Petit Jean State Park is an Arkansas classic, a natural and historic treasure that has welcomed travelers for decades. The natural beauty and ancient geology of the legendary Petit Jean Mountain inspired the creation of Arkansas’s first state park and with it our state park system. The park mirrors the mountain’s rugged beauty with its rustic-style, native log and stone facilities constructed by the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) beginning in 1933. The CCC built trails, roads, bridges, cabins, and the focal point of the park, historic Mather Lodge, a 24-room lodge overlooking Cedar Creek Canyon with a restaurant, meeting rooms, and gift shop. The fireplace in the lobby serves as a welcoming gathering place in the winter.
Near the lodge are 33 cabins (21 with kitchens) located along the bluff with views of the canyon. Another cabin with a kitchen is a short drive away. Most of the cabins are the rustic CCC-style with modern amenities, and a few are duplex designs. Upstream from Cedar Creek, a CCC rock dam forms Lake Bailey, 100 acres for fishing, kayaking, and pedal boating. Open in the summer months, the boathouse offers a snack bar, boat rentals, and supplies. The 125 park campsites (35 Class AAA and 90 Class B) are near Lake Bailey. Other options include a group camp area, rally-style area, and four Rent-A-Yurts. The park also has an airport. For information about the airport, call 501-374-5022.
Two swimming pools, picnic areas, playgrounds, pavilions, boat launch ramp,tennis and basketball court, and an amphitheater are also on site. Hiking trails lead through forests and meadows, over canyons, and along streams and the mountainside. See where nature formed sheer bluffs, the spectacular 95-foot Cedar Falls, Seven Hollows, and such distinctive features as Bear Cave, the Grotto, Natural Bridge, and other formations like carpet rocks and turtle rocks. Interpreters lead programs and special events throughout the year showcasing the uniqueness of this park. Rarely do you find a place that will beckon you back again and again. Petit Jean is that place. Come discover the beautiful, mystical qualities of Arkansas’s first state park.
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