|Distance||0.8 miles roundtrip|
|Terrain||A few hills|
- Amazing views from two overlooks
- Quick and easy hike with a high reward
Inspiration Point and Sunrise Rock are two easily reached overlooks in Mount Magazine State Park. With a minimal amount of downhill then uphill hiking, you can see long-stretching views of Bear Hollow and the valley below. During the fall, this is one of the best places to view the fiery display of color.
From the north end of the parking lot, follow the trail until you reach a junction. You can choose to go either right or left since you'll be doing a loop that ends back at this exact spot -- I'll be describing the trail as you turn left first to do the loop clockwise. Navigation in this area can be a little confusing since so many trails intersect in a small area, so pay close attention to my directions!
After a short distance, the trail will split and you need to stay right towards the Bear Hollow Trail. This portion of the trail goes through forest and doesn't offer much in the way of scenery. Don't worry though, the best is yet to come. Turn right at the intersection ahead, following the trail downhill towards the first overlook, Inspiration Point. Here you'll be treated to views of rocky cliffs lining Bear Hollow as shown in the picture below.
Dogs are allowed on leash. The hike is short and family friendly, just be mindful of your children near the edges at the overlooks. I visited pretty late on a Saturday afternoon and saw a handful of people, but I would expect this to be a popular hike later in the spring once the trees have their leaves and during fall color season. You can hike this trail all year round, and the shortness of the trail combined with the cooler higher altitude temperatures would make this doable during the hot summer.
From Little Rock, take Interstate 40 west. Exit for Arkansas Highway 247 in Pottsville and turn left. Turn left again at Arkansas Highway 27 and continue straight until the T intersection with Arkansas Highway 10. Turn right and continue straight until Havana. Turn right on Arkansas Highway 309. Continue on the highway as it winds up the mountain. You'll pass the Petit Jean Valley Overlook on the left (stop for a great view!). Shortly after, look for signs for the Benefield Picnic Area, then turn right to enter the parking area.
Google Maps Directions
Parking, Fees, and Facilities
Parking is free! There are restrooms and a picnic area near the lot.