There is an Arkansas State Park that has been developed atop the mountain, that is measured as the highest point above sea level, for the entire state of Arkansas. It is one of 50 summits across the USA where folks can register their names when they make it to the top.
For this reason, it is only natural that the group of ladies I hike with, nicknamed "WHO", which stands for "Women Hiking the Ozarks", was eager to explore this particular state park.
Many of the WHO outings include camping in tents or rustic cabins, but that was definitely NOT the case for our time at Mt. Magazine State Park!
The room I was in had a delightful balcony, overlooking the Arkansas River Valley, located near the center of our state.
Thewall decor in our room had a beautiful, framed painting of sumac, and I discovered the "real-life" versions of the plant that I saw in the park, were equally enchanting !
There are many scenic spots along the state highway that runs through the park, where one can enjoy the views and serenity, without hiking a long distance.
Weddings (both indoor and outdoor), are a common occurrence at Mt. Magazine State Park. To find out about having a wedding, or other special event/group outing here, just visit their website at www.MountMagazineStatePark.com .
My son had done some recreational rock climbing at Mt. Magazine, so I wanted to see the area that was used for that sport. The park ranger told me it was directly below the lodge, so I ventured down the trail below the lodge to explore. Since it was almost dark, there were no rock climbers, but I did encounter a nice couple, who offered to take a photo of me, on top of the bluffs used by the climbers.
The dining room of the new Mt. Magazine Lodge is spacious, with a three-story glass wall that allows views of the magnificent views on top of the mountain.
At sunset, you can be sure that folks will be gathering below the lodge, to see the skies do their "color shifting" from pale blue to pink to red---depending on the atmospheric conditions each evening.
I was intrigued by watching the sunset reflections on the outside of the dining room windows, as well as the actual sunset! The darker the skies became, the more dramatic was the reflection.
There is a modern visitor center at the park that has clean restrooms, helpful rangers, a gift shop, and very interesting exhibits. It was the meeting place for members of our group, as we gathered from all points of the state, for our first "official" hike of the outing.
Exhibits inside the Visitor Center tell everything one needs to know about the biology and geology of the park.
Mt. Magazine is one of the few places in the U.S. that is suitable for the growth of the very rare, "Maple Leaved Oak Tree". I was delighted when I saw specimens of it growing along some of the trails and overlook areas! This photo was taken at the Petit Jean Valley Overlook.
It is fun to hike at Mt. Magazine at any time of year, but going in the fall will enable you to enjoy the autumn palette of a hardwood forest. Our group was on the last weekend in October.
All of us wanted to take the short hike to the summit of Mt. Magazine, so we could say we put our feet on the highest point in Arkansas!
The Bible Study for the session of FBC First Place 4 Health, that starts in the new year, is called "Training for Success" . Information on purchasing the book may be found on their website, www.FirstPlace4Health.com . When you get to the website, you will see that you can enter your zip code, to see where group classes are held near where you live. Even if you cannot attend the weekly classes I lead in Mountain Home (see www.myfbcmh.com for more information), I would recommend using this book on your own at home, as a training guide. Applying the principles taught in it, will give you "Miles of Smiles"! Tricia