Magazine International Butterfly Festival to honor the 86 species of butterflies that call the park home. Butterfly enthusiasts from all around the world travel to Mount Magazine State Park to participate in the festivities. These celebrations normally occur in late summer. However, the exact day of the festival changes from year to year.
Camping in Mount Magazine State Park
The Cameron Bluff Campground at Mount Magazine State Park contains both AAA and AA tent only campsites. Visitors can make reservations for each of the campsites only through the park’s website and reservation portal. Visitors looking to camp within the park in the summer season should make their reservations months in advance to avoid having the campground reach capacity without them.
When to visit Mount Magazine State Park
Mount Magazine State Park is open year-round. However, the best times to visit Mount Magazine State Park are in the spring and summer. These months offer warm temperatures, abundant wildlife, and the opportunity to participate in a variety of activities. In the fall, visitors of Mount Magazine State Park can experience the changing colors associated with the season. However, in winter and even late fall temperatures in the park can make swimming, hiking, and camping unmanageable.
Must Have Items To Bring to Mount Magazine State Park
Every trip outdoors requires packing and planning. A trip to Mount Magazine State Park is no exception. List of Parks suggests the following items should be considered by every visitor traveling to Mount Magazine State Park.
Water & High Energy Snacks
Water and energy replenishing snacks are essential items to bring on every outdoor recreation trip. Hikers and other visitors who plan to exert extended energy in the park should bring additional supplies of water and snacks. Beef jerky, trail mix, and protein bars are some of the best snack’s hikers can bring to replenish their energy levels.
Sunscreen & Sunglass
In the summer, visitors to Mount Magazine State Park should be prepared for the Arkansas sun. Sunscreen and a pair of sunglasses will provide visitors with necessary protection. Bringing a hat along with you may also be a great idea to help escape the summer sun.
Sturdy Hiking Boots
The trails at Mount Magazine State Park feature several different geographic features and levels of terrain. The best way to be prepared for all the trails has to offer is to arrive at Mount Magazine State Park wearing a sturdy pair of hiking boots.
Layers of Clothing
Though temperatures frequently exceed seventy degrees in Mount Magazine State Park. Nighttime temperatures may drop significantly. Visitors looking to camp in the park should come prepared with a variety of clothing layers.
Field Guides & Park Maps
Wildlife enthusiasts visiting Mount Magazine State Park may want to purchase and bring along a Arkansas specific wildlife field guide to make identification easier. The visitor center can also supply hikers with trail maps and species checklists, as well as answer any additional questions about the park’s wildlife.
Where to Stay near Mount Magazine State Park
Visitors looking to stay within Mount Magazine State Park should make a reservation for one of the park’s campsites. These reservations can be made on the park’s website and through the park’s reservation portal. Visitors looking to stay in a hotel or other lodging establishment in the area should first search for options in Corley and Havana. Visitors looking for additional options or wanting to stay in a larger town should make the drive to Fort Smith or Little Rock.
Food Near Mount Magazine State Park
The closest food to Mount Magazine State Park can be found in Corley and Havana. However, visitors looking for additional options or a larger culinary scene may want to explore Fort Smith or Little Rock. Fort Smith is about 56 miles and a one-hour drive west of Mount Magazine State Park. Little Rock is about 115 miles and a two-hour drive east of the park. Each of these cities contain countless restaurants and bars.
Airports Near Mount Magazine State Park
The closest airport to Mount Magazine State Park is located in Fort Smith. The Fort Smith Regional Airport is 59 miles and about a one-hour drive west of the park. Other airports near Mount Magazine State Park include the Little Rock National Airport and Memorial Field Airport in Hot Springs. Of these three options, the Fort Smith Regional Airport and the Little Rock National Airport provide access to the largest variety of connecting flights.