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Nestled atop Petit Jean Mountain, complementing its craggy beauty, is Arkansas' first state park: Petit Jean State Park. The park protects 3,471 acres of land and has been a major tourist attraction in Conway County for decades. Boasting rustic facilities and countless outdoor activities, the park is a lovely place for RV camping and enjoying the great outdoors. Swimming pools, picnic areas, and playgrounds, along with a variety of amenities, will help make your stay convenient, entertaining, and memorable.
Book an RV in Conway County and start planning your Petit Jean State Park camping itinerary. No matter what sort of outdoor activity you're craving, you'll find something to suit avid adventurers of all types here. You'll enjoy a relaxing, rural escape as well as easy access to major interstate routes. The park is also a short drive from Plumerville and Morrilton, where you'll find more recreational activities and places to provision for your camping trip.
When you camp at Petit Jean State Park, you'll find the activities are truly endless. Lake Bailey, Bear Cave, and, of course, Petit Jean Mountain are just some of the park's most popular attractions. Many of the park's events are centered around these natural wonders, from bear cave hikes and educational wildlife programs to bike races and kayak tours.
Hikers will find an array of trails to trek ranging in difficulty from easy to strenuous. For an easy walk, take the Bear Cave Trail, a quarter-mile route which passes through some of the park's massive boulders and rocky outcrops. Those looking for a challenge will find it on the Cedar Falls Trail. This two-mile path features tricky terrain but rewards hikers with stunning views of the trail's namesake waterfall, a 95-foot cascade which is one of the tallest in the state.
After exploring the park on foot, cool off in the park's public pool, open from May to September. Anglers and boaters can launch out onto Lake Bailey. Alternatively, engage in a little friendly competition with a game of basketball or tennis.
There are a few things you should know about RV camping at Petit Jean State Park. Campers can choose from 35 Class AAA sites and 90 Class B sites. Class AAA sites welcome big rigs between 60 and 100 feet long with full hookups and 50-amp electricity. Class B campsites feature water and electricity (30-amp) hookups and accommodate RVs between 25 and 60 feet long. RV campers without sewer hookups can use the park's dump station.
Petit Jean State Park's campground is split into four areas, all of which offer convenient access to hot showers and flush toilets. Camping Area A is closest to Lake Bailey and offers lakeside campsites. The other three areas are nestled in serene woodlands. Cabins and yurts are also available for campers at Petit Jean State Park.
Petit Jean also offers a lodging option most parks don't: its own airport and fly-in campground. This unique spot offers a handful of tent sites with water and electric hookups, along with other amenities such as grills, lantern holders, and picnic tables. To book one of these special sites, visitors will need to contact the park's airport directly.
One of the places everyone should visit while camping at Petit Jean State Park is the Museum of Automobiles in Morrilton. The museum features dozens of vintage vehicles dating back to the early 20th century, including rare Climber cars, original Oldsmobiles, and early Ford models.
You can learn a lot about the history of Arkansas by visiting Rockefeller Legacy Gallery. The contributions of Winthrop Rockefeller, son of the famous John D. Rockefeller, helped make Arkansas what it is today. Visitors can learn more about how Rockefeller's influence shaped this region of Arkansas through 180 murals consisting of more than 300 restored photos.
Those who are looking for a place where they can buy souvenirs or explore local history should pay a visit to Morrilton Commercial Historic District. This historic commercial hub was developed between 1880 and 1920 as a result of the former railroad which passed through the area. Explore the post office, the museum housed in the now defunct railway station, and the Coca-Cola building. The district also hosts a variety of events throughout the year.
Before leaving the park, stop by Mather Lodge, where you can have a lovely lunch or dinner or search for souvenirs. If you want to visit a more urban environment, the capital of Arkansas, Little Rock, is just an hour away. In Little Rock, you'll find an array of dining options, shopping opportunities, and gas stations.