Hiking Arkansas -Petit Jean State Park Lodge and Waterfall Hike

The first thing I noticed when arrived at Petit Jean State Park was the breathtaking view over Cedar Creek Canyon. An adorable couple asked if we wanted our family picture taken and shared how this is the spot they got in engaged and travel back to year after year on their anniversary. It’s a special place!

mather lodge petit jean

I was also instantly charmed by Mather Lodge which was built by the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) in the 1930s.

Inside the Lodge we enjoyed lunch. The vaulted log ceilings and expansive views of the canyon made it a memorable experience.

petit jean waterfall

After lunch we put on our hiking boots and started down Cedar Falls Trail. The trailhead was conveniently located right behind the Lodge.

This hike is 2 miles round trip and is rated as Moderate, Strenuous. This is a popular and well-rated hike on AllTrails.com where I enjoyed reading fellow hikers comments such as, ‘well worth the effort’ and ‘You’ll get your heart rate going coming back up, but it’s well worth the hike’.

In the pictures that follow I hope I captured some of the beauty we saw along the trail as well as the terrain.

The trail was pretty steep, but our daughters were able to hike it on their own with some handholding in spots and lots of encouragement.

Cedar Falls is worth the effort. According to the park’s website the falls measures 95-feet making it one of the ‘tallest continuously flowing waterfalls in the state.’ We hiked in April after recent rain storms so the water flow was spectacular.

We enjoyed a snack at the waterfall before heading back up towards the Lodge.

things to do at petit jean state park

On this trip we only staid for half of a day, but after seeing all that Petit Jean has to offer from swimming pools to unique hiking trails, we are hoping to go back again soon. Additional attractions include fishing, kayaking, and pedal boating at Lake Bailey. You’ll also find picnic areas, playgrounds, pavilions, tennis courts, and a basketball court. If you are interested in history, Petit Jean State Park is a certified Trail of Tears National Historic Trail Site.

Petite Jean State Park is located in Morrilton, Arkansas which is a 2.5 hour drive from our home in Fayetteville, Arkansas. Accommodations include the Lodge, cabins and camping options including Rent-A-Yurts.

You can find more information about Petit Jean State Park on their website at https://www.arkansasstateparks.com/parks/petit-jean-state-park.

We love Arkansas State Parks! Here are several more posts about the Arkansas State Parks we’ve visited so far.