Description - Mt. Magazine Scenic Byway and the adjoining Developed Forest Roads provide the visitor with an exquisite winding mountain drive with sharp curves and "hairpin" switchbacks leading the traveler over this flat topped mountain.
At an elevation of 2,753 feet, Mt. Magazine provides many vistas along the north and south slopes. Spectacular views of timber covered mountains, rugged rock bluffs, and beautiful lakes await the mountain visitor.
Not only is Mt. Magazine the highest point in the state, it is considered the tallest mountain between the Rocky Mountains and the Appalachian Mountains.
- The Mount Magazine is known for it's Natural, Recreational and Scenic Attractions.
Recreation - The Forest Service operates Cove Lake and Mt. Magazine Recreation Areas which lie along the Byway and serve recreation visitors who are seeking extended recreational experiences. Boating, camping, hiking and horse trails, fishing and swim beach/picnic opportunities are available on both Cove Lake and throughout the recreation area.
The State of Arkansas maintains four existing scenic overlooks along the north slope of the Mt. Magazine. Other recreation facilities include; East End, Greenfield and Brown Springs picnic areas, Cameron Bluff campground, the lodge site and overlook, Mt. Magazine and Signal Hill hiking trails, access to the 10.8 mile hiking trail to Cove Lake, Petit Jean Overlook, Cameron Bluff Overlook area, and numerous vistas of the Arkansas and Petit Jean River Valleys.
The Mt. Magazine Scenic Byway passes many small farms and the traveler will also see various forest types including stands of Short Leaf Pine, Red Oak, White Oak, Hickory, and old fields in early successional growth.
The ever changing fauna and flora along this byway provides the traveler with a variety of unique viewing possibilities.
Climate - The Ozark Region has four distinct seasons with a temperature range from 10-15 degrees below zero to over 100 degrees F. Winters have occasional cold periods of brief duration with daily temperatures near zero in January and February. Annual precipitation measures around 50 inches, but the range may vary considerably from this average. Snowfall occurs in the forest covering the ground from a few hours to occasional extended periods of up to several days. The area can offer snow-free outdoor recreation opportunities during the winter months. Be prepared however, for occasional cold weather during the winter, especially at the higher elevations of the Forests.
Located in the north/central portion of the state, State Highway 309 is classified as a State Scenic Highway. The Mt. Magazine Scenic Byway includes a 20.4 mile segment of Arkansas State Highway 309 from the Magazine District forest boundary south of Paris, Arkansas, to just north of Havana, Arkansas.
The Magazine District and Magazine Scenic Byway are accessible to Interstate 40, an east- west route which crosses the state just north of the Arkansas River. Paris, Arkansas is just a short drive from Fort Smith National Historic Site. This National Park Service site offers an opportunity to "step back in time" and features the remains of two frontier garrisons, the Federal Court for the Western District of Arkansas, "Hangin' Judge" Isaac C. Parker's courtroom, jail and an 1886 gallows.