If you’ve never visited Arkansas’s flagship state park, what the hell are you waiting for? Pound for pound, Petit Jean does not disappoint. Seriously, if I am going to talk about Petit Jean it would be an entire book. I’ll try to give you the foot notes…
Get your sneakers on, you don’t need full on hiking gear, load up some snacks, water, bring the kids, the dog, and a camera. For most of Arkansas this is not a long drive, but a place you can spend literally zero dollars and walk away with an entire day of adventure.
Petit Jean’s back story is an interesting one. It’s a love story. Not quite The Notebook, but a love story. Man goes on long adventure, leaves woman he loves. Woman secretly dresses like a man to avoid being caught, and sneaks on board the same ship as her lover. The great adventure begins! Don’t get too excited. Of course, she was discovered. I mean, a woman on a ship full of men that haven’t seen girl in months, right? Petit or Petite Jean (John), the hideaway girl, died on that trip. She is buried at Petit Jean, for which the state park is named. I know I am leaving out some good details but, again, abridged version.
Pssst.. If you’re nerdy like we are, you can get the entire story from the experts over at https://www.arkansasstateparks.com/parks/petit-jean-state-park/about/history
Best part of the park? Cedar Falls. At 100 feet, it’s one of the tallest continuously running falls in the state. However, the real beauty in this fall is after a rain. The volume of rain is what makes the waterfall roar. It’s one of the most picturesque places in the entire state. Plenty of rocks for photo ops or to hang out on and just enjoy the sounds and the fresh air that erupts from Cedar Canyon. The hike is only 2 miles round trip, and it’s stunning. Well worth it and an easy/medium hike.
Take our word, and take the family. Petit Jean is not petite.
Get out and EXPLORE!
Y’all have at it.
Phil and Jess
The Arkansas Do To Team