The area now occupied by the Greenfield Picnic Area and the Ranger Station/Visitor Center was a family farm before the Great Depression. The Greenfield Trail starts in the picnic area, crosses the highway and then proceeds to the headwaters of Big Shoal Creek, and then meets the Mossback Ridge Trail. Shortly into the hike you can access a nice spur trail that follows an old wagon road .3 miles down to Turkey Springs (Turkey Springs Trail on the map).
Greenfield trail is best used as a connecting section on a variety of hikes that might include the North Rim Trail, the Will Apple's Road trail, and the Mossback trail. It's orientation to the Visitor Center makes it very convenient for those connecting loops.
It bisects the park north to south. If you are planning to backpack down the Cove Lakes trail and plan on parking at the Ranger Station, it provides an alternative route to the North Rim Trail to move over to that trail, although the mileage is effectively the same.
You might want to ponder the historic time line for the park as you walk this short connector trail:
1722 Bernard de la Harpe made the first recorded journey up the Arkansas River. He was possibly the first European to see Mount Magazine.
1817 The first garrison was established at Fort Smith.
1819 Thomas Nuttall explored the Arkansas River. Nuttall drew a map of the area and labeled what we now call Mount Magazine as "Cassette".
1853 An act of Congress granted right-of-way land that included Mount Magazine to a railroad company.
1861-1865 During the Civil War, men living in the Petit Jean River Valley occasionally hid out on Snake Knob, on the southern side of Mount Magazine, from bushwhackers and Union troops.
1878 T.M.C. Birmingham settled on the western part of the mountain near what is now called Dripping Springs.
1880 Benjamin H. Benefield was granted land on the southeastern leg of the mountain.
1881Thomas R. Cameron was granted title to land on Mount Magazine.
1885 Friedrich August Morsbach received his homestead certificate, signed by President Grover Cleveland, for land on the northeastern leg of the mountain.
1886 Charles C. Brown was granted land near what is now called Brown Spring. Albert Morsbach purchased 80 acres on what is now Mossback Ridge from a railroad company for $2.50 per acre.
1893 Will P. Greenfield and his mother established a home at what is now the Greenfield Picnic Area.
1895 Albert Morsbach, 40, and Serena Walker, 30, were married. Wilhelmina Ida Morsbach, Albert's sister, 35, was married to A.B. Lozier, 38. Friedrich Morsbach's wife, Anna Barbara, died.
1896 Friedrich Morsbach, 69, married Rebecca Kuykendall, 49. Serena Morsbach died during childbirth.
1897 Albert Morsbach married Susannah Wilson Houston.
1900 O.M. Ellsworth registered a plot for the Town of Mount Magazine on the western end of the mountain. The Skycrest Inn and a dance pavilion were constructed.
1907 Friedrich Morsbach moved off the mountaintop to Corley, five miles north. He died later that year.
1912 Chalmers Ferguson settled just off the western end of Mount Magazine. P.W. Clark bought the Skycrest Inn from J.F. Holden.
1916 Gertrude Greenfield was married to Tony Brown.
1917 Manda Corder, mother of Mrs. Will P. Greenfield, was buried near Serena Morsbach on the northern slope of Mossback Ridge.
1920 Tony Brown was the teacher of the Summer Home School when it burned.
1923 Eleven children attended school in a cabin east of the present day park visitor center.
1925 T.B. Buckman settled near McGuire Spring.
1926 Albert Morsbach moved away from Mount Magazine.
1928 Five children attended school.
1929 Erma Greenfield taught the last term of the Summer Home School before it consolidated with Magazine District 15. A stock market crash started the Great Depression.
1934 Logan Anglin was killed by lightening. The U.S. Resettlement Administration began buying land considered submarginal for farming.
1936 The last family on the mountaintop, the Greenfields, was forced to move off the mountain by the Resettlement Administration.
Crews from the Works Progress Administration started building a road from Havana to Paris.
1938 In May, a large celebration was held near what was the Benefield homestead to pay homage to the government work projects which provided much needed jobs in the area. Approximately 5,000 people in 850 automobiles ascended the recently completed road from Havana to Paris. President Franklin D. Roosevelt transferred the Magazine Project from the Farm Security Administration to the Ouachita National Forest.
1939 At least seven of 18 cabins were completed by this year. Construction on the lodge started in May.
1940 The Mount Magazine Lodge was completed and opened with a dedication ceremony on June 29 and 30.
1941 The Magazine Mountain Project became part of the Ozark National Forest.
1945 In October a plane crashed at the eastern end of the mountain killing two men.
1947 On November 17th, a B-25 bomber crashed at the eastern end of Mount Magazine, within yards of the 1945 crash site, killing six men.
1950 An Air Force air traffic control tower was moved to the western tip of the mountain for use in transmission programs by KFSA-TV (Channel 5) of Fort Smith.
1952 Blacktopping of the Mount Magazine road was completed.
1967 Cameron Bluff Overlook Drive was opened.
1971 The Mount Magazine Lodge burned on February 3.
1976 A feasibility study was done to see if the mountaintop should be an Arkansas state park.
1977 Arkansas State Representative Frank J. Willems wrote a resolution to put the mountain in the state park system.
1983 The Arkansas Department of Parks and Tourism began negotiations with the U.S. Forest Service to lease the top of the mountain.
1989 A Special-use Permit was issued by the U.S. Forest Service to the Arkansas Department of Parks and Tourism to start the process.
1993 An Environmental Impact Statement was completed and used as a guideline to park development.
1995 The Arkansas State Legislature gave the Arkansas Department of Parks and Tourism money for water improvements at the mountain.
1996 A revised Special-use Permit was issued by the U.S. Forest Service.
1997 Improvements were started to supply the mountaintop with a reliable water supply.
1998 The first state park superintendent was hired in January. The Special Use Permit was accepted in March officially making the mountaintop an Arkansas state park.
1999 Construction started on new roads, utilities, picnic facilities, campgrounds, maintenance facilities, and visitor center.
2001 The remodeled campground opened on Memorial Day weekend. The new visitor center opened in August. Exhibits were installed in October.
An act to amend the Arkansas code to provide for the construction and financing of a lodge and cabin complex was passed.
2002 On May 16, Governor Mike Huckabee officially dedicated Mount Magazine State Park.
2003 A 400-square-foot, stone monument in the shape of the state of Arkansas was constructed at the mountain's highpoint in May by state park employees and an NCCC Americorps crew.
2004 Construction on the new lodge and cabins started in February. Governor Mike Huckabee presided over a groundbreaking ceremony on April 9.
2006 The new Lodge at Mount Magazine opened on May 1.
Breath! If you're reading this as you walk, don't trip and fall...
This hike is listed as One-Way.
When hiking several trails on a single "hike", log it with a generic name that describes the hike. Then link the trails traveled, check out the example.
WARNING! Hiking and outdoor related sports can be dangerous. Be responsible and prepare for the trip. Study the area you are entering and plan accordingly. Dress for the current and unexpected weather changes. Take plenty of water. Never go alone. Make an itinerary with your plan(s), route(s), destination(s) and expected return time. Give your itinerary to trusted family and/or friends.