Where RV This Year? travel blog

Paula at an Overlook in Petit Jean State Park

Turtle Rocks at Petit Jean

Paula at a "cave" in Petit Jean

Taking a rest on Seven Hollows Trail at Natural Bridge (4.5 mile...

Arkansas River viewed from Petit Jean's Grave

Petit Jean's Grave

Cedar Falls

Mather Lodge

Camp was set up yesterday in Petit Jean State Park, located south of Russellville and Morrilton in Arkansas.

Petit Jean(pronounced "petty") Jean State Park is a wonderful park located atop a flat top mountain, also named Petit Jean. Lots of neat trail, a waterfall, Indian rock art, a swimming pool and a beautiful lodge and restaurant are there. Nearby is a car museum for those who like old automobiles.

The park gets it name according to legend. Petit Jean (translated as Little John) was a young woman in the 18th century. When she found out that her fiance was planning to leave France and go to America to explore the Louisiana Territory. He insisted she stay behind. Not satisfied with waiting, she cut her hair, disguised herself as a male, and secured a position as a cabin boy on the ship sailing to the Americas with her fiance. After surviving the sail across the Atlantic, and arriving in Arkansas to explore, she became gravely ill. On her deathbed, she revealed her true name to her fiance. She requested to be buried high on a mountaintop, not under her given name, but under the name she was known on the ship, Petit Jean. Her grave is still there on the mountain overlooking the Arkansas River.

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