Jonathan Wirges
Mount Magazine State Park

Raccoons draw attention for both their unique appearance and their antics you might see while camping at Mount Magazine State Park

Raccoons are omnivores, meaning they will eat anything. This trait has earned them a reputation as a thief in many places since they will take food out of your garbage can! While raccoons can be found throughout Arkansas, one special place you can see them is at Mount Magazine State Park. On the highest peak of the state, you can find raccoons by the waterside along some of our creeks and watering holes. They are night predators and will spend the night hunting for crayfish, frogs, and small fish, sometimes leaving behind the shells and their own tracks in the mud.   

A fun bit of discovery can come from exploring the water’s edge and looking for signs these animals have left behind.   

In the photo essay below, join along as an interpretive park ranger guides you on how to sketch one of these nighttime hunters.    

Draw with a ranger. A sketched final picture of a raccoon

Drawn shapes with text instructions: “Step One: Sketch out a tilted semicircle with an overlapping triangle. Start sketching lightly and go over darker with the finished product.” 

Drawn shapes with text instructions: “Step Two: Connect your triangle to the semicircle then make a long curve off to the side of your main shape.” Drawn shapes with text instructions: "Step Three: Make a few lines that will eventually become the legs of your raccoon.” 

Drawn shapes with text instructions: "Step Four: Add some leg details, and start the beginning of your raccoon’s tail.” 


Drawn shapes with text instructions: “Step Five: Give your raccoon some paws!”




Drawn shapes with text instructions: “Step Six: Add in your raccoon’s final back leg. Round off the tail. Then sketch out two ovals to start the ears.”

Drawn shapes with text instructions: “Step Seven: Let’s give our raccoon a face! Connect the ear ovals to the rest of the head and draw a small oval for the nose. Then make some curves to indicate the iconic mask.” 

Drawn shapes with text instructions: “Step Eight: For the last of our big changes, add in the eyes and the stripes on the tail. Your sketch is done!” 


Drawn shapes with text instructions: “Step Nine: Go over your rough lines and erase the connecting lines. Add a few small details, then your raccoon is complete!” 

Final picture of completed sketch of raccoon with shading

Raccoons are unique and entertaining wild creatures in our State Parks. Their nighttime “tricks” and distinctive appearance make them a guest favorite at Mount Magazine State Park and many other Arkansas State Parks.  

Next time you visit a state park, keep your eye out for tiny handprints in the mud, or better yet for a raccoon itself. 

Please share your completed drawings with us on social media, and let us know what other Arkansas animals that you would like to draw next!