Sunday, May 15, 2011

Petit Jean State Park, Morrilton, AR

We stopped at a COE park on the Arkasas River, outside Morrilton, AR. Nearby is Petit Jean State Park.

Built in 1928, this was the administration building for a YMCA camp until it burnt in 1940.
Notice the unusual designs on the sandstone blocks.

This is the grave of Petit Jean or Little John in French. Petit Jean was engaged to a relative of the King of France, but he was sent by the King to America to explore. Jean wanted to go but he refused saying it was too dangerous. So Jean disguised herself as a cabin boy and hired on the same ship as her fiancee. No, not even her fiancee, recognized her and she spent the next year sailing and exploring. They ended up here in what is now Arkansas after navigating the river. As they were preparing to leave to return to France, Jean got ill. Only then was her real identity discovered. She asked to be taken back to this hill to die, as she had fallen in love with this country. Years later this grave was discovered and it is believed to be the grave of Petit Jean.

Yes, it is May 14. But it was cold. The wind was blowing about 20 mph and the temps were in the low 60s. Less than a week ago it was in the mid nighties.

This bridge was built in the 1930 by the CCC. It creates a beautiful frame for the waterfall behind.

From this overlook you can see, on the left side, a small waterfall. And down at the bottom are people. This is Cedar Falls, which cascades 90 feet down the hill into a pool of water.

These are turtle rocks. They look like a turtle shell. There are hundreds of these formations in this area.

Fance was enjoying the sunshine, hiding in the tall grass and wildflowers.

We hiked down to Cedar Falls.

The path down and back looked like this most of the way.

We also hiked Seven Hollows Trail. All the signs in this park were as bright and colorful as this one.

This was a natural bridge formation.

Here we are under the natural bridge, but somehow Tom managed to hide behind some of us and you can't see him.

There were several varieties of wildflowers.

The hike took us through several hollows (along the creek)

as well as through some beautiful forests.

There were many caves along the way. It doesn't look very large from outside, but....

It was much larger once you went in. It also had a back door. It took us 3 hours to hike only 5 miles, but that was because we kept stopping to explore. Tomorrow we are heading north to Tyler Bend Campground on the Buffalo River.

1 comment:

John and Carol said...

We really have to check out that area the next time we are in Arkansas. It is absolutely beautiful!