And I just surpassed the NPS for the longest name of something! We left Hot Springs on Arkansas State Route 7 which is a scenic byway through the Ouachita’s. Known as Scenic 7 the road takes you to Arkansas Route 22. This trip will take us across the Ouachita’s and the Ozarks which are divided by the valley of the Arkansas River.
Once on Arkansas 22 we headed west for Paris. In Paris we picked up Scenic 309 to Mt Magazine State Park. Mt. Magazine is the highest point in Arkansas on Signal Hill elevation 2753 feet, and it is also the highest point of the American interior between the major mountain ranges. Surprisingly it is in the lesser-known Ouachita Mountains not the Ozarks.
This is a place to come and rent a cabin for a couple nights. They are perched on the bluffs near the lodge with the above view. We started at the trailhead near the lodge as opposed to the campground. It was a short hike with gradual elevation gain to the summit of Signal Hill. Mt Magazine is more of a ridge then a mountain and has two distinct crests. The lower at 2700 feet is known as Mossback Ridge and Signal Hill which rises 53 feet higher.
I thoroughly enjoyed this one mile hike with the hardwood trees and shade, much like being back in NC. In Texas it is sunny, hot, and rocky everywhere you go.
We topped Signal Hill and to our disappointment we have already seen the best views from the lodge/cabin area. There is a sign, a flag stone map of Arkansas and a sign in sheet at the top. and trees, that’s it just trees. But we can say and prove we have been to the highest point in Arkansas since I signed the registry.
We descended, thought about eating at the lodge, didn’t, but should have, (didn’t find a restaurant for hours after this) and headed for Eureka Springs. We got on Arkansas 23 north, passed through Ozark which had no acceptable eating places and soon hit the Pig Tail Byway. This is a huge motorcycle route. Motorcyclists love curvy roads. What struck me as odd is that there were tons of places to spend the night along the Byway but no place to eat!
We arrived in Huntsville which was the only major town between Ozark and Eureka Springs and found of all things a McDonalds. We were famished so we surrendered to eating that mediocre food. Shortly after our very late lunch we got to Eureka Springs.
Finally after a long day on the road we are here!
to be continued……………………………