Epic Weekend at Mount Magazine State Park

Who doesn’t love the outdoors? Mount Magazine State Park near Paris, Arkansas, makes for the perfect weekend mountain escape to reinvigorate yourself from the workweek. So, get some fresh mountain air and explore the highest point in Arkansas! This article is for anyone who would like to visit Mount Magazine to camp, hike, take photos, and enjoy the sunset.

Mount Magazine State Park has a special place in our hearts, and we cannot wait to share all the details with you! This isn’t an article for every single thing to do at Mount Magazine; this is an article for how to explore some of the best trails, camp, and enjoy yourself in two days.

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North Rim Trail

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Mount Magazine State Park – Weekend Guide

Mount Magazine State Park is the perfect place to go for a weekend escape. Whether you’re looking to camp, hike, or just enjoy nature and get some fresh mountain air, Mount Magazine has something that will help anyone revive themselves.

The Park isn’t too far from a few major cities such as Tulsa, Oklahoma City, Little Rock, Dallas, and Memphis!

Are you ready to plan a fun weekend trip? Plan to just go!

Weekend Itinerary

  • Arrive and check-in at the Visitor Center to camp (check-in is around 3:00 pm)
  • Set up camp
  • Walk to the entrance of the campground, and across the street is the trailhead for Signal Hill
  • Hike Signal Hill
  • Have an early camp dinner, then head over to the Cameron Bluff Lookout to catch a sunset
  • Enjoy camp and hit the sack!
  • Wake up early – hike the North Rim Trail
  • Drive around and take pictures of the Park and check out the Benefield Overlook Area
  • Head back home
  • Stop in Paris, Arkansas, and take photos of their precious recreation of the Lovelock Bridge from Paris, France (cute!)
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View from the North Rim Trail

Best Things to Do at Mount Magazine State Park

Mount Magazine Hiking Trails

The State Park is home to over 14 miles of hiking trails boasting infinite possibilities for outdoor recreation. The Ouachita Mountains offer some incredible opportunities for hikers who enjoy solitude. Many of the trails at Mount Magazine originated as game trails that the American Indians historically used. Not only are there 14 miles of trails within the Park, but there are also miles of backcountry trails connecting as far as the Ozark Mountains (wow)!

There are eight (8) main trails to explore, but we want to share our two (2) favorites with you to pack into your weekend excursion!

North Rim Trail Details

  • Location: Within Mount Magazine State Park
  • Features: Hikes through the cedars and oaks, and across a few creeks, to epic views from the bluff openings. The famous photography point is Dill Point.
  • Difficulty: Moderate-Strenuous
  • Distance: 2.7 miles (one-way) from the Visitor Center to the Cove Lake Trail parking lot north of the campground, or a 4.2-mile loop connecting to the Mossback Ridge Trail.
  • Parking: Yes, multiple trailhead parking lot options (east or west ends)
  • Dog friendly: Yes, leash-requirement
  • Cost: Free
  • Restrooms: Yes, at the Visitor Center or campground area
  • Cell Phone Reception: Yes, enough to use AllTrails online
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Dill Point along the North Rim Trail

Signal Hill Trail Details

  • Location: Within Mount Magazine State Park
  • Features: Signal Hill is the tallest point in Arkansas at an elevation of 2,753 feet
  • Difficulty: Moderate
  • Distance: 1.8 miles
  • Parking: Yes, near the campground entrance or at the Lodge.
  • Dog friendly: Yes, leash-requirement
  • Cost: Free
  • Restrooms: Yes, at the Visitor Center, campground, and Lodge
  • Cell Phone Reception: Yes, enough to use AllTrails online

Hiking enthusiasts are sure to have fun exploring two (2) of the most fantastic hiking trails in Arkansas.

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Signal Hill Trailhead across from campground

Catch a Sunset at Cameron Bluff Overlook

Pause to watch the sunset from Cameron Bluff Overlook and take in all that nature has to offer. The forest surrounding you will be your soundtrack as you admire a view of rolling hills, bluffs, and the valley below. This is an excellent spot for capturing some great photo memories!

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Sunset at Cameron Bluff Lookout

There is a nice parking area to set yourself up to chase the sunset.

Mount Magazine State Park Camping

Who doesn’t love waking up in the morning to fresh mountain air?

There are 18 campsites with full hookups at the Park. Be sure to make reservations ahead of time by calling the Park or booking online. The campground fills up fast!

There are restrooms and shower facilities. The full hook-up campsites are spaced out nicely among trees so that you won’t feel crowded.

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Mount Magazine Campground Site #17

We absolutely loved camping here!

The is no cell phone reception at the campground.

How much does it cost to camp at Mount Magazine?

To check campground rates, call the Park ahead of time or check online.

Map of Mount Magazine State Park

Directions to Mount Magazine

The Park is located off Scenic Highway 309 near Paris, Arkansas. It is about 16 miles from Paris. Google maps will get you there.

You can also access the Park from Havana, Arkansas. From Havana, the Park is 10 miles north on Highway 309.

If you’re driving through Paris, Arkansas, be sure to stop in town to see their cute recreation and tribute to the Paris, France Lovelock Bridge. It is so cute!

Other Questions You May Have While Planning A Trip

Do you have to pay to get into Mount Magazine State Park?

The Park is free to use (as of 2021) unless you are camping. Isn’t that awesome!?

There are camping fees.

Does Mount Magazine have showers?

Yes, there are showers at the campground area, along with flushing toilets.

Is there cell phone reception?

The cell phone reception at Mount Magazine is hit and miss. It depends on where you are standing. Plan to unplug and unwind.

If you’re hiking, you might want to download offline maps for hiking. For example, we use the app AllTrails on our iPhones.

Is the Park pet-friendly?

Yes, dogs are allowed on the trails and at the campground on a leash.

When is the best time of year to visit?

Mount Magazine is open year-round. So, depending on what you’re planning to do, you can enjoy the park all year long.

If you’re visiting in the spring, the temperatures will be cooler, and the plants will just be starting to green up. It will be a great time to hike when it’s cooler.

For summer adventures, hike earlier in the day to beat the heat. Most of the trails are in the shade. Be sure to pack bug spray!

Fall is always an incredible time of year to play in the Ouachitas to see the fall foliage.

Winter is cooler but a great time to enjoy the scenic hikes. There are no bugs, and the days are shorter, so there is less time to explore. However, it does get cold here in the winter, so wear appropriate winter hiking clothes!

Is the Park crowded?

Overall, the Park isn’t crowded. We visited over a Thursday-Friday during the middle of July. Weekends are busier, of course.

Leave No Trace

Always practice Leave No Trace while exploring the outdoors to protect the environment.

Shop Hiking Gear

Below are recommendations for gear we love that might interest you.

Osprey Day Hiking Bag

Oboz Hiking Boots & Smartwool Socks

Mount Magazine Highest Point in Arkansas

Mount Magazine State Park is a gem in the Ouachita Mountains that provides stunning views and peace of mind. The Park offers camping, hiking trails, and scenic overlooks for some epic photography opportunities with an observation lookout to take breathtaking pictures from high up on top of one of Arkansas’s highest points.

You will fall head over heels with this place!

Get your best gear ready because there’s something here for camping enthusiasts, hikers, and nature lovers alike.

Thanks for reading!

Ashlee & Pablo


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About The Author

Ashlee Fechino

I’m a travel and outdoor recreation writer with dreams to inspire happiness through an outdoorsy lifestyle. I want to help people live their best life by sharing free adventure guides. The USA has been my backyard most of my life, and it’s the place where you’ll find most of our escapades! I’m married to an expat Argentine, chihuahua Mom, and am passionate about the environment. I hold a BS degree in Biology and MS in Environmental Policy & Sustainability. We camp in our Aliner often, love road trips, hiking, and SUP’ing!

16 COMMENTS

  1. Cristina Sala | 28th Jul 21

    Maravillosa la escapada de fin de semana. Los veo a ambos tan lindos disfrutando y respirando tanta naturaleza. Los abrazo . los amo.

    • Ashlee Fechino | 29th Jul 21

      ¡Hola Cristina! Gracias por leer y comentar. ¡Te echamos de menos! ¡Te amamos!

  2. William Randall | 28th Jul 21

    I’d like to camp here one day, guys !! HAPPY camping !!

    • Ashlee Fechino | 29th Jul 21

      Hi Uncle Burt! Thanks for reading. You’d love it here! So pretty – the hills and views go for miles.

  3. kmf | 11th Aug 21

    I’m all about day hikes. Would love to check out Mount Magazine State Park near Paris, Arkansas! Beautiful!

    • Ashlee Fechino | 11th Aug 21

      Hi Karen – thanks for reading. You would love hiking in Arkansas!

  4. Anna / At Lifestyle Crossroads | 11th Aug 21

    Wow! 14 miles of hiking trails – so awesome! I´ve never heard of Mount Magazine State Park before – what a discovery! Also, the sunset at Cameron Bluff Overlook looks so romantic! Thanks for the inspiration

    • Ashlee Fechino | 11th Aug 21

      Hi Anna! Mount Magazine is wonderful. Thanks for reading. Hope you can visit someday. Arkansas has beautiful state parks.

  5. Kaitlyn | 11th Aug 21

    Oh wow! Those views are absolutely stunning! I can’t imagine what it looks like in the fall with all the leaves changing color!

    • Ashlee Fechino | 11th Aug 21

      Hi Kaitlyn! Yes on fall in northwest Arkansas! It is simply the best! Thanks for stopping by.

  6. Lynda | 11th Aug 21

    While I won’t be camping in Arkansas anytime soon, I would love to go back to the Wonder State and try digging for diamonds (again). I really wish that I could get into hiking.

    • Ashlee Fechino | 11th Aug 21

      Hi Lynda – so cool you went to Crater of Diamonds State Park. That is on our bucket list for this fall when it cools off!

  7. Hannah | 11th Aug 21

    I’ve not yet explored Arkansas, and the Ouachitas look absolutely lush and beautiful. I love your little camper – am tempted by something like that myself

    • Ashlee Fechino | 11th Aug 21

      Hi Hannah – the Ouachitas and Ozarks are beautiful. We love northwest Arkansas. We also love our Aliner Ranger camper. You should get one!

  8. Shelly Shainess | 13th Aug 21

    Mount Magazine State Park Looks like one to add to our list.

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