Petit Jean State Park, Morrilton, Arkansas

This park finds itself on a plateau-topped mountain just west of Little Rock, Arkansas. Keep in mind, mountains in these parts are not the steep Colorado peaks touching 13,000 feet, rather sloping, rolling mountains that top out at a few thousand feet. A manageable but winding road leads you up to the state park boundary. Along your drive in from the east you will pass Petit (pronounced "petty") Jean's gravesite; a pullout is available if you wish to stop. Bordering the state park boundary you will also see a couple of summer camps for kids. Once inside the park, you will find an abundance of amenities. The park has four different campground areas, the only Arkansas state park with
a lodge, yurts, Lake Bailey, a boat launch ramp, boat rentals, day use picnic area, hiking trails, amphitheater, a Visitor's Center, pool, basketball court, volleyball court, and a nice hike/bike paved path that winds through the area and takes you to several of the park's highlights, such as Pioneer Village. The park has an abundance of history here, including the reason for its name: Petit Jean. We had only one night here to explore in summer's heat, but we managed to enjoy a ride along the hike/bike path that we chose to take to the Cedar Falls overlook. These falls are an astounding 91 feet in length! In winter these falls create beautiful ice formations, while summer a hike to the bottom of the falls along Cedar Creek Trail allows you to cool  down in their mist. Our campsite was in Area A. This area offers the most modern campsites with full hookups at each site, paved pads, grills, picnic tables, and views of the lake. Sites currently are assigned on arrival, and your reservation will only guarantee you an area. The good news here is that every site within Area A is beautiful and big rig friendly. Most have stunning lake views, while those few that don't (1-8) are spacious and more wooded. You can't go wrong getting assigned a site here. Tall trees speckle the campground as well, offering some relief from the sun on hotter summer days. Campsites in Areas B, C, and D are more rustic and better suited for tent campers. Site pads are paved, however we found them to be much less level and in need of some repair. With no hookups, no grills, and no picnic tables, campers in these areas should come better prepared. These sites however are heavily wooded and offer abundant shade. If you have ever camped at Canyon Campground in Yellowstone, we had a similar feeling as far as the abundance of trees. We always like to be prepared with a reservation, but even on our weekend stay, sites were in abundance.

Best Sites: 2*, 4*, 6*, 8*, 10, 11, 13, 16, 19, 30 (*No lake view, but spacious and private)
Poor Sites: None
Hookups: Electric, Water, & Sewer
Potable Water: At each site
Dump Within Facility: Yes