We recently spent a relaxing winter weekend at Mount Magazine State Park. Located in the River Valley region of western Arkansas, Mount Magazine State Park is the highest point in the state at 2,753 feet.
Mount Magazine State Park is accessible via the Mount Magazine Scenic Byway (Arkansas Highway 309) from Paris, AR.
Keep in mind, when you visit Mount Magazine State Park, services on top of the mountain are limited. But, rest assured that limited does not mean bad! The Lodge at Mount Magazine offers all the needed amenities.
We arrived at Mount Magazine State Park on Friday afternoon and were able to check into our room in the Lodge. Fortunately, the Lodge was designed such that all rooms have a view. So, whether you book the the most expensive or the least, you’ll still be able enjoy that spectacular view.
We took a late afternoon hike on a portion of the Mooseback Ridge Trail. This is a nice hike through the woods.
After the hike, we headed to the Skycrest Restaurant for an early dinner. Skycrest is the Lodge’s only restaurant. With floor to ceiling windows and a massive brick fireplace, this restaurant is a place where one can just sit and savor the moment. One word to describe this surf and turf buffet dinner: YUM! The buffet was reasonably priced and offered prime rib, boiled shrimp, fish and plenty of sides. There is also a menu with a variety of options for those who prefer not to order the buffet.
After dinner, we headed for a swim in the Lodge’s large indoor pool. With floor to ceiling windows, the only thing that was obscuring the view was the dark night sky.
Since breakfast is my favorite meal, we headed straight down to the Skycrest Restaurant. The breakfast was tasty, so it was a great way to start the day!
After my delicious and hearty meal, I wanted an after breakfast nap. Instead, we went on the Signal Hill Trail. Don’t miss this trail as it takes you to the highest peak in Arkansas.
The first portion of the trail is a nice walk through the woods. Elevation gain is minimal, so it is not strenuous.
Once at the peak, hikers are treated to a rock mosaic in the shape of Arkansas and a sign marking the high point.
After reaching the peak, we drove to the nearby Mount Magazine State Park visitor center. The visitor center contains the park gift shop as well as several exhibits showcasing the history and wildlife of the area. Personally, I enjoyed some time in a wooden rocking chair in the butterfly and bird observation area.
A trip to Mount Magazine State Park isn’t complete without a visit to the Cameron Bluff Overlook. Here, you can enjoy more sweeping vistas of the Arkansas River Valley.
On Saturday afternoon, we decided to participate in one of the ranger programs, Regurgitation Station. During this program, we learned about owls at Mount Magazine State Park and had the opportunity to dissect a pellet to see what the owl had to eat.
We rounded out our day with a sunset dinner at the Skycrest Restaurant. The food was delicious and the sunset was unbeatable!
After dinner, we headed out for one last adventure. We participated in the Owl Prowl. The Owl Prowl is a ranger led night walk where one has the opportunity to listen for owls. While we didn’t get to hear an owl hoot that evening, we did enjoy learning even more about owl behavior.
On Sunday, it was time to head home. Once again we enjoyed the breakfast buffet in the Lodge restaurant and spent some time swimming in the pool before departing.
Arkansas winters are relatively mild, so there are lots of opportunities to enjoy the outdoors without having to bundle up. We thoroughly enjoyed our relaxing trip to Mount Magazine State Park. I was reminded again of how much I love that cozy comfy lodge perched alongside the edge of Mount Magazine.