The Lodge at Mount Magazine State Park

The Beauty of Escaping to Mount Magazine


Have you been searching for all of the things to do and see at Mount Magazine State Park and coming up short? If you are like me, when I found out that we were headed there, I started doing research to plan our trip. I wasn’t seeing much, but that didn’t stop us from going. And then I discovered it. That’s the beauty of escaping to Mount Magazine! There isn’t much to do and you aren’t in a hopping touristy town


You are actually about 30 minutes away from downtown Paris, AR. From East Texas, we arrived in Arkansas several hours before our 4 o’clock check in for the Lodge at Mount Magazine, so we decided to grab a bite to eat and check out Paris.  With a population of about 3200 people, it has a nice town Square surrounding a century old courthouse. Paris is the county seat of Northern Logan County.  


Across from the courthouse on one corner, you will find Eiffel Tower Park. The small park has an 18 foot Eiffel Tower atop a 7 ft 2-tiered fountain, a stage, and a Love Lock fence covered in locks. Some are very old and cool!


Paris has a significant coal mining history that basically built up the town. Fortunately, this history has been preserved at the Paris-Logan County Coal Miners Memorial & Museum. I would like to spend some time here on my next visit to Mount Magazine!


Time to go up the mountain to spend the next several days. With an on-site restaurant serving three meals a day, we found no reason to leave. There’s plenty of hiking to do and even some waterfalls to see up there. The 20-30 minute drive up to the Lodge at Mount Magazine was beautiful. Later Spring, Fall or covered in snow would be even more spectacular I bet. 


Everyone at The Lodge at Mount Magazine State Park was very friendly and happy to answer any questions and provide information/suggestions. The lodge overlooks Petit Jean River Valley and Blue Mountain Lake and most rooms have balconies to enjoy this spectacular view. There are numerous indoor and outdoor areas about the lodge and restaurant to sit and take in the panoramic scene too. 


The lodge is home to Skycrest Restaurant. This destination restaurant serves 3 meals daily, including an all you can eat buffet, offered at many meal times. You do not have to be staying at the lodge to dine here and enjoy the food, drinks and views. Can’t tell you how many motorcycle groups stopped in while we were here. One of the lodge’s massive fireplaces is located in the restaurant too.


With the lodge being in Mount Magazine State Park, the Visitors Center is just a short distance down the road (Corner of 309 & Mt Magazine Rd). Again, you will find friendly and knowledgeable staff here as well. Browse the gift shop or get info on hikes and scenic drives here. 


Also near the lodge, off Mt Magazine Rd, is (Cameron Bluff) Overlook Drive. Take this one way loop and stop at the various pull over points for incredible views, an amphitheater and more. Follow the sign. 


The 1st pull over is Cameron Bluff Overlook. Walk out onto the stone platform for a mesmerizing vista. Come back up to the parking area via the shady steps on other end. 


The 2nd pull over gave us access to the amphitheater. The original was a WPA project in 1939 that had deteriorated. The restored version seats 300 and has a hand-railed, concrete path leading to an observation area and to steps leading down into the amphitheater seating. More fabulous views here, including back to the Cameron Bluff platform where we had just been. 


Our next stop led us thru a gazebo to a short stone platform to enjoy another perspective. From the high rocky cliffs, it’s just peaceful rolling hills and trees below. 


Continuing along Overlook Drive, we stopped at the next pullover with an old stone structure and picnic tables. We should’ve gotten a to-go lunch from the lodge restaurant to enjoy here. The rocks led out to the edge of the cliff here for pretty but dangerous views. No platform or railing, so be cautious. 


After a shallow pull over with similar views, the last stop ( you are still on the one-way loop) will be across from the Mt Magazine State Park sign. This is a gorgeous water view!


One other short drive, from the Visitor Center on HWY 309, is Hardy Falls. You can park on the side of the road here to see the falls. It’s a three in one waterfall stop thanks to the road cutting thru here and strategically placed culverts. We highly recommend visiting here. 

From the road, you will be able to see to smaller falls up on the other side. You will also be able to look down on a longer cascading fall below. 

Hardy Falls Mount Magazine State Park

Our favorite part was being able to walk through the culvert from one side of the road to the other four awesome views. There was very little water in the culvert the day we were there. Do not go in the culverts if there is much flowing water-you don’t want to become part of the waterfall!


A short and easy, but must do hike, is Mount Magazine Signal Hill Trail. This will get you up to an elevation of 2,753 ft and Arkansas’ highest point. Don’t worry you’ll only have 150 ft or so elevation gain since you are basically at the top of the mountain anyway. It’s totally wooded up there, so don’t expect the valley views. You’ll have to drive the previously mentioned  Cameron Bluff Overlook loop for those. 

Mount Magazine State Park

At the top you will see a sign that you made it, a stone Arkansas shaped map and a mailbox to add your name to the registry. And you will have been at the highest point in Arkansas. 


Another very short hike, even shorter, is from Mount Magazine Lodge. It’s Old Lodge Trail right there on the premises. A definite view of Petit Jean River Valley from the cliff. No rails or fencing here so be aware and don’t let littles run ahead of you!


Our last hike was longer and desolate. We ended up turning around less than half way and coming back. We kept meandering off to other trails to get closer to the cliff edge for views, so I’m not sure how far we went. We thot we might see some waterfalls but actually just saw Lori Creek and Mount Magazine Cascade. Started and ended at Brown’s Spring Picnic Area. Walked on Tower Road some. Never made it to Sunset Point or even Dripping Spring Needle’s Eye. Maybe next time. Haha


We did enjoy sunsets and sunrises at the lodge tho! That lodge has a perfect design for all of the views and balconies to enjoy them from. Would definitely stay here again. 


We enjoyed everything about escaping to Mount Magazine State Park.  It was a relaxing time away just enjoying God’s creation. An added bonus was seeing all of the butterflies. Didn’t realize that was such a significant Arkansas thing! 

Follow us on social media to find out about our next destination.  

Getaway to Fredericksburg soon! You'll love it!

About Us

We are Bud and Debbie Lilly, two travel lovers from Texas. Spending an enormous amount of time researching each location to find the best places to eat, sites to see and things to do is actually something I love to do. Not for everyone, I know. But, we are blogging our experiences to let you know what you can expect in each location and so you don’t have to redo the research. Let us know if you go on any of the same trips and if you find places that impress you. We would love to hear from you!

We feel so enriched by the people we meet and the places we see. Thank you for supporting our blog!

2 thoughts on “The Beauty of Escaping to Mount Magazine”

  1. We take our side by side ATV up there. There are beautiful rides. It is my favorite thing to do there. There is a man that rents ATVs and takes folks on guided tours.

    1. That sounds awesome!! Maybe we will check that out next time. I bet it would be a beautiful ride in the Fall. Thanks for the info!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *