The Rock House Cave At Petit Jean
This is not a true cave but a large bluff shelter. It is located at the end of a short walk, only about .25 miles.
We know that native Americans used this shelter. Evidence of this use can be seen in the many rock art images that appear on the walls and ceilings.
The shelter contains at least 105 rock art images. They believe that the art work is about 500 years old but that the shelter has been in use for perhaps thousands of years before that.
Lake Chicot State Park Lake Village Ar
The Mississippi Deltas captivating beauty and recreational opportunities come together at Arkansass largest natural lake, Lake Chicot. Cut off centuries ago when the Mississippi River changed course, this 20-mile long oxbow lake is a peaceful setting for fishing, boating, and bird watching.
- 2-Bedroom Cabin sleeps 6. Six available.
Petit Jean State Park And Petit Jean Mountain
Petit Jean State Park, situated on Arkansas Petit Jean Mountain, which rises above the south bank of the Arkansas River between the Ozark and Ouachita mountain ranges, is 3,471 acres in size and was the first park in Arkansas system of state parks. Buildings of log and stone, constructed during the 1930s by the Civilian Conservation Corps , are found in many areas of the park and impart a rustic feel. CCC Company V-1781 was formed on Petit Jean Mountain on July 15, 1933, working from 1933 to 1938, building roads, trails, pavilions, overlooks, cabins, two recreational lakes and historic Mather Lodge, the only CCC lodge in an Arkansas park. While most of the CCC boys around the country were eighteen and nineteen years old, at Petit Jean, the crew was made up of World War I veterans men who were more skilled than the average CCC worker. After CCC involvement in the park ended, work continued on park projects under the Work Progress Administration .
Petit Jean, the flagship of the Arkansas state park system, is managed by the Arkansas Department of Parks and Tourism. Petit Jean is Arkansas only state park with its own airport.
Petit Jean source of the name of the mountain
From The Encylopedia of Arkansas History and Culture:
A 1941 book, Arkansas: A Guide to the State, has a similar story:
An 1891 book, Biographical and Historical Memoirs of Western Arkansas, tells still another early tradition for the name of the nearby Petit Jean River.
Lodging and Dining
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Petit Jean State Park Overview
Petit Jean State Park campground features 125 individual campsites offering water and electrical hook-ups. Thirty-five of the sites have 50 amp electric and sewer. All sites are reservable throughout the year. There is also a 44-unit Rally-style camping area with 20-amp electrical service available for camping clubs. A reservable Group Camp Area is available throughout the year with heated bathhouse in winter, and there are also 33 cabins available for rent.
Our favorite Petit Jean State Park campsites are: 4, 11, 16, 17, 19, 25, 44, 47, 61, 75, 89, 98 and 124.
Petit Jean State Park campground also has a sanitary dump station, drinking water, flush toilets and hot showers. Firewood is available from the campground host. Other amenities include picnic areas, two swimming pools, playgrounds, picnic pavilions, boat launch ramp, tennis and basketball court, amphitheater, and numerous hiking/biking trails.
For those who dont own camping equipment, the park offers four Rent-A-Yurts available for rental March through November. The yurts are round, high walled tents with electricity, screened windows, and doors with locks. The rental includes cots, a lantern, stove, and ice chest. Each Rent-A-Yurt accommodates up to six people.
Lake Dardanelle State Park is another option. Its only 30 miles away and has 74 campsites with hookups. And you might also be interested in Maumelle Park campground.
Petit Jean State Park Cedar Falls Trail
Petit Jean State Park Lake Bailey Historic District
“This ensemble of stone bridges, dams and recreational buildings combine with the various lakes, pools, ancillary support structures and other designed elements to comprise an intact collection of buildings, structures and landscape features installed for the creation of a multi-purpose recreational complex within Petit Jean State Park, and all were constructed by the men of the Civilian Conservation Corps.”
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Mount Nebo State Park Dardanelle Ar
Rising 1,350 feet, Mount Nebo offers sweeping views of the Arkansas River Valley. Park facilities include a pool, tennis courts, picnic areas, playgrounds, extra-large enclosed and standard open pavilions, and a ball field. The visitor center features exhibits and a gift shop. Interpretive programs tell about the mountains history and natural resources. Bring your own bike or rent one from the park visitor center.
- Modern 3 bedrooms, 2 baths w/spa tub sleeps 6. One available. Largest Cabin 1 bedroom is a loft bedroom.
- A-Frame 3 bedrooms, 2 baths, and fireplace sleeps 6. Two available. Only ADA Accessible Cabins One of the bedrooms is a loft bedroom.
Petit Jean State Park, Arkansass first state park, has windswept views, enchanting woodlands laced with streams and wildflowers, and a spectacular waterfall called Cedar Falls. The park has distinctive features such as Bear Cave, the Grotto, and Natural Bridge.
- 3 Bedroom Rustic Housekeeping Cabin sleeps 6.
Blooms And Fall Colors In Petit Jean State Park
The Petit Jean State Park is a showcase of the handsome Arkansas backcountry, no matter the season. You can seek out Petit Jean State Park vacation rentals to come and wander the wildflower meadows along the edge of the Arkansas River in April and May. Or, you can come for the most popular, warmer times between June and August, when the Cedar Falls are seen by the streams of hikers in the woods. Fall is another favorite, mainly for the glorious array of reds and yellows that colors the forests then.
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It’s All About The Outdoors In The Petit Jean State Park
Beneath the boulder-topped heights of Petit Jean Mountain, along the bends of the Arkansas River, the Petit Jean State Park unfolds in a pretty patchwork of natural delights. The gushing Cedar Falls are its highlight, cascading like strips of white ribbon over the black-stone bluffs. Rustic cabins dating to the Civilian Conservation Corps days of the 1930s nestle between the pine trees and oaks. Autumnal colors erupt in the fall, magnetizing wildlife lovers to Petit Jean State Park vacation rentals, while plenty of hiking routes and campgrounds make it a great escape no matter the time of year.
Petit Jean State Park
|Location of Petit Jean State ParkShow map of ArkansasPetit Jean State Park Show map of the United States|
|Arkansas Department of Parks and Tourism|
Petit Jean State Park is a 3,471-acre park in Conway County, Arkansas managed by the Arkansas Department of Parks and Tourism. It is located atop Petit Jean Mountain adjacent to the Arkansas River in the area between the Ouachita Mountains and Ozark Plateaus.
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Explore 1930s History In Petit Jean State Park
Petit Jean State Park is known for its cluster of country lodges built by the Civilian Conservation Corps back in the 1930s. The most iconic is surely the Mather Lodge, which hides up on the ridges atop Cedar Creek Canyon. There, you can settle in for hearty Arkansas fare or just wonder at the rustic architecture that’s been preserved _ the timber-clad exterior and rough-stone walls make it something of a living museum. Natural sights like the Cedar Falls and the sculpted sandstone boulders of Bear Cave are all within hiking distance of that.
Best Family Activities In Petit Jean State Park
Petit Jean State Park hotels give families the chance to enjoy a variety of activities designed to make your vacation one to remember. From the tranquility of the two large lakes to educational programmes organized by the park authorities, you are sure to find something suitable for all ages when visiting Petit Jean State Park.
Pedal boats, water bikes, and motor boats are all available for hire from the boathouse. Canoes and kayaks are also available if you prefer to explore Lake Bailey and Lake Roosevelt in a more athletic fashion.
- Wildlife Watching
There are plenty of opportunities to spot the wildlife in the park, and you can observe aquatic life such as frogs, crayfish, and mussels in the lake, or mink, raccoons, and eagles on the mountain and in the forests.
- Visitor Center
Learn about the park’s Native American Rock Art or take advantage of the interpretive exhibits in the Visitor Center. Workshops, guided hikes, and nature talks also begin here.´
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Lake Ouachita State Park Mountain Pine Ar
Surrounded by the Ouachita National Forest, Lake Ouachita is known for its scenic natural beauty and the clarity of its waters. These pristine waters form the largest manmade lake within Arkansass borders. Named one of the cleanest lakes in America, 40,000-acre Lake Ouachita is a water sports mecca for swimming, skiing, scuba diving, boating, and fishing. The rate is based on six adults. The charge for each additional guest is $12 per person per day. Children age 12 and under stay free.
- 3 Bedroom Cabins with fireplace- sleeps 10. Two available.
- 3 Bedroom Cabin with fireplace and spa tub sleeps 10. Two available.
- 2 Bedroom, 2 Bath Cabin sleeps 6. Three available.
Petit Jean State Park Administration Office
Petit Jean State Park Water Treatment Building
“This building was erected at Petit Jean State Park by the men of the Civilian Conservation Corps for the purpose of providing clean, potable drinking water for park visitors and staff, and as such was an integral component of the maintenance and physical plant facilities of the park.”
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Crowleys Ridge State Park Paragould Ar
Located atop the forested hills in northeast Arkansas, Crowleys Ridge State Park occupies the former homestead of Benjamin Crowley, whose family first settled this area. Native log and stone structures, constructed by the Civilian Conservation Corps in the 1930s, set the mood for this parks rustic warmth. Park facilities include four fully-equipped, modern duplex cabins with kitchens a 31-acre fishing lake and a 3 1/2-acre swimming lake. Interpretive programs are offered here at the park throughout the year.
- One bedroom duplex cabin can sleep six. One bedroom with two queen beds and a sofa sleeper in the living room.
- Two bedroom duplex cabin can sleep 6. Two bedroom-two queen beds and a sleeper sofa in the living room.
Picnics At Petit Jean
There are some wonderful picnic areas at Petit Jean! My favorites are near the lakes with tables and grills. You do not have to reserve a picnic table. These are first come, first serve. They are well spaced out and almost all in the shade.
There are also pavilions that can be used for events or large groups. However, these must be reserved and there is a charge.
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Moro Bay State Park Jersey Ar
Youll find one of the most popular fishing and water sport areas in south-central Arkansas where Moro Bay and Raymond Lake join the Ouachita River at Moro Bay State Park. Park facilities include picnic sites, a store, a marina with boat rentals and a gas pump, standard pavilion , playground, trails, and the Moro Bay Ferry exhibit featuring a historic tugboat and barge.
- 2 Bedroom, 2 Bath Cabin sleeps 6. Four available. 2 bedrooms w/queen beds, full kitchen, satellite television, screened-in porch.
- 2 Bedroom, 2 Bath ADA Cabin sleeps 6. One available. 2 bedrooms w/queen beds, full kitchen, satellite television, screened-in porch.
Mount Magazine State Park, Paris, AR
Overlooking the Petit Jean River Valley and Blue Mountain Lake, cabins on Mount Magazine offer breathtaking views in a rustic setting. The mountain offers sweeping vistas of broad river valleys, deep canyons, and distant mountains.
- 3 Bedroom, 3 Bath ADA Cabin sleeps six. Covered deck with outdoor hot tub and view from the bluff.
Arkansas State Parks With Big Family Cabins
Of Arkansass 52 state parks, 12 feature cabins for rent. Of those 12, ten offer cabins that are big family friendly. Some cabins are historic CCC/rustic-style cabins built of native log and stone in the 1930s by the Civilian Conservation Corps. Others are modern one- and two-story designs.
All cabins in Arkansas state parks feature modern conveniences. Each cabin is fully equipped and most offer kitchens and wood-burning fireplaces. Fireplaces are available for use during the fall and winter months. Enjoy!
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Best Hiking Trails In Petit Jean State Park
Visiting Petit Jean State Park gives vacationers the chance to explore the natural beauty of the reserve. Through forests and meadows, ascending mountain peaks and traversing canyons, whatever your level of experience, you will find a variety of trails suited to your capabilities. Take advantage of Petit Jean State Park cabins and plan your journey through the rich, natural beauty of this unique part of the US.
- Cedar Falls Trail
A 1.7mi. hike rated as moderately difficult but still suitable for children. Expect plenty of local flora and fauna on this route, and a beautiful waterfall towards the end of the trail which provides a great picnic spot.
- Seven Hollows Trail
This 4.4mi. trail is rated as moderately difficult and is not suitable for smaller children. The route offers plenty of caves to explore alongside the Natural Bridge rock formation. Several creek crossings make this trail challenging in wet weather.
- Bear Cave Trail
This trail is rated as easy in terms of difficulty and covers just over a mile of the park. Navigating the many sandstone boulders of the park, you will be guided through narrow passageways and around huge monoliths.
Hiking In Petit Jean State Park
You’ll feel the fresh breezes of the Arkansas backcountry in your hair as you take to the trails of the Petit Jean State Park. They wiggle and wind through the woodlands, over creeks and past the photogenic Cedar Falls. Some peak out on top of Petit Jean Mountain itself to offer sweeping panoramas over the bends of the Arkansas River and the grassy hills that undulate out towards the Ouachita ranges in the south. Spring ushers in festivals of wildflower weekends in this beautiful setting, while fall draws people to see the forests changing color.
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History Of The Mountain And The State Park
Of course, the history of this mountain began many years before the arrival of Petit Jean and Chavet.
On the mountain is found one of the largest bluff shelters in the state. We know it was used by the Indians because they left evidence. There are still ancient pictographs located high on the back wall of the cave.
English speaking Americans began settling the mountain in the 1840s and 50s. The Walker cabin still stands in the park today.
The lumber company physician, Dr. T.W. Hardison began a campaign to petition the legislature to make this area a state park. He succeeded!
The CCC worked at Petit Jean from 1933 to 1938. They constructed Mather Lodge, many of the cabins, a native stone dam for the formation of Lake Bailey, as well as pavilions, trails, and bridges.
These structures are still in use today!
Overlooks On Petit Jean
Petit Jeans Gravesite
This is located on Stouts Point on the east side or Petit Jean mountain. There is a parking area and a short walk to gorgeous views of the Arkansas River in the valley below. Walk around and see the views from different spots around Stouts Point.
This is on Red Bluff Drive and has views toward nearby Mount Nebo State Park and the more distant Mount Magazine.
Cedar Falls Overlook
This is a wooden, barrier free walkway with exhibits that leads down from the parking area to a vantage point high above Cedar Falls.
Palisades Overlook and CCC Overlook
These are overlooks that face one another on different rims of the mountain. The CCC overlook is made of native stone and gives you views of the canyon and the river. Palisades is a great place to watch the sunset over the Arkansas River Valley.
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Village Creek State Park Wynne Ar
Village Creek is Arkansass second-largest state park in land area. Park interpretive programs and exhibits share the story of the natural and cultural heritage of Crowleys Ridge. The park visitor center includes an A/V theater, store, gift shop, and bicycle rentals.
- 3 Bedrooms w/ 2 bath Cabin sleeps six. One available. Amenities include kitchens and a wood-burning fireplace.
Petit Jean Cabins For Rent: Lakefront Cabin Rental With Private Dock
This spacious lakefront camping cabin is one of the best Petit Jean State Park cabins located in Scranton, Arkansas, and can accommodate 12 guests. There are three bedrooms and two full bathrooms. The master bedroom has a queen-size bed with an en-suite bathroom, the second bedroom has a king-size bed with views of the lake, and the third bedroom has two sets of twin-size bunk beds. There is also room in the loft, overlooking the den and kitchen, with a trundle bed. In both bathrooms, guests will find a toilet, a sink, and a shower. Linens and towels are provided.In the living room, guests will find comfortable furniture, a flat screen television with a DVD player, and an electric fireplace. The fully-equipped kitchen comes with a refrigerator, an electric range, a microwave, and a coffeemaker. There is also a dishwasher and a trash compactor, as well as basic necessities for cooking and dining. Other amenities include Wi-Fi, a washer and dryer, and free parking on site.Outside, there are two decks, as well as an outdoor grill and a lawn down to the lakeside dock.There is air conditioning and heating at the property, meaning guests can stay comfortable all year, as well as an electric fireplace for those cooler months. There is free Wi-Fi at the property, as well as free parking on site. Linens and towels are provided, as well as a washer and dryer, meaning guests can pack light.
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