Mount Magazine Scenic Byway


A view along the Mount Magazine Scenic Byway
A view along the Mount Magazine Scenic Byway

Mount Magazine Scenic Byway is a 24.9-mile route across parts of Ozark and Ouachita National Forests, summiting Mount Magazine, the highest point in Arkansas (2,753'), along the way. The route is heavily forested and is mountainous, meaning: hairpin switchbacks and sharp curves as it negotiates the sides and the the flat top of this ancient mountain.

The biggest vistas are from the southern and eastern sides of the mountain: rugged rock bluffs, timber-covered mountains running off into the distance and several beautiful lakes down below. The National Forest Service operates a recreation area at Cove Lake offering camping, boating, hiking and horseback riding trails, swimming and picnicking. The former NFS recreation area atop Mount Magazine is now Mount Magazine State Park.

North of Mount Magazine, the highway passes through the town of Paris, once the heart of the Arkansas coal mining region. These days the route in that area is lined with hayfields and rolling pasturelands with scattered natural gas wells.