Mount Magazine: Bear Hollow Trail – 5 mi (o&b)

Mount Magazine: Bear Hollow Trail - 5 mi (o&b) photo
East-facing view from Sunrise Rock, Bear Hollow Trail, Mount Magazine State Park (panoramic)

Mount Magazine State Park (Logan County, near Paris) sits on top of the highest mountain in Arkansas. It’s a great park, and Bear Hollow is one of its best trails.

The Bear Hollow Trail is a 2.7-mile west-pointing v-shaped trail that follows the rim at the east end of the mountain. The trail’s south end is at the Benefield Picnic Area.

The north end is near the park’s horse camp. The north side runs about 1.5 miles, and the south side about 1.2.

Mount Magazine: Bear Hollow Trail - 5 mi (o&b) photo
View from Inspiration Point, facing the north side of Bear Hollow. Inspiration Point and Sunrise Rock are on the trail’s south side.

There is some climbing on the trail, but not a lot. The net elevation change is only about 200 feet. There is not a lot of up-and-downhill climbing. I recommending starting at the south trailhead at the back of the Benefield Picnic Area. The picnic area is on Highway 309 at the southeast part of the park. Just follow the signs.

There is parking here and a pit toilet.

CLICK – Google Maps Directions to Trailhead (Benefield Picnic Area)

 

Mount Magazine: Bear Hollow Trail - 5 mi (o&b) photo
Steps at first part of the Bear Hollow Trail, near the Benefield Picnic Area. They were constructed by the Works Projects Administration in the Depression.

The trail starts out on a road trace heading north for about .1 miles. It then makes a right turn heading downhill for about another .1 miles.

The trail then makes a left turn. From here, the trail generally heads northwest on its way toward the vertex (the furthest point west) at Big Shoal Creek.

For the most part, the rest of the trail is on a fairly gradual downhill slope until it gets close to the north end.

Mount Magazine: Bear Hollow Trail - 5 mi (o&b) photo
Bear Hollow Trail, south side

Big Shoal Creek is where the trail shifts directions and starts heading generally northeast.

Mount Magazine: Bear Hollow Trail - 5 mi (o&b) photo
East-facing view from Inspiration Point (panoramic), Bear Hollow Trail, Mount Magazine State Park

There are a number of places along the trail with nice views of Bear Hollow and the mountains off to the east. The 2 best are Sunrise Rock and Inspiration Point (a little further to the west). They are both on the trail’s south side at protruding bluffs with wonderful vistas from all sides. The east-facing views are particularly nice. (You might be able to see Mount Nebo, about 20 miles away.)

Note of caution: Exercise extreme caution around exposed bluffs. A fall could result in serious injury or death.

Besides Sunrise Rock and Inspiration Point, there are also a number of places along the hike with good views.

Mount Magazine: Bear Hollow Trail - 5 mi (o&b) photo
View from Inspiration Point,Bear Hollow Trail, Mount Magazine State Park

When you reach the north trailhead, you can turn around and head back the way you came. The entire out-and-back hike is about 5.4 miles. During wetter times, there are a number of stream crossings on the trail. The largest is Big Shoal Creek.

Mount Magazine: Bear Hollow Trail - 5 mi (o&b) photo
One of the stream crossings on the Bear Hollow Trail
Final Notes

The trail was in very good condition and well-marked (yellow blazes) when I was there on June 15. In fact, it appeared that the trail had been recently mowed or trimmed.

If you want to start at the north end of the trail, you should park at the horse camp and make the short walk over to the north trailhead on the south side (the other side) of the highway.

Mount Magazine: Bear Hollow Trail - 5 mi (o&b) photo
On the north side of the Bear Hollow Trail

These photos are all from my June 15, 2015 hike.

My AT&T cell coverage was hit-and-miss on the trail.

Mount Magazine: Bear Hollow Trail - 5 mi (o&b) photo
On the north side of the Bear Hollow Trail (panoramic)
Mount Magazine: Bear Hollow Trail - 5 mi (o&b) photo
Bear Hollow Trail, Mount Magazine State Park
Mount Magazine: Bear Hollow Trail - 5 mi (o&b) photo
You can see the south side of the hollow through the trees at the right of this photo taken from the north side.
Mount Magazine: Bear Hollow Trail - 5 mi (o&b) photo
On the north side of the Bear Hollow Trail, Mount Magazine State Park
Mount Magazine: Bear Hollow Trail - 5 mi (o&b) photo
North side of Bear Hollow Trail
Mount Magazine: Bear Hollow Trail - 5 mi (o&b) photo
Big Shoal Creek at low water on the Bear Hollow Trail
Mount Magazine: Bear Hollow Trail - 5 mi (o&b) photo
On the south side of the Bear Hollow Trail, Mount Magazine State Park
Mount Magazine: Bear Hollow Trail - 5 mi (o&b) photo
View from Inspiration Point, Bear Hollow Trail, Mount Magazine State Park
Mount Magazine: Bear Hollow Trail - 5 mi (o&b) photo
Initial downhill climb on the south side of the Bear Hollow Trail
Photo Gallery

Click here or below for full-screen photo gallery.

Maps
Mount Magazine: Bear Hollow Trail - 5 mi (o&b) photo
Mount Magazine Bear Hollow Trail Contour Map (Click to enlarge.)
CLICK – Interactive Trail Map

 

Mount Magazine: Bear Hollow Trail - 5 mi (o&b) photo
Approximate elevation profile based on Mike’s gps data.

Mount Magazine: Bear Hollow Trail

LocationMount Magazine State Park, Logan County, Arkansas
Hike Length/Type5.4 miles out and back (2.7 miles each way)
DifficultyModerate (3 of 5)
Gpx file by Mike Link
Date HikedJune 15, 2015 (and earlier)
DirectionsGoogle Maps Directions to Trailhead (Benefield Picnic Area)
Official Info (Links)501-321-5202 Website Park Trail Map (pdf)

[Last updated: 8-16-2017]

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