Mount Magazine State Park is in Paris, Arkansas which is two hours south of our home in Fayetteville, Arkansas. We recently booked a cabin for a weekend stay. We pulled up to the cabin and my first impression was that it was big and gorgeous and completely exceeded my expectations.
The cabin we rented had two bedrooms and two bathrooms along with a wraparound deck where we could take in the amazing views of the Petit Jean River Valley. At 2,753 feet in elevation, Mount Magazine is the highest point in Arkansas.
One of our favorite things about the cabin was the private hot tub. We enjoyed relaxing under the stars each night.
Vaulted wood ceilings, a stone fireplace, and leather couches created a cozy atmosphere inside the cabin. There was a full kitchen where we could make our own meals.
mount magazine lodge
The cabins are spaced far enough a part that I felt we had enough privacy, but they are also close enough to the lodge that it is easy (and beautiful) to walk there. The lodge has sixty guest rooms and fabulous amenities including an indoor swimming pool and a gift shop.
mount magazine lodge restaurant
We enjoyed breakfast at Skycrest Restaurant at the lodge. The food was good, and the views were unbelievable.
You can make reservations for the cabins, lodge, or campsites at Mount Magazine on the state park’s website.
Overall, I was blown away by Mount Magazine’s views and accommodations. It was such an easy, relaxing trip. In the next weeks, I’ll share about the hikes and nearby excursions we enjoyed (including a trip to a brewery run by monks).
This weekend we celebrated Valentine’s Day with candy, flowers, a nice dinner, and an adventurous family hike in Devil’s Den State Park. The park is located in West Fork, Arkansas which is a 30 to 40 minute drive from our new hometown of Fayetteville, Arkansas.
This was our second visit to Devil’s Den. On our first trip, we enjoyed the Devil’s Den Self Guided trail. This time we decided to try the Yellow Rock trail.
The drop offs are very steep from the top of Yellow Rock, so it was important to be extra cautious, but I was happy to find that there was enough space for the girls to safely eat a snack and rest.
Although the overlook was the clear highlight of the hike, the rest of the trail is filled with gorgeous scenery from glimpses into the valley to little waterfalls spilling down rugged bluffs.
Further along the trail, we could look back and see people enjoying the views on the Yellow Rock overlook. This was a popular spot. We saw some big groups hiking together, a couple young families like ours, and several people with their dogs.
We took a right, heading back up towards our car instead of following the trail to the main trailhead that the signage points to.
After our climb uphill, we enjoyed a nice flat section of the hike where large cedars towered on both sides of the trail. I would buy a candle that smelled like this.
My husband mapped our hike with his Garmin watch. According to GPS, we hiked a total of 2.3 miles.
Our girls did great on the hike walking uphills, getting muddy, feeling a little cold, and altogether staying tough. We encouraged them with snacks waiting for them when we reached the overlook and also back at the car.
They also did a good job listening. There were definitely sections that we held on tight to their hands to help them across slippery wet rocks or to ensure they staid far away from steep drop-offs. Our three-year-old needed us to give her rest and so she was carried for big sections. I feel comfortable recommending this hike for young families, but just want to point out that the trail is rated as moderate and it’s not one where kids can run ahead of you on their own.
‘Oh the weather outside is’…. beautiful! I’m excited that we kicked off our Christmas vacation with family time outdoors. The weather was sunny with temperatures in the 60s when we headed to Withrow Springs State Park. The park is located near Huntsville, Arkansas which is approximately 20 minutes away from our home in Northwest Arkansas. Entrance into the park is free. Dogs are allowed on a leash.
Withrow Springs has three hiking trails (click here for map) along with campsites and a visitor center. Additional attractions include a fishing pond, natural spring, picnic areas, swimming pool, playground, tennis courts, baseball fields, and kayak/canoe rental service. Some of the amenities are seasonal. Visitors can call 479-559-2593 for more information.
war eagle trail
We decided to hike along the War Eagle Trail so we could enjoy the river and bluff views. We parked at the trail parking lot and began the 1 mile/way hike which follows along War Eagle Creek.
Easy, but narrow Trail
This trail is rated as ‘easy’, but there are several places along the trail which become very narrow and steep. We took things slow and held hands with our young daughters (ages 2 and 5) through these sections.
There is a small cave that marks the halfway point on the hike. The cave is closed to “help prevent the spread of White Nose Syndrome among Arkansas’ bat population,” according to state park officials. For us, this added to the mystery – the girls enjoyed peaking inside and were curious what could be found in the dark.
After the cave, the trail climbs uphill through forest.
The girls were excited to bring their own backpacks which held snacks and water bottles.
The burst uphill is rewarded with scenic views from a 150 foot bluff overlook. This is the highlight of the hike and worth taking a moment to stop and enjoy the views of the surrounding Ozarks.
After we passed the bluff, the trail soon flattened out and led to a turn-around point. We decided to cross the street (ARK Hwy 23) to have a snack at the picnic tables located near the Keith Ham Pavilion and the starting point of the Dogwood Trail.
The girls and I staid behind with our snacks while my husband hiked one mile back along the War Eagle Trail to get our car. We made this decision because we were a little nervous to travel back down some of the steeper sections of the trail with our girls.
first day hike
Looking for a great way to kick off 2020? The staff at Withrow Springs will be hosting a one-mile hike that covers the Dogwood Trail and portions of the War Eagle Trail on the morning of January 1, 2020. More info…