U.S. CitiesCity-Data Forum Index
Covid-19 Information Page
Go Back   City-Data Forum > U.S. Forums > Arkansas
 [Register]
Please register to participate in our discussions with 2 million other members - it's free and quick! Some forums can only be seen by registered members. After you create your account, you'll be able to customize options and access all our 15,000 new posts/day with fewer ads.
View detailed profile (Advanced) or search
site with Google Custom Search

Search Forums  (Advanced)
Reply Start New Thread
 
Old 11-14-2012, 07:22 AM
 
10,983 posts, read 9,150,466 times
Reputation: 20208

Advertisements

BTW, Petit Jean is pronounced "Petty Gene", which you probably already know, since you've made reservations. It's named for a legendary French girl who disguised herself as a cabin boy to follow her sweetheart to the New World - the ship sailed up the Arkansas River (which flows by the foot of PJ Mountain), Petit Jean (meaning "Little John", got sick and her true identity was discovered. Legend says the friendly Indians carried her to the top of the mountain to see the sunrise, her dying wish. You can visit her "grave" at the overlook at the eastern end of the mountain (which offers a spectacular view of the river valley below, but another place to hang onto your little guy).

There's also a museum of antique cars atop the flat-topped mountain (which is deeply intersected by gorges) and Cedar Falls, the tallest waterfall in Arkansas is in the state park. You may already know that the original lodge (which has been enlarged and modernized), visitors' center, and many of the cabins and other structures were built by the CCC, using local materials. As a result, they blend into the landscape beautifully, as if they grew there.

There are picnic areas and I believe a playground near Cedar Lodge in the park, but all those rocks, turtle and otherwise, make great equipment for your toddler to clamber on. The restaurant food is good; service is friendly, and evening entertainment consists of watching the usually spectacular sunsets over the canyon, from the patio and gentle rock steps behind the lodge. There will also be fires in the massive stone fireplace in the lodge each evening (and perhaps daytime as well). Fall color can linger in Arkansas - not sure what this year's patterns are. The last time I was in Arkansas in November was about three years ago, and rain and wind had brought down the leaves early, but other years saw leaves still brilliant almost up to Thanksgiving. BTW, if you'll be at Cedar Lodge for Thanksgiving dinner, be sure to make reservations asap. The dining room overlooks the canyon below and is a very popular place for visitors.

Mt. Nebo is close enough to Petit Jean to be visited during a day trip - the Buffalo River is a good drive away in a different part of the state. It's also gorgeous, and is well-known for offering float trips in the summer - not sure what's going on there at this time of the year.

I'm not in Arkansas, but have roots there, and am making myself yearn to go back! Hope you have a great trip.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message

 
Old 11-14-2012, 09:15 AM
 
4,817 posts, read 7,092,624 times
Reputation: 6887
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sam I Am View Post
They hiked Lost Valley Trail and said it was incredible, although a little short.
I wouldn't call Lost Valley trail "short" for someone who will be packing a 2 year old on their back.

Lost Valley is incredible. When the water is running, it's positively magical.

But, they said they wanted to camp.....the campground at Lost Valley has closed down, hasn't it? And I believe the only other place around there to camp is in "downtown" Ponca, which is not bad, though. At least it has showers! It's just kind of out in the open, or something...I don't know, I just didn't like it. But Ponca is a cute little town.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 11-14-2012, 12:02 PM
 
Location: Little Rock AR USA
2,457 posts, read 6,519,092 times
Reputation: 1887
And Petite Jean has an Arkansas Archaeological Research Station in "The Barn". I have not yet had the opportunity to visit it, and don't know what they may have on display or available to look at, but it may be worth a walk over there since you are already on the mountain.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 11-14-2012, 02:45 PM
 
1,052 posts, read 1,359,584 times
Reputation: 1321
Quote:
Originally Posted by CraigCreek View Post
BTW, Petit Jean is pronounced "Petty Gene", which you probably already know, since you've made reservations. It's named for a legendary French girl who disguised herself as a cabin boy to follow her sweetheart to the New World - the ship sailed up the Arkansas River (which flows by the foot of PJ Mountain), Petit Jean (meaning "Little John", got sick and her true identity was discovered. Legend says the friendly Indians carried her to the top of the mountain to see the sunrise, her dying wish. You can visit her "grave" at the overlook at the eastern end of the mountain (which offers a spectacular view of the river valley below, but another place to hang onto your little guy).

There's also a museum of antique cars atop the flat-topped mountain (which is deeply intersected by gorges) and Cedar Falls, the tallest waterfall in Arkansas is in the state park. You may already know that the original lodge (which has been enlarged and modernized), visitors' center, and many of the cabins and other structures were built by the CCC, using local materials. As a result, they blend into the landscape beautifully, as if they grew there.

There are picnic areas and I believe a playground near Cedar Lodge in the park, but all those rocks, turtle and otherwise, make great equipment for your toddler to clamber on. The restaurant food is good; service is friendly, and evening entertainment consists of watching the usually spectacular sunsets over the canyon, from the patio and gentle rock steps behind the lodge. There will also be fires in the massive stone fireplace in the lodge each evening (and perhaps daytime as well). Fall color can linger in Arkansas - not sure what this year's patterns are. The last time I was in Arkansas in November was about three years ago, and rain and wind had brought down the leaves early, but other years saw leaves still brilliant almost up to Thanksgiving. BTW, if you'll be at Cedar Lodge for Thanksgiving dinner, be sure to make reservations asap. The dining room overlooks the canyon below and is a very popular place for visitors.

Mt. Nebo is close enough to Petit Jean to be visited during a day trip - the Buffalo River is a good drive away in a different part of the state. It's also gorgeous, and is well-known for offering float trips in the summer - not sure what's going on there at this time of the year.

I'm not in Arkansas, but have roots there, and am making myself yearn to go back! Hope you have a great trip.
Fantastic post! Thanks for the history on the etymology of the park. Disguise, adventure, romance and exploration of the unknown: all the great elements of folklore and, in this case, actual history. Thanks, too, for the pronunciation tip. I'd have pronounced it in French and would have sounded pretty funny! I absolutely loved the accent of the folks that answered the phones at Petit Jean and Mt. Magazine (where we'll spend a night too). Very charming.

I'll come back and let you all know how it went.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 11-14-2012, 07:21 PM
 
Location: Little Rock AR USA
2,457 posts, read 6,519,092 times
Reputation: 1887
We spent a weekend on Mt. Magazine and WOW
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 11-15-2012, 09:14 AM
 
4,817 posts, read 7,092,624 times
Reputation: 6887
Oh yeah, Slim, that lodge at Magazine is something else, isn't it? Haven't stayed there, but I've seen it. The campground is pretty, too, and so is the one at Petit Jean. Lots of trees both places.

Anyone seen the new lodge at Petit Jean yet? Hope they didn't destroy the rustic feel of the old part, though I did read that they were going to try to preserve it and make the new match the old.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 11-15-2012, 09:42 AM
 
10,983 posts, read 9,150,466 times
Reputation: 20208
I've only seen the website, but it looks as if they took extra care to match materials and style. The old lodge is still in place - the old dining room was replaced, as was the swimming pool, and modernization took place in the rooms, I believe, but Mather Lodge looks just about the same from the front, with the addition of a covered entrance/porch/porte cochere, also built in "Adirondack Style" (that's what the park's website terms it; I'd just call it rustic Ozark Style).

Can't wait to go back someday...next spring, perhaps?

I have fond memories of a long-ago Fourth of July weekend at the old lodge at Mount Magazine, which was also rustic in style and had Spartan rooms, but a large and attractive dining room, good food, and a splendid rock patio overlook at the back. There was a tragic fire which killed many of the talented young people who worked there (and performed music and skits) during the summer, shortly after our family's visit. This was long before Mount Magazine became a state park - the old lodge was operated by the National Forest Service as I recall. It was years and years later before the current lodge was constructed - I have yet to see it.

Way back when, it was a unique experience to look down at the fireworks in each of the little towns in the valley, far below the mountaintop...
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 11-15-2012, 07:56 PM
 
4,817 posts, read 7,092,624 times
Reputation: 6887
Quote:
Originally Posted by CraigCreek View Post
....all those rocks, turtle and otherwise, make great equipment for your toddler to clamber on.
Oh yes, my son absolutely LOVED the turtle rocks when he was little! And there's one hiking trail, the "bear cave" one, or something to that effect, that has lots of huge boulders and crevices and overhangs for him to squeeze between and underneath...you, too! And some of the rocks there are fairly easy to climb on top of, also. We enjoyed that the last time we were there, even though our kids are grown. It's also fairly short.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 11-17-2012, 03:15 PM
 
Location: AR/OK
85 posts, read 209,102 times
Reputation: 52
Can anyone recommend any RV parks worth staying out for the areas mentioned? We too have three little ones, so definately family-friendly places would be a plus.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 11-19-2012, 03:57 PM
 
1,052 posts, read 1,359,584 times
Reputation: 1321
Default Best driving route?

Does anyone have a recommended route from DFW to Petit Jean SP?

Google maps suggests turning off I-30 just before Benton, jogging over to Hwy 9, then north to 154.

Other options offered include 71 north through Mena then on to 28 heading east. This route looks like it may be more scenic, but might take an extra half hour?

Another is via 75 through OK.

Which of these would you recommend? Is there yet another option to consider? I wouldn't mind tagging on 20 minutes for a more scenic route.

Many thanks,
C
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Please register to post and access all features of our very popular forum. It is free and quick. Over $68,000 in prizes has already been given out to active posters on our forum. Additional giveaways are planned.

Detailed information about all U.S. cities, counties, and zip codes on our site: City-data.com.


Reply
Please update this thread with any new information or opinions. This open thread is still read by thousands of people, so we encourage all additional points of view.

Quick Reply
Message:


Settings
X
Data:
Loading data...
Based on 2000-2020 data
Loading data...

123
Hide US histogram

Over $104,000 in prizes was already given out to active posters on our forum and additional giveaways are planned!

Go Back   City-Data Forum > U.S. Forums > Arkansas
Similar Threads
Follow City-Data.com founder on our Forum or

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 10:58 PM.

© 2005-2020, Advameg, Inc. · Please obey Forum Rules · Terms of Use and Privacy Policy · Bug Bounty

City-Data.com - Contact Us - Archive 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35, 36, 37 - Top