Mount Magazine - Cove Lake Trail System

Paris, Arkansas 72855

Mount Magazine - Cove Lake Trail System

Mount Magazine - Cove Lake Trail System Professional Review and Guide

"This trail system starts near the tallest peak in Arkansas and winds down the mountain past old homestead sites, through virgin forests, along imposing blufflines, by mossy glades, and around the pristine waters of Cove Lake. The Mount Magazine–Cove Lake area is a combination of state park and USDA Forest Service trails.

The state park lands are atop the mountain and include the crowning peak, Signal Hill, which is the highest point in Arkansas at 2,753 feet. The Forest Service supervises the Cove Lake trails that start at Cameron Bluff and wind their way northward to the loop around the lake. Moderate temperatures prevail. When the valleys down below are sweltering in July and August, the high altitudes of Mount Magazine may be 10 to 15 degrees cooler."

Mount Magazine - Cove Lake Trail System Reviews

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My hiking partner and I started on the opposite side of the campsites with our dogs and set out around Cove Lake. We took the trail up the hill to the overlook, and let me tell you, it was a bit of a push, even for her. The overlook was a bit of a letdown, not much of a payoff, so we looped back down, took a break, and headed down the bathouse trail. Scenary was great, and the old style bridges really added a nice touch. Trail is well maintained, well marked, and easy to follow. Alot of ticks and bugs, so definately bring the deet. The trail completely encircled the lake, so word to the State of Arkansas: if you really are serious about ensuring people pay to get into certain areas of your parks, don't build hiking trails that people can walk into said areas for free on. Just saying. Other than the overlook climb, this wasn't a strenuous trail, and the scenary was well worth the trek. Cove Lake is a beautiful area, and I would definately recommend this trail for any hiking level.
Trail is washed out in some places but lots of repair work is currently underway. Beautiful views.
I hiked this trail on May 19, 2008, from the Corley Rd. access to the top of Mt. Magazine, an apx. hike of 7.5 mi. This is a challenging trail by Arkansas standards. The first 4 mi. is relatively flat or slightly decending. The last 3.5 mi are a steep ascent to the top of the mountain. Good workout. This is a lovely trail, nice mix of older growth hardwoods and pines. Some swift water cascades down small streams. There is a large pond in a glade before the ascent to the top of the mountain. Very pretty. The downside is the gas drilling. There has been a recent boom in natural gas exploration in this area and apparently the forest service (Ozark NF) feels that the mineral exploitation within the forest is more of a priority than the peace and serenity of one of the most beautiful areas of the mid-south. Within the forest bounadries are large gravel roads giving diesel trucks access to the drilling wells. The trail follows one of these roads from the Corley access, south apx. 3/4 mile. You do return to foot trails but you are accompanied by the steady drone on the gas drilling wells and truck engines, all the way to the top. This makes this potentially 5 star rated trail a 3. It is my hope that once the wells are drilled and installed, the only activity will be the well heads themselves, which are not so bad, and are quite common in Appalachia.

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Trail Information

Nearby City
Trail Type
Easy to Difficult
Skill Level
Mount Magazine State Park
Local Contacts
USGS Blue Mountain, Magazine Mountain NE
Local Maps

Activity Feed

Jul 2018