We stayed at the Mt. Magazine Lodge which offered an amazing view, friendly staff, and excellent food. We did a lot of walking on paved paths and hiked several of the mountain trails on offer. Mornings and evenings were cold and windy, but during the days, the weather was that perfect fall crispness that we look forward to after our hot and humid Louisiana summers.
Mt. Magazine is the highest peak in Arkansas, and we hiked up Signal Hill to reach the highest point on the mountain. It wasn't that much higher than the lodge, but the trail spiraled up (thankfully--the spiral kept the incline just steep enough to be challenging and that was plenty for me). When I checked my Fitbit after an afternoon of hiking a couple of trails, I was surprised to see we had "climbed" 47 flights of stairs.
We met a young woman at the lodge whose goal is to climb the highest peak in each state. I thought that was an intriguing goal, so when we got home I did a little research. Here is a link to the highest elevation in each state--and boy, is there a lot of variation! Mt. Deanli in Alaska is 20, 320 ft. high and Britton Hill in Florida is only 345 ft. high.
You can see mountains in every direction from the lodge.
Shortly after sunrise, the valley is covered in fog and the lake in billowy clouds.
The effort that goes into preserving the flora and fauna of the area is impressive, and even this late in the year, there were butterflies visiting the pollinator gardens even though most of the plants were long past their summer glory.
I want to visit again in the spring or early summer to see the plants in bloom and the diverse population of butterflies the Mount Magazine State Park is known for.