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Arkansas State Parks

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USA Parks
Central Arkansas Region
Petit Jean State Park
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Petit Jean State Park Petit Jean Mountain Overlood © Cecil R. Theaux
Sunrise at Petit Jean Mountain Overlook reflecting on the Arkansas River just above Petit Jeans grave.
Petit Jean State Park Davies Bridge © Cecil R. Theaux
Davies Bridge in the snow.
Petit Jean State Park Petit Jean Mountain © Bryan Scott Manley
In the late winter just before spring.
Petit Jean State Park Strange Creature © Delores Anne Cook
Petit Jean State Park © Ben Prepelka
Petit Jean State Park Glow Warm © Delores Anne Cook
Unknown Creature
Petit Jean State Park © Lisa G. Putman
Petit Jean State Park Petit Jean State Park Overlook © Kevin Eckart
Petit Jean State Park © Gregg Brotman
Petit Jean State Park © Tracy Hoppe
Petit Jean State Park © Delores Anne Cook
Petit Jean State Park © Delores Anne Cook
Petit Jean State Park © Tracy Hoppe
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1285 Petit Jean Mtn. Road
Morrilton, Arkansas   72110

Phone: 501-727-5441
Reservations: 501-727-5441
Email: park email button icon
The natural beauty of Petit Jean Mountain inspired the creation of Arkansas's state parks system when Petit Jean State Park was established in 1923. Petit Jean State Park mirrors the mountain's rugged beauty with its rustic, native log and stone facilities constructed by the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) in the 1930s.

The focal point of the park's impressive CCC/Rustic Style architecture is historic Mather Lodge, a 24-room hostelry on the bluff of Cedar Creek Canyon. A meal at the lodge restaurant guarantees a breathtaking view including a dramatic sunset each evening.

Near Mather Lodge are 33 fully-equipped cabins (21 with kitchens), many of which share the same bluff. Cedar Creek Canyon is the work of Cedar Creek, which cascades as a spectacular 95-foot waterfall. Upstream, a rock dam forms Lake Bailey, 170 acres for fishing and pedal boating. A boathouse offers a snack bar, boat rentals, and supplies for sale during summer.

History of the Area
Located in Arkansas, this natural reserve was established as the state's first park in 1923. Named after a French legend about a young woman who disguised herself as a boy to follow her lover on an expedition, it spans over 2,658 acres of land.

The Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) developed infrastructure during the Great Depression era from 1933-1938. The CCC built roads and trails including Cedar Falls Trail leading to one of Arkansas' highest waterfalls.

Over time additional facilities were added such as camping sites and cabins for visitors. Today it offers various recreational activities like hiking, boating or fishing at Lake Bailey.

Lodge rooms have beautiful pine walls and ceilings. Guests at the Lodge are quickly enchanted with our perfect mix of rustic surroundings and modern conveniences. All rooms have TV's with satellite connection, clock radio, coffee pots, ironing boards, irons, no telephones.

Our fully equipped housekeeping cabins include: sofa-bed, fireplace, full kitchen, bath/shower, air conditioner/heater, television. Also included are basic dishes, pots & pans, utensils, range, refrigerator, microwave, coffee maker, toaster, blender, iron & board, blankets, pillows, towels and linens. Grill and picnic table are located on the patio. There are no telephones in the cabins.

Our overnight cabins include fireplace, bath/shower, air conditioner/heater, television. Also included are coffee maker iron & board, blankets, pillows, towels and linens. There is no kitchen, living area, or phones in these cabins. Grilling or cooking is not allowed in the area where these cabins are located.

Park campsites (127 sites including Premium D, Premium B, Preferred B, and Standard B sites) are situated near Lake Bailey and in secluded woodlands. The park also offers a Group Camp Area, a Rally-style Area, two Rent-A-Camp sites, and two Rent-A-Tepee sites. The park airport offers five Fly-in Premium D campsites (for tents only).

Petit Jean State Park offers a refreshing swimming pool with lifeguard service, typically open Memorial Day through Labor Day.
Visitors can enjoy fishing in Lake Bailey and Cedar Creek for species like catfish, bass, bream, and crappie. Fishing gear rentals are available on-site. The park also offers a barrier-free fishing pier suitable for all ages and abilities.

Petit Jean State Park offers scenic picnic areas with tables and grills, overlooking canyons or by Lake Bailey. Enjoy shaded spots near playgrounds for family-friendly dining amidst nature's beauty. Reserve pavilions for larger gatherings; some have modern amenities like electricity and water access.
When considering bicycling options, it's important to be aware of the terrain and your own skill level. The park offers a few trails where bikes are permitted; however, these paths can vary in difficulty.

The Winthrop P. Rockefeller Boy Scout Trail is one option for cyclists but do exercise caution as this multi-use trail may also have hikers present.

Another path suitable for biking is the CCC Hike & Bike Trail-be mindful that some sections might challenge less experienced riders due to elevation changes or uneven surfaces.

For those seeking a more leisurely ride, you could explore around Mather Lodge on roads with reduced vehicle traffic; still keep an eye out for pedestrians and wildlife crossings.

Always wear appropriate safety gear such as helmets while riding and ensure your bike is equipped to handle potentially rough patches or gravel areas encountered along any route chosen within the area.
1. Cedar Falls Trail: A 2-mile round trip, moderate to strenuous trail leading hikers down into the canyon and back up again.

2. Bear Cave Trail: An easy quarter mile loop that takes visitors through a maze of gigantic sandstone boulders.

3. Canyon Overlook Trail: This half-mile trail offers stunning views over Cedar Creek Canyon with minimal effort required from walkers.

4. Seven Hollows Interpretive Trial: At 4 miles long, this moderately difficult hike features natural bridges, rock formations and seasonal waterfalls along its path.

5. Winthrop P Rockefeller Boy Scout Trails - North Loop & South Loop : These challenging trails are each approximately five miles in length offering rugged terrain for experienced hikers only.

6.Rock House Cave Trail : One-third mile trek leads you past ancient Native American pictographs on your way to an impressive bluff shelter known as Rock House cave

7.Turtle Rocks NatureTrail : Easy one-fourth mile walk showcasing unique turtle-shaped geological formations scattered throughout the area

8.Cedar Creek Hiking / Bicycling Tail (CCC): Approximately four-miles-long multi-use tail running parallel to scenic cedar creek suitable for both hiking or biking enthusiasts

9.Dave's Place Homestead Site Accessible via short spur off CCC road; provides glimpse into early homesteading life at Petit Jean Mountain

10.Petit Jean Gravesite Overlook Spur- Short but steep climb ending at overlook providing panoramic view of Arkansas River Valley below
Birding enthusiasts can explore diverse habitats, from hardwood forests to Cedar Falls. Common sightings include warblers and vireos. Raptors like the red-tailed hawk are often spotted soaring above cliffs. The park's lake attracts waterfowl such as wood ducks in seasonable periods. Songbirds including tanagers and orioles frequent picnic areas during migration seasons.

Visitors should bring binoculars for a chance to see elusive species amidst the rich foliage along trails.

Visitor Comments, Memories and Reviews
April 15 What a wonderful surprise
park review stars; one to five Driving to it, amazing around flat land with this large mountain in the middle! We were driving to Colorado and this was a planned 2 night lay over for us. Just fantastic all the way around. Awesome hiking, the waterfall. Sites were private. A fantastic find...highly recommend!
March 18
park review stars; one to five I have been going to Petit Jean Mountain since 1963. I will never get tired of it. Larry Churchill
July 31 Great Get Away by JP
park review stars; one to five This is a great get away, we have been to this park several times. The first was tent camping and recently we stayed in the cabins. We have enjoyed both events. The hicking trails are well kept and provide outstanding views of the park.
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Nearby Hotels

For westbound travelers on I-40, take I-40 Exit #108 at Morrilton and travel nine miles south on Ark. 9, then go 12 miles west on Ark. 154 to the park. For eastbound travelers on I-40, take Exit #81 at Russellville and travel Ark. 7 south 10 miles to Centerville, then go 16 miles east on Ark. 154 to the park.

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Arkansas State Parks