One Arkansas Game and Fish Commission wildlife management area is contained within a national forest and also has a portion serving as an Arkansas State Park.
It features nearly every kind of popular game species and plenty of watchable nongame birds and animals, not to mention spectacular views and the highest point in all of the state. Mount Magazine Wildlife Management Area offers a getaway for the hunter, angler, wildlife watcher, hiker, casual driver or vacationer looking for a perfect weekend away.
It also features a stretch of Arkansas 309 known as Mount Magazine Scenic Byway. Paris and Havana are in valleys that sandwich Mount Magazine Wildlife Management Area. The area falls within the Ozark-St. Francis National Forest, overseen by the U.S. Forest Service.
“It looks like no other place on the national forest,” said Kevin Lynch with Game and Fish, manager of Mount Magazine Wildlife Management Area. “It has big flats and harsh drainage areas all across the area. Huckleberry Mountain and Rich Mountain are on the east end. The area is kind of between everything. The Arkansas River and the Petit Jean River had an effect on the geology. It’s so pretty. There are elements of both the Ozarks and the Ouachita national forests.”
The Forest Service entered into a cooperative agreement with Game and Fish in 1975, similar to other arrangements around Arkansas where the Game and Fish manages the wildlife on federal lands, such as White Rock and Bearcat Hollow wildlife management areas.
The tract has extensive, gated food plots on the area to enhance wildlife habitat, especially for deer and turkey.
The area has two large lakes that are popular attractions in the warmer months. Cove Lake is the larger of the two and closer to Paris, just off Arkansas 309. Cove Lake has paddle boat and kayak rental, and motorboats can access both lakes, though forest rules prohibit speeds faster than 10 mph.