Mount Magazine trails

Mount Magazine State Park features a collection of trails that encircle much of the rim and are interconnected so you can arrange a hike of varying lengths.  The best for scenic vistas is the Benefield East Loop with the North Rim a runner-up.  For a nice walk in the woods, they’re all good.

I did a roughly 10-mile loop consisting of the North Rim, Mossback Ridge, Benefield East Loop, Bear Hollow, and Will’s Apple Road trails.  I used a connector between North Rim and Mossback, skipping the Cameron Bluff campground and Signal Hill areas to cut about 1.5 miles from the loop.  I’ve been up to Signal Hill (the highest point in Arkansas at 2753′) before and was a bit disappointed there wasn’t some scenic lookout there but I guess the view wouldn’t be much different than you have from the many vistas along the rim a couple hundred feet lower.

The temperature dropped about 4 degrees as I drove up the mountain, which was a nice change.  The humidity didn’t seem to decline though, and the air was rather hazy – limiting the views.

Here are a couple of the better shots from the North Rim Trail…

…and the Benefield East Loop.

Other trails in the area:

Dripping Spring Trail begins at the Brown’s Spring Picnic Area and goes west along the rim for about 2 miles where it apparently intersects Tower Road (FR 1606) and then you can continue west a short distance to Sunset Point at the west end of the rim.

The Mount Magazine Trail runs about 10 miles between Cove Lake and Cameron Bluff Overlook Drive atop Mt Magazine and connects to all the other trails there.  You’ve got a 1500′ elevation change to look forward to.  Primitive camping is allowed along the trail except the very short segment within the state park but there is a lot of private property scattered along the route so watch out for that.

Cove Lake Recreation Area has a 3.5 mile loop around the lake.

Huckleberry Mountain Trail System.  35+ miles of multi-use trail stretching from Mt Magazine east to Huckleberry Mountain.  It’s often called a horse trail but I suspect once ATVs were allowed in, the equestrians went elsewhere.  One trail head is at the horse camp on Mt Magazine (where I counted 18 ATV trailers and 0 horse trailers).  I’m still researching this but it appears the “trail” is really just roads – many of which are still open to normal vehicle traffic – so this might not be of much interest to a hiker.

 

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About Michael R

I enjoy hiking, landscaping with native plants, nature photography, dark chocolate, fine dining, good movies, and old jazz.
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