When portions of Petit Jean Mountain were set aside as public land in 1923, it set the precedent for the establishment of state parks in Arkansas. The natural beauty of this mountain, which rises 1,207 feet above sea level, is evident whether you view it from the Arkansas River Valley below, or look down on the Arkansas River from the east brow at Stout's Point.
Atop legendary Petit Jean Mountain, Petit Jean State Park is a special place rich in natural beauty where you can likewise experience the craftsmenship and conservation legacy of the Civilian Conservation Corps
. Native log and stone facilities built by these men in the 1930s mirror the surrounding rugged beauty. Preserved throughout the park as National Register of Historic Places
districts, these facilities and other works include the park's mountain lodge, cabins, pavilions, visitor center, trails, an arched bridge spanning Cedar Creek, and other historic treasures. The diversity of geological formations on Petit Jean Mountain is fascinating. Hiking trails
will lead you through forests, canyons, bluffs, caves — some with American Indian pictographs to explore — streams, meadows, and mountainsides. Overlooking Cedar Creek Canyon is the park's historic Mather Lodge
, featuring 24 guest rooms, a main dining room with large windows framing the westward view of the canyon, a cozy smaller dining room, meeting room, and swimming pool. The park's 33 cabins are nearby. Some cabins are on the canyon bluff, while others are nestled in a wooded area. Park campsites
are a short drive away near Lake Bailey, 100 acres for fishing, canoeing, and pedal boating. Park interpreters offer a variety of programs
and special events
throughout the year highlighting the natural and historic resources of this unforgettable state park.
A must-see experience in the park is Cedar Falls, the park's spectacular waterfall that cascades 95 feet into scenic Cedar Creek Canyon. Overlooks above, and a trail below, offer many different viewpoints for enjoying the seasonal natural beauty of Cedar Creek Canyon.
Through time, Petit Jean Mountain has been a place of opportunity, for explorers, for settlers, and for travelers like you. Petit Jean State Park is a place where all elements work in harmony--the natural beauty of the mountain and its windswept views of the Arkansas River Valley, the warmth of the CCC/Rustic-style architecture, and the diversity of geological formations and wildlife habitats.
To discover more about Arkansas's original state park, go to: www.PetitJeanStatePark.com.