Mount Magazine State Park Arkansas - July 22-30, 2022

The plan was to take our RV and go to some place cooler than Houston in July. It needed to be within a 2-day drive. First choice was Cloudcroft, NM, but we discovered that Lincoln National Forest was closed and all the trails closed due to severe fire risk.

Next we thought about Guadaloupe National Park in West Texas, but the trails there were closed due to fire risk.

Our final choice was to go northeast to Arkansas. We have been to Arkansas several times over the years and always had a good visit to their state parks. This time we decided to camp at Mount Magazine State Park, near the top of the highest point in Arkansas. It is a nice park in the thick forest, with full hookups. And the trails were all open - no severe drought. At the top is a beautiful lodge with everything you could want for a nice vacation destination. The temperature was about 8 degrees cooler up there, but since it was 100 below, it was still in the low 90's on the mountain. It wasn't like we had hoped, but we made the best of it, and it worked out okay.

[Friday] We left home about 9:15 am and travelled up TX-99 all around the north side of Houston, to US-59 north. We arrived at Atlanta State Park site #26 about 5:00 pm. After supper we took a short walk around our campground loop road. It was not crowded.

< Atlanta State Park site #26.

[Saturday] This morning after breakfast we walked down to the boat launch on Lake Wright Patman. It is a very large lake. We then walked down the other camping loop and back to the trailer. We walked 2 miles in the rolling hills - a lot more challenging than at home. It was cooler this morning - 71 degrees when we got up at 7:00 am. We saw three different woodpecker species this morming.

< < Wright Patman Lake.

[Sunday] Today we left Atlanta State Park and drove about 200 miles north to Mount Magazine State Park, near Havana, AR. We arrived about 4 pm to our site #11 at Cameron Bluff Campground at about 2,500 foot elevation on the mountain. It was about 8 degrees cooler than at the base of the mountain, but it was still hot - about 93 when we arrived.

< < Our campsite #11.

[Monday] This morning we drove out of the campground and drove the outer loop road and stopped at some very nice scenic overlooks of the mountains, and to the amphitheater, which was also very nice. The original amphitheater was built in 1939 by the Works Progress Administration (WPA). The new amphitheater is very nice.

We continued on around the loop and then drove to the Mount Magazine Lodge, and looked around it. It is a very large complex of hotel rooms and conference center. We checked out the resteraunt for future use. The lodge is the equivalent of a 4-star hotel, with a wonderful view of the valley below. The lodge was originally opened in 1940 and was large, but not what it is today. The current lodge opened in 2006 and contains 60 rooms and 13 cabins. The dining room seats 125. The main building and two wings totals 126,177 sq.ft. After checking everything out, we went back to the trailer for lunch.

< < < Nice overlooks.

< < The reconstructed Amphitheater.

< < < Mount Magazine Lodge.

< Life is easy on the mountain.

After supper about 7:30 pm, we hiked up the Signal Hill Trail from the campground to the top of Mount Magazine. The 0.5 mile trip took about 30 minutes. It was a pretty good trail with a few loose rocks, but otherwise ok. There was no view from the top because of the trees. The trail was through a thick forest of trees.


[Tuesday] This morning we drove up to the lodge and ate breakfast in their restaurant. The servings were large and we sat with a good view out the window of the valley below in the distance.

< Breakfast was good.

After returning to the trailer briefly, we drove down the mountain to Paris, AR. We drove around and looked the town over. There were lots of dead tree parts pilled up at each house, indicating a big storm or tornado in the recent past. It was mainly a tired little town.

We then drove south on AR-109 to the little town of Magazine and looked around a little. Not much to see there either. Then we drove back to the campground and got back about 2 pm, after stopping at a good overlook in the park on AR-309, the southeast road to the park.

< Overlook on AR-309.

[Wednesday] This mourning it was a little cooler due to a few clouds. We drove to the Benefield Picnic area and walked the Benefield Trail western loop. It was a good easy walk through the woods. We saw a small marsh area with lots of frogs along the way. They were singing loudly. It was unexpected by us to find a marsh area near the top of the mountain.

< < Benefield Trail.

After lunch at the trailer, we drove to the visitor Center and looked at their museum. It was interesting about life on the mountain, asd had information on the insects and animals that live on the mountain.

[Thursday] This morning it started raining and rained several hours. We drove up to the lodge and ate lunch in their restaurant. After returning to the trailer briefly, we drove around the loop road that curcles the campground and stopped at the places we didn't the last time.

< < Views from the loop road.

Then we drove to the visitor center and walked the Will Apple's Road Trail 1/2 mile and back. We then drove about 2 miles to the horse camp at the other end of the trail and walked about 1/2 mile on it from that end of the trail. The trail was named after a farmer who farmed on the mountain. Back in the 1800s, this was the first road to the crest of the mountain. We returned to the trailer about 5:30 pm.

< Will Apple's Road Trail.

This night we got a big electrical storm on the mountain. Lots of booms. As we left the campground Friday morning, this tree was scattered over the road.

< What lightening did to this tree!

[Friday] This morning we started out trip back home. We backtracked our way to near Carthage, TX and camped at the Carthage RV Park. It is a nice park. The weather was very hot as we arrived and it took a long time for the trailer to cool down. On the way there, we stopped briefly in Jefferson, TX to purchase a supply our favorite Blackburn syrup products.

[Saturday] Today we made it back down US-59 to Richmond. We arrived home about 3 pm.

This draws to a close our very brief trip to Arkansas. We hope you enjoyed the photos and brief descriptions of our activities. God willing, join us again soon for another travel adventure.

Goodbye for now,

Lawson & Kay

August 15, 2022

But if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin. (1 John 1:7 NKJV)

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