Things to Do Near Mount Magazine State Park in Arkansas

We recently took a trip to Mount Magazine State Park in Arkansas. I’ve written about the wonderful cabin and the great hikes. For my last post about this trip, I want to share about some of the restaurants and attractions near Mount Magazine that we enjoyed.

On our way into the park, we decided to stop about half way to eat dinner in Ozark. We were happy to find a Mexican restaurant named Mi Casita that overlooked the Arkansas River. We arrived early on Friday evening (around 5:45 pm) and had the outdoor patio to ourselves.

Mi Casita in Ozark, AR. Riverviews of Arkansas River. Places to eat in Ozark.
View from Mi Casita in Ozark, AR

Country Monks Brewing at Subiaco Abbey

Once we got to our cabin at Mount Magazine, it was hard to leave it. We wrote all about the cabin here. But, we wanted to explore the area, so we took a trip out to Country Monks Brewing at Subiaco Abbey.

Subiaco Brewery, Subiaco Arkansas. Monk Beer Arkansas

There were several picnic tables outside of the tasting room which was located in the middle of beautiful farm land. (405 North Subiaco Avenue in Subiaco, Arkansas) It was a 30 minute drive from Mount Magazine State Park. The tap room is open on Saturdays from 9:00 am to 4:00 pm.

According to their website,  “It is a ministry for us, because it allows us to welcome guests to our monastery as Christ Himself would be welcomed (part of our Rule of St. Benedict, chapter 53). Likewise,  the profits generated go to the continuous care of our elder monastic brothers in our Health Center.”

We felt welcomed and we thought the beer was great too. We also enjoyed a walk around the abbey gardens. I would definitely recommend the trip to Subiaco.

Subiaco gardens, Arkansas monastery
Subiaco Abbey, Arkansas monastery

Altus and Wiederkehr Village

The next day was our final day of the trip. We decided to drive back home through Altus and Wiederkehr Village. The towns are known for wine making and German-Swiss heritage. We had lunch at the Weinkeller Restaurant, a ‘hand-dug 1880 wine cellar featuring award-winning continental cuisine and on National Register of Historic Places.’ (according to Arkansas.com)

We sat at a table with a red checked table cloth outside of the charming restaurant. It felt like we were far away from home (in a good way)! Our lunch was traditional swiss food. It was the perfect ending to our Arkansas adventure weekend.

Weinkeller Restaurant near Altus, Arkansas. Arkansas wine.

Arkansas has so many hidden gems, and I’m glad we had the chance to support these local restaurants on our trip.

Mount Magazine Cabins: Stay at The Highest Point in Arkansas

Mount Magazine State Park Arkansas Highest Point

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.

Mount Magazine Cabins

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.

Mount Magazine cabin views
Views on a foggy fall morning at Mount Magazine State Park

One of our favorite things about the cabin was the private hot tub. We enjoyed relaxing under the stars each night.

rent a cabin at mount magazine

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

mount magazine lodge
Sunset over Lodge at Mount Magazine

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.

mount magazine lodge restaurant

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).

Hiking Arkansas: Lake Fort Smith State Park

Our family recently took a day-trip down to Lake Fort Smith, which is a 40 minute drive from our hometown of Fayetteville, Arkansas. We enjoyed the scenic route down Highway 49 through the Boston Mountains. The drive lulled our youngest into a nap.

Lake Fort Smith Visitor Center

When we arrived at Lake Fort Smith State Park, my husband offered to sit with her for a few extra minutes while I took my 5-year-old into the Visitor Center. She loved the educational exhibits about American pioneers.

Covered wagon exhibit at Lake Fort Smith Visitor Center
Covered wagon exhibit at the Lake Fort Smith Visitor Center
Lake Fort Smith Visitor Center
Bird watching at the Lake Fort Smith Visitor Center

From the back of the Visitor Center you can see Lake Fort Smith and the day-use areas that include a nice playground, several picnic pavilions, and the marina where you can rent canoes and fishing boats.

Day use amenities at Lake Fort Smith State Park in Arkansas

ozark highlands trail

Next to the Visitor Center there is an entrance onto the Ozark Highlands Trail. The entire trail is 253 miles long!

Ozark Highlands Trail

As we hiked along the trail, we could see several of the campgrounds that are available within the park. We were impressed by how many people were camping early in the season. Cabins and group lodging options are also available.

Family friendly hiking trail at Lake Fort Smith

This section of the trail was easy enough for our 3 and 5-year-olds to hike mostly on their own.

Hiking trail at Lake Fort Smith State Park

We enjoyed the tall pine trees and views of the lake.

Hiking in Northwest Arkansas

The girls found a couple of boulders along the trail that made great spots for snack breaks.

Hiking Arkansas

The trail crossed over several streams that fed into the lake.

waterfall lake fort smith state park

We hiked to a small waterfall which was about 1 mile from our starting point. We turned around after viewing the falls and returned on the same path.

waterfall along Ozark Highlands Trail in Lake Fort Smith State Park, Arkansas
Waterfall on Ozark Highlands Trail
Lake Fort Smith State Park - Arkansas
Lake Fort Smith in Arkansas

I’m glad we got the opportunity to go to Lake Fort Smith for the first time. We were impressed with the Visitor Center, Ozark Highland Trail, and the camping amenities. We look forward to returning when the weather is warmer, so we can rent a canoe and have a picnic by the lake.

Great american cleanup

If you are looking for a fun way to support the state parks, Saturday, March 21, 2020 volunteers can meet at Lake Fort Smith Visitor Center from 9am – 12pm to help clean up litter. Free t-shirts and hot dogs will be given out (while supplies last) plus a door prize will be given out. Click here to learn more about how to participate.