|Highest Peak||Mount Magazine|
|Elevation||2,753 feet (839 metres)|
|First climbed||1819||Thomas Nuttall(?)|
|Vertical Elevation||Cameron Bluff carpark||~153ft (46m)|
|Total Distance (Oneway)||Cameron Bluff carpark||400 yards (365m)|
|Estimated hiking time||20 minutes|
|Required Maps||Mount Magazine State Park Hiking Trails|
|Date climbed||July 2009|
This certainly didn't turn out be the hike that I was hoping for. Infact, blink and you'll miss the walk altogher. This isn't to say climbing Arkansas' highest peak isn't a nice walk. But you're more likely to get excercise changing the radio dial on the way to the walk than walk itself. I drove 3 hours for a 1 hour walk, followed by 3 hours back to my hotel.
Fortunately, Mount Magazine or more specifically Signal Hill (which is the name of the actual summit), located in one Arkansas' newest State Parks, offers more than 14 miles of pretty scenic hiking trails in and around the park.
Mount Magazine State Park is located on Scenic Highway 309 approximately 17 miles south of Paris; or from Danville, travel nine miles west on Ark. 10 to Havana, then go 10 miles north on Scenic Highway 309.
The trail up the hill is well marked, well trodden and shouldn't be any problems to anyone. I'm pretty sure you could push a wheelchair up there if you really tried.
It took us about 15 minutes to reach the summit, at which point there is a big stone platform (apparently of Arkansas), a visitors book, and a big sign telling you are at Arkansas' highest point. There isn't any view to speak of.
After a few happy snaps, there isn't much else to do, but walk back down again. There is another trail back down the mountain, which eventually leads back to the carpark. We actually extended our walk and crossed the Gutter Rock Creek and came back via the northern (or back) end of the carpack. This added about 45 minutes to our walk and was a little more challenging (although still pretty easy).
All in all, a nice easy walk which can be completed in a short time. There are loads of other walks to do in the area, so ensure you drop in at the Visitors Centre on the way in and pick up a map. You can also purchase drinks and a few chocolate bars here.
Do ensure you that you drop by the spectacular Lodge on the southern side of Signall Hill. This has pretty awesome views of the surrounding valley.
When I climbed Signall Hill (July) it was hot. Dam Hot! 110 degrees. Therefore my advice would be wear shorts. However, like anywhere else, the weather can change quickly and can get cold in winter, hot in summer. Given the actual walk is relatively short, it's unlikely you'll be caught out completely.
Nevertheless, it's always worth checking out the local forecast before venturing outdoors.
The Mount Magazine State Park - www.mountmagazinestatepark.com website has really useful information about the park, history, other walks and weather. Certainly worth checking out.
|Avg. Precip.||2.4 in||3.3 in||4.6 in||4.3 in||5.4 in||3.8 in||3.3 in||2.9 in||4.1 in||3.9 in||4.4 in||4.1 in|
On this adventure: Stuart and Roland