Sunday, May 12, 2013

Petit Jean State Park

Russellville, AR

Happy Mother's Day to all of the wonderful moms out there and special wishes to Fanchon and Christine (our moms).

If you don't like reviews on State Parks (this is the 3rd one in a row) then please close the blog at this point!  If you do, please read on!

Yesterday we drove about 20 miles southeast of Russellville over to Petit Jean State Park.  This park is located on a mountain top and has some tremendous views of the landscape below from several overlooks scattered throughout the park.  I'm not going to detail the history of the park here, but click on this link if interested.  Petit Jean State Park was the first state park in Arkansas and was introduced into their system in 1923.  Many features in the park were constructed by the CCC between 1933-1938.

The park sits on top of Petit Jean Mountain and has camping for RVs (with full hookups), individual tenting, and group tenting areas. There is a lake for fishing, with canoe and small boat rentals available.  Picnicking is plentiful, along with hiking and biking trails.

We traveled a gravel loop which included an overlook created by the CCC.

For folks without RVs or tents, Mather's Lodge looked like a very restful place to stay.  Mather's Lodge was named after Stephen Mather, father of the National Parks.
Top(L) Stephen Mather sign Top(R) Inside
Bottom(L) Inside Bottom(R) Cliff side of lodge
Rock House Cave
We hiked many of the trails yesterday. One trail was named Rock House Cave Trail and eventually led to a huge rock overhang in which ancient Indian people were said to have lived. Several of their writings could still be seen on the walls inside.
"Turtle Rocks"
On the way to Rock House Cave we traversed an area known by the park as "turtle rocks".
These rock formations resemble the backs of turtles and are said to have been created after millions of years of ground water percolating through the crevices, cracks, and crossbedding causing oxidation of iron and other heavy minerals in the sandstone.

Steve "holding" up the rocks for safe passage
Our last trail of the day led us down to Cedar Falls.  The falls drop over 90 feet and the surrounding walls of Cedar Canyon are beautiful. It was quite a walk over some rough trail areas for folks like us not wearing proper hiking shoes.

Half way to Cedar Creek Falls
A strenuous hike, but well worth it
.......and finally just a few more shots from around the park.
Top(L) 1845 Pioneer Cabin  Top(R) Amongst the Rocks
Bottom(L) Richter Overlook Bottom(R) Karen on Bear Cave Trail
Thanks for stopping by again to take a look!


  1. Good job holding that rock up so others could pass. I guess you never stop being a public servant, even in retirement.

    Awesome picture of the falls! We love state parks, keep 'em coming!!! :c)

  2. Paul beat me to it, so I won't comment on the super human effort it must have taken to hold up the rock ;-) Enjoying the park reviews ... you never know when we might find ourselves looking to stay in one of them.