Hiking under whispering pines on rolling sandy soil through open undergrowth is a typical stroll through the Gulf Coastal Plain. Visiting Logoly State Park is a great way to experience what makes south Arkansas so beautiful. With three short hikes, you can explore this amazing ecosystem with beautiful woodlands and interesting history.
Only 10 minutes north of Magnolia, Logoly State Park is the state’s first environmental education park and provides a laboratory experience for students and visitors alike.
In addition to the three trails, the park has an educational visitor center, an extensive playground, group camping, and a pavilion. It is also a great place to go to simply enjoy the quiet of nature.
History of Logoly State Park
This park’s history goes far back. Around the turn of the century (the one more than 100 years ago, not the one we just had) travelers would come from all over to heal in the springs. The medicinal waters of Magnesia Springs were popular and used by travelers far and wide. Two hotels were built nearby and many evangelists came to hold week-long church meetings.
In the 1940s the three families who owned the property leased the land to the Boy Scouts of America. The names of the families were Longinos, Goodes, and Lyles, and the BSA camp became known as Lo-Go-Ly, using the first letters of each of the names.
The Nature Conservancy purchased the land in 1974 and set it aside as a Natural Area in order to preserve its unique environmental qualities. It was then acquired by Arkansas State Parks and is managed jointly as a natural area and state park.
Crane’s Fly Trail
The Crane’s Fly Trail takes hikers to a small pond and then across the dam. It is a great way to see the flora and fauna of the Gulf Coastal Plain. In one place it showcases a dead tree at work. Here you can see how the forest utilizes everything, even after life.
This 0.75-mile trail takes hikers past several small streams. It also incorporates a boardwalk over the pond, showcasing wetlands in the area.
Magnesia Springs Trail
History buffs will love the Magnesia Springs Trail at Logoly State Park. This short hike takes visitors to Magnesia Springs where travelers came for medicinal purposes more than 100 years ago.
Magnesia Springs Trail is about 0.5 miles and connects the Crane’s Fly Trail to the Spring Branch Trail. It takes you to remnants of old structures around the springs. A very short spur also takes hikers to Salt Springs. On this spur, you can see places where water flows from the ground.
Spring Branch Trail
For a little bit longer hike, you can hike the Spring Branch Trail. This 2-mile trail can either begin at the visitor center or pavilion near the group campsites. To make it a loop, you can walk the road for just a short distance.
The Spring Branch Trail showcases the rolling sandy hills of the Gulf Coastal Plain and the open old-growth forests of Logoly State Park. The forest here is open and does not have much understory.
It also takes hikers by the Spring Branch. Hiking next to and over the Spring Branch shows you how waterways in southwest Arkansas cut deep and narrow, ditch-like valleys. This is because of the soft, sandy soil of the Gulf Coastal Plain. You won’t find many rocks along at Logoly State Park.
Exploring Logoly State Park
The park may be smaller than other state parks, but don’t let that keep you from exploring it. You can learn a wealth of information about the natural elements and geological elements, as well as the history of the area.