Petit Jean Park Postcard

Area Attractions

Besides FAMILY ACTIVITIES, the reunion area offers a wealth of diverting recreational choices. See: INSIDE THE PARK and AROUND THE AREA

I.  Inside Petit Jean Park

Things to Do

Petit Jean State Park features a full calendar of activities.

Visitor Center

The Center includes the park museum where you can discover the geological origins of the mountain, see an orientation movie, and browse displays about the development of the Park.

Stout's Point and the Gravesite Overlook

A dramatic landmark, this rocky point juts over the valley like the prow of a ship.  From the overlook you can see the Ouachita Mountains to the south, the Ozark Plateau to the North, and the Arkansas River flowing below the mountain.  This is also the site of Petit Jean's grave.  Legend tells us a young French girl disguised herself as a cabin boy to accompany her fiancé to the New World.  When she became fatally ill, she requested that she be buried on the mountain that now bears her name.  The gravesite is West of the boardwalk.  North of the boardwalk are the remains of College Lodge, the only remaining structure from the YMCA camp located here in the 1920's and 30's.  As a landmark along the water route of the Indian Removal to Oklahoma in 1838, Stout's Point is also a certified Trail of Tears National Historic Trail site.

CCC Overlook

Built by the Civilian Conservation Corps in the early 1930's, this beautiful stone overlook is perched on the rim of Cedar Creek Canyon.  You can look directly across the Canyon to the Palisades Overlook.

Davies Bridge

This bridge was built by the CCC before the construction of the lakes.  The bridge is largely hand built; the stones were moved into place using a hand-made crane called a gin pole.

Lake Roosevelt and Lake Bailey

These 2 lakes were built by the CCC.  Lake Bailey is the larger of the 2 lakes.  Both lakes are stocked annually and provide good fishing.  The boathouse on Lake Bailey provides paddle boats and fishing boats for rental during the summer.  Swimming is not permitted in either lake.

Pioneer Cabin, Cedar Creek Trailhead

John Walker, the first settler on Petit Jean Mountain built this cabin in 1845.  Originally located near what is now Lake Bailey, the cabin was dismantled by the CCC and moved and reassembled to provide a monument to honor the pioneer spirit.  The cabin also serves as a trailhead for the Cedar Creek Trail.

Cedar Falls Overlook

This overlook provides a good view of the breath-taking 95 ft waterfall known as Cedar Falls.  Take the gently sloping boardwalk through the woods to enjoy this lovely view.

CCC Water Tower

During its active days, this unique rock structure held a water tank in its upper level and supplied the lodge and cabins with drinking water.

Mather Lodge

The CCC built this lodge between 1933 and 1935.  The Lodge is named for Stephen Mather, the first director of the National Park System.  Native stone was used throughout the construction.  The original handmade furniture is still in use in the lobby.  One of the best experiences to be had on the mountain is to watch the sunset over Cedar Creek Canyon from the back porch or the breezeway of the Lodge.

Bear Cave and Seven Hollows

From the Bear Cave parking lot, you can observe many different sandstone formations.  This area was named by local residents after a black bear was shot here in the early 1900's.  Across the highway from Bear Cave is the Seven Hollows Trailhead.

Palisades Overlook

Perched high on the sandstone bluffs opposite the CCC overlook, this is a wonderful place to view the beauty of the Cedar Creek Canyon and to watch the sun set over the Arkansas River Valley.


Cedar Falls - This trail begins behind the breezeway at Mather Lodge, a majestic CCC rustic style mountain lodge, and winds down into Cedar Creek Canyon. Massive stone boulders and large trees adorn the trailside.

Length/Time - 2 miles, 2 hours
Trailhead - Through Mather Lodge, behind swimming pool
Trail End - Backtrack to start
Difficulty - Moderate to hard

Seven Hollows Trail - This trail includes the quiet glades, magnificent stone facings, bubbling streams and deep forest that inspired the creation of Arkansas's first state park.

Length - 4.5 miles, 4 hours
Trailhead - Through Mather Lodge, behind swimming pool
Trail End - Backtrack to start
Difficulty - Moderate to Hard

Cedar Creek Trail - This trail winds along Cedar Creek above Cedar Falls.

Length - 1.25 miles, 1.5 hours
Trailhead - Pioneer Cabin
Trail End - Backtrack to start
Difficulty - Moderate

Canyon Trail - This trail follows Cedar Creek's many small splashing falls and emerald pools.

Length - 1 miles, 2 hours
Trailhead - Cedar Falls Trail
Trail End - Junction with Boy Scout Trail in Blue Hole area
Difficulty - Easy

Winthrop P. Rockefeller Boy Scout Trail - This trail touches and connects all of the trails at the Park.

Length - 12 miles, 8 hours
Trailhead - Across from group camp at north end of Davies Bridge
Trail End - Trail loops back to beginning
Difficulty - Moderate to Hard

Rock House Cave Trail - Rock House Cave is not a true Cave, but a large rock shelter.  It contains evidence that Native Americans once lived in the area.  Look closely for pictographs high on the wall.

Length 0.25 miles, 0.5 hours
Trailhead - 1 mile west on Red Bluff Drive
Trail End - Backtrack to starting point
Difficulty - Easy

Bear Cave Trail - Visitors to Bear Cave can walk around, through and over these gigantic rocks.

Length 0.25 miles, 0.5 hours
Trailhead - 1 mile west of Mather Lodge on Hwy. 154
Trail End - Backtrack to starting point
Difficulty - Easy

II. Nearby Attractions Outside of the Park

Museum of Automobiles

Numerous privately owned classic and antique cars from the U.S. and abroad are on display.  Hours are 10 am to 5 pm. Admission $10.00 adults; $9.00 seniors 65 & over; $5.00 students age 6 to 17.

Petit Jean Airport

This mile long public airstrip is owned by the Park.  Landing and take-off are daytime visual only.  Petit Jean is the only park in Arkansas with a fly-in campground.  5 Sites are located at the south end of the runway.

Winthrop Rockefeller Center

The Center is part of the University of Arkansas System and includes a hotel and first class conference center focusing on educational programs. The Center utilizes Winrock Farms facilities to provide educational programs covering a wide range of topics of interest to Arkansans.

Winrock Farms

The Farm was created by Winthrop Rockefeller in 1953.  He developed scientific research facilities pertaining to cattle and made the findings available to Arkansas cattlemen.  He convened many conferences at the farm to consider political, economic, and social problems plaguing the state.  Today the farm still specializes in raising and selling purebred Santa Gertrudis cattle.

Lutheran Church and Camp

This small church was built by mountain families in 1886.  It is now part of the Lutheran Camp on Petit Jean, a year-round retreat facility.

Barnyard Friends and Stables

This privately owned facility offers a petting zoo and trail rides. Open Tuesdays through Sunday, 10-5.  Also offers day care and pet-setting.  Call 501-208-7287 for more info.