Petit Jean State Park Arkansas

14 “Must Do” Things at Petit Jean State Park

Petit Jean State Park is one of my favorite state parks in Arkansas. The scenery, the food, the activities…it’s all wonderful.

The natural beauty and ancient geology of the legendary Petit Jean Mountain inspired the creation of Arkansas’s first state park and with it our state park system.


If you’re new to Petit Jean or it’s been a while since you’ve been there, make sure you don’t miss these fun things to do!

14. Go camping!

I have tent camped at Petit Jean, stayed in a motorhome, rented a cabin, and stayed in Mather Lodge at Petit Jean State Park and every experience was a blast.

In fact, Petit Jean State Park is one of the The Best State Parks in Arkansas for Camping!

OR…rent a YURT!

Everything You Need to Know About Renting a YURT at Petit Jean State Park

Petit Jean State Park YURT

13. Hike all the trails

The visitor’s center has maps that will help you decided which trail to choose.

Cedar Creek Trail Petit Jean State Park
Cedar Falls Overlook at Petit Jean State Park

Seven Hollows Trail is especially fun! It’s one of 7 incredible Arkansas Hiking Loops.

The Grotto on Seven Hollows Trail
The Grotto on Seven Hollows Trail

You’ll find Seven Hollow Trail here:
GPS: 35.114265632578, -92.94544100761

12. Enjoy the swimming pool at Mather Lodge

Mather Lodge offers a beautiful swimming pool for guests to cool off in during those hot Arkansas summers. It has a waterfall to play under and views of the valley below.

As you relax, be sure to wave at all the exhausted folks coming off the Cedar Falls trail. You’ll be the envy of them all!

11. Take beautiful photos

Petit Jean State Park is full of great overlooks and bluffs to take great photos.

Stout’s Point is a favorite and it’s also where Petit Jean is buried!

10. Rent a pedal boat or kayak on Lake Bailey

Upstream from Cedar Creek, a CCC rock dam forms Lake Bailey, 100 acres for fishing, kayaking, and pedal boating. Open in the summer months, the boathouse offers a snack bar, boat rentals, and supplies.

Lake Bailey on Petit Jean Mountain
Lake Bailey on Petit Jean Mountain

9. Visit the Museum of Automobiles

This museum is loads of fun for classic car lovers!

The museum is home to the only Climber automobiles known to exist with the 1923 Climber Touring on display. In addition to the Climber, there are more than 50 vehicles on display ranging from a 1904 Oldsmobile French Front to a 1967 Ford Ranchero. Most of the vehicles date to before 1950.


They also put on fun events like car shows, military vehicle rallies, and the extremely popular swap meets. I’ve been to the swap meets and I absolutely love them! You just never know what you’ll find there, plus there’s always good food.

8. Grab a coffee at the Petit Jean Coffeehouse

The Petit Jean Coffeehouse is a newish establishment on top of Petit Jean Mountain. Established in 2019, this is a welcome addition to the mountain!

Delicious coffee + a gorgeous state park = unbeatable memories

Visit the Petit Jean Coffeehouse here:

1482 Petit Jean Mountain Road
(501) 306-5341

7. Visit the grave site and learn the history of Petit Jean

Petit Jean’s Gravesite at Stout’s Point on the mountain’s East Brow is Petit Jean State Park’s most well-known overlook. This is a peaceful place to enjoy the breathtaking view of the Arkansas River below and learn about the romantic legend of Petit Jean.


6. Don’t miss Cedar Falls

Petit Jean State Park has a fantastic campground and many people who camp or visit there also like to hike down to the base of Cedar Falls.

It’s a one-of-a-kind experience. Don’t forget your camera!

Cedar Falls Petit Jean State Park
Cedar Falls. Photo by TROVE1

You’ll also find Cedar Falls included here:
14 [INCREDIBLE] Waterfalls in Arkansas that are Beautiful

5. See the Native American pictographs in the Rock House Cave

The shelter itself is large and was probably used by native Americans starting about 8,000 years ago. The evidence of this use can be seen in the many rock art images that appear on the walls and ceiling of the shelter. The shelter contains at least 105 rock art images.

Rock House Cave at Petit Jean State Park
Rock House Cave at Petit Jean State Park

Don’t miss another Rock House Cave in Arkansas!
This Is Unbelievable! Indian Rock House Cave in Fairfield Bay Arkansas

4. Grab something sweet at The Outpost

I love to stop by The Outpost when I’m visiting Petit Jean State Park. There just nothing like delicious ice cream or a piece of Petit Jean Mountain fudge to make your camping or hiking experience sweeter.

Whatever you do, don’t miss this stop!

3. Enjoy a delicious meal at the restaurant in Mather Lodge

Mather Lodge sits on top of Petit Jean Mountain and offers some of the most incredible views but you’ll also find extremely delicious food there.

My favorites are the burgers and the veggie wraps.

Large windows frame the view of rugged Cedar Creek Canyon, scenery highlighted each evening by a dramatic sunset.


2. Buy something delicious at the Petit Jean Farmers Market

The Petit Jean Farmers Market is an indoor market with a variety of offerings. Baked goods, seasonal gifts, fresh produce, homemade soaps…you can find it all here!

You’ll find the Petit Jean Farmers Market here

1039 Winrock Drive Morrilton, AR 72110
(501) 208-2592

1. Visit the petting zoo and go horseback riding

So, here is something really neat. There is a 40-acre ranch on top of Petit Jean Mountain that has a petting zoo, hayrides and horseback trail rides! It’s called Barnyard Friends & Stables and it’s a fun experience for everyone.

I had a long talk with the owner this morning (who happens to be one of the sweetest people you could ever talk to). She informed me that they also have a 3br/1ba house on the ranch for guests to rent.

Staying on the ranch is a dream of mine and I plan on booking a stay ASAP!

A stay at the guest house on the ranch includes visits to the petting zoo, beautiful views, waking up to the sounds of the chickens, and evening brays from the donkeys.

And, as an added bonus, you will be under the watchful protection of the sweet ranch puppy named Angel.

Now, about those trail rides. Personally, I have always loved horses but I’ve never owned one myself. So, I live out my cowgirl dreams on guided trail rides. What makes Barnyard Friends & Stables neat is that they have 40 acres of land with their own private trails. Children must be at least 5 years old to ride and they are required to wear a helmet. (They can bring their own if they want or the stable will provide one).

The sweet folks at the stable do everything they can to make your child comfortable and confident while horseback riding. Their goal is to educate children about the animals and make sure they have an enjoyable experience.

Barnyard Friends & Stables extras:

Construction of a large John Deere tractor was recently completed for kids to play on. There is a large playground area with plenty of seating for parents to relax while watching their children have fun.

The ranch also offers 1 RV hookup for anyone who wants camp and stay. Also, call and ask about their primitive campsites!

Barnyard Friends & Stables
110 Jones Lane/ Morrilton, AR 72110
(501) 208-7287

There is so much to do at Petit Jean State Park and I know you’re going to have a wonderful time!

You’ll find Petit Jean State Park here:
1285 Petit Jean Mountain Road
Morrilton, AR 72110

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