July 18th, 2003 around 3:00 pm
I visited Louisiana’s highpoint early this morning and drove straight from there to Mount Magazine. The area surrounding the highpoint is actually very beautiful. Also, it appears that quite a bit of time and money has been invested in the Mount Magazine park. There were a number of new signs, the roads are very nice, and the trail to the highpoint along with the actual highpoint were all very well kept.
The only problem with the highpoint was that despite the trailheads (yes, there are two places where you can begin the hike) being well marked, there wasn’t a specific place for parking. I ended up parking in what I think might have been a campground, but there weren’t any people in there. The hike to the summit took about fifteen minutes, though I stopped for about five minutes to snap pictures of a bunch of butterflies that were in a large group on some flowers right next to the trail.
The highpoint itself is actually very nice. There is a nice wooden sign and monument on the summit. The registry is perhaps the nicest I’ve ever seen, also made out of wood and nicely finished. The GSGA marker is set in a rock monument that is also very nice. I snapped a bunch of pictures and headed back down to my car. This is actually a park where it would be nice to spend some time camping and hiking. There are lodges, campsites, and hiking trails all over. There is also a decent sized town, Paris, AR, not far away, for supplies. I also wanted to stop at the abbey/school in Subiaco, which was very beautiful, but didn’t; maybe at some point in the future.
Though there isn’t much of a view from the summit, the whole experience (other than the parking) was very enjoyable and impressive.
Here’s a map from Paris, AR:
View Larger Map