While planning our route north on the map, Barry happened to notice a symbol for Magazine Mountain, at 2753' elevation, the highest point in Arkansas. Turns out, there is a state park right there, and since we wanted to see the Ozark National Forest anyway, this seemed a perfect place to stop. And this would be a breeze after the tough state high points we'd already hiked.
So, leaving Hot Springs, we headed north towards Mt. Magazine State Park. As we approached from the valley floor, we could see the Ozarks and Mount Magazine up ahead. Gorgeous!
The park sits up high in the Ozarks, so there are some hairpin turns to negotiate to arrive there, but nothing Pearl couldn't handle. It was a beautiful drive up.
We didn't make reservations, but arriving on a Monday, there were plenty of sites available. This is not a park where you choose your own site, which we always prefer, but the site we were assigned was just fine. We might not have preferred this particular site (#1) on a weekend, as it was closest to the main park road, and there would have been more traffic. But during the week, it was no problem, and the dense vegetation muffled what small amount of road noise there was.
The park was incredibly pretty, with breathtaking vistas in several spots, swoopy roads to ride our bicycles, and many hiking trails. We would definitely return and stay longer in the future, as there was plenty for us to do, but it is fairly far from towns (and with the hairpin-turn ride down the mountain in either direction), so you want to bring what you need with you. There is a lovely lodge that does have a restaurant, but we didn't try it.
The park provided excellent bird habitat, and we saw many, even a road runner, which I didn't expect to see in Arkansas, as we've only seen them out west before.
Here's just one of the stunning views from the park, and we'll share more in another post.
Emily & Barry
We're a long-married, early-retired couple who are currently traveling as nomads with no fixed home base. After years of living in North Carolina (Emily's home state), we spent 18 months living oceanfront on Ambergris Caye, Belize, a year road-tripping the US in a Honda CR-V, a year in Playa del Carmen, Mexico, and are now roaming North America in our 32' motorhome, Pearl, following warm weather whenever possible.
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