Logoly Trails Get Unique, New Signs
July, 16 2012
Many parks and nature centers use panels with pictures and messages (called “wayside exhibits”) along trails, and part of the challenge with any outdoor signage is designing the frame, mounting and support. The 19 new wayside panels recently installed along the three trails at Logoly State Park
not only explain what you might see along each trail, but the steel base supports for each panel have unique decorative cutouts designed to further illustrate the message. And, while many sign posts are purchased as prefabricated units made in other states, these intricate supports were made right here in Arkansas by welding and metal fabrication students at Pulaski Technical College and Heber Springs Technical College.
Since our Logoly Natural Area is part of the state park, we work jointly with Arkansas State Parks for projects on the site, including providing images and text for the panels and helping to fund the work through a grant from the Arkansas Natural and Cultural Resources Council. Click the image above for a gallery of the new signs.
Just north of Magnolia, in Columbia County, the area known as Logoly State Park
has also included the Logoly Natural Area
, since Arkansas State Parks (ASP) first acquired the property from The Nature Conservancy back in the 1970s. This area, approximately 200 acres of the original 345 acres, protects a valuable remnant of the Coastal Plain, including forests of hardwood and very large loblolly pine trees. Some areas have not been logged in many years and support forests with trees from 18” to 30” diameter at breast height. Some of these trees have been aged at over 200 years.
Moist areas on the site are fed by a variety of small springs and seeps which support plants that are becoming increasingly rare. The ravines are dominated by giant American beech trees and the beech-crops that grow parasitically on their roots are especially abundant.
During the late 1800s, a collection of springs in an area called Magnesia Springs was used by the early settlers of the area. The site attracted travelers seeking to bathe in and drink from Magnesia Springs, which supposedly contained various minerals that cured a variety of ailments.
By 1940, the land had come under the ownership of three families: the Longinos, Goodes, and Lyles. These families leased the land to the Desoto Council of the Boy Scouts, who named their summer retreat “Camp Logoly” by combining the first two letters of the three families’ names.
After the boy scouts outgrew the area and left, one of the landowners contacted the Arkansas State Parks Department about the possibility of turning Camp Logoly into a state park. Because the state parks system was short of funds, the Nature Conservancy purchased the property in 1974 until the Arkansas State Parks Department could obtain funding.
When Logoly State Park opened on May 19, 1978, it had the distinction of being Arkansas’s first environmental education state park and only the third of its kind in the nation. Logoly is a popular destination for field trips from area schools.
The park offers limited camping facilities, a bathhouse, a pavilion, picnic sites, a playground, trails, and a visitors’ center with exhibits and an indoor classroom.