The Benefield East Loop Trail at Mount Magazine State Park is one of my favorite short trails. This one-mile loop has some of the best views in the park.
Mount Magazine State Park sits on the highest mountain in Arkansas. It is near Paris in Logan County and is surrounded by the Magazine District of the Ozark National Forest (the only part of the Ozark Forest south of the Arkansas River).
The Reservoir Trail at Queen Wilhelmina State Park is a short but vigorous hillside walk. It makes a .4-mile (each way) downhill zigzag on the south side of Rich Mountain leading to a historic reservoir.
The trail starts at the wooden walkway at the south end of Queen Wilhelmina Lodge. This spot is also the south trailhead for the Lovers Leap Trail.
From here, the trail heads to the right (west). Pretty quickly, the trail begins its downhill descent.
By its end, the trail descends 200 feet in elevation.
Fern Falls is a quick hike just off of Highway 7 south of Jasper. There is not an official trail here, but the trail to it generally follows some old road traces and thus tends to be fairly easy to follow.
The hike is a bit of a mess after a lot of trees and branches fell during the 2009 ice storm, but we found our way without any problem and got to view a nice waterfall as our reward when we made this hike in April.
Getting to the Trailhead
The trailhead begins 11.4 miles south of the Jasper square on Highway 7. At 11.4 miles, there is a “Historic Highway 7″ sign on the west side of the highway.
There is no official parking area here, but if you can pull off the side of the highway here and find a place to park, that’s the spot.
The trail begins just behind the sign.
Hiking to the Falls
The trail starts off along an old road and heads down the hill a bit. It’s a fairly well-defined road, so it’s easy enough to follow.