The natural beauty and scenic views inspired this area to be named Arkansas's first State Park, and after one visit, it is clear to see why Petit Jean State Park is considered state treasure. The trails, scenic overlooks, and historic gravesite of Petit Jean herself, make this State Park a must visit in Arkansas.

Located between Ft. Smith and Little Rock, just south of Interstate 40, you will find the state treasure that is Petit Jean State Park. Its central location makes it very easy for any one to visit. The main hub of the State Park is the beautiful Mather Lodge, which has a rooms to rent, a restaurant, gift shop, and the location of the Cedar Falls Trailhead. Along with the lodge, this area has many cabins you can rent ranging from small to large groups. Leaving the lodge area heading east on the main road, you will find the campground reservations and visitors center. The campground has 125 sites, 35 Class AAA ($32 per night) and 90 Class B ($20 per night), which are spread out between 4 different camping areas. Site A is lake side, while B,C, & D are in a wooded area. Each camping area has a full bathroom with showers, while each individual site has its own picnic table, fire ring, and grill. TIP: Sites C & D are heavily wooded and offers the most privacy for the most authentic camping experience. 

The park has plenty of other amenities that makes it a great play to visit year round. 
Some of the other amenities include: 20+ miles of hiking trails, 2 playgrounds, picnic area, boat house for rentals, tennis and basketball courts, swimming pools, and various scenic overlooks that is sure to make for a great photo op.

One of the main highlights of the park is the gravesite of Petite Jean, which is located on the far east side of the park, on Stouts Point. The story of French explorer "Petit Jean" is very interesting and definitely worth a read. Many visitors travel long and far to visit the majestic sites of the Arkansas River Valley and to view the gravesite of Petit Jean.

Petit Jean State Park offers plenty of opportunity for adventures, from exploring the large boulders of Bear Cave Trail, or paddling around Lake Bailey, there is certainly something for everyone here and is certainly worthy of a visit!


Pack List

  • Tent 
  • Sleeping bag
  • Sleeping pad/air mattress
  • Other camping supplies
  • Fishing/kayaking equipment
  • Hiking Boots
  • Insect repellant
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Activities Chillin, Camping, Fishing, Photography, Hiking
Skill Level Beginner
Season Year Round
Features
Bathrooms
Dog Friendly
Easy Parking
Family Friendly
Food Nearby
Forest
Groups
Handicap Accessible
Lake
Picnic Area
Romantic
Scenic
Waterfall

Please respect the places you find on The Outbound Collective.

Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures. Be aware of local regulations and don't damage these amazing places for the sake of a photograph. Learn More

Nearby Adventures

More Nearby Adventures

Hike to Cedar Falls

When I did this hike it was unbelievable. This entire valley looks like something out of a painting.

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Hike the Seven Hollows Trail at Petit Jean SP

Start the trail at the marked Seven Hollows Trailhead just off of Petit Jean Mountain Road- there's a small parking lot and signage board.

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Camp at Mount Nebo SP

Mount Nebo State Park is just 12 miles southwest of Russellville, AR, home of Arkansas Tech University.

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