PETIT JEAN STATE PARK, AR - Looks like I missed my chance to rent a teepee at Petit Jean State Park, located near Morrilton. But now I can rent a yurt, which sounds better anyway.
For many years, the park offered teepees for rent during warmer months. The two teepees were just replaced with similar camping facilities called Rent-a-Yurt units, available at some other Arkansas State Parks as well.
The yurts provide more sleeping space, as well as better protection from rainfall, since they don't have a hole in the top like traditional style teepees do. They are located along the shore of Lake Bailey near Camping Area A, along with the park's two Rent-a-Camps (tents). A Rent-a-Camp sleeps up to four persons, and a Rent-a-Yurt accommodates up to six. Each rental, either the tent or the yurt, includes sleeping mats, a camp stove, and other camping gear.
The yurts and tents became available for rent in March. Just think how easy it makes things since you won't have to pack a tent or take time setting one up either. It's great for those who don't own camping equipment, or for those who want to find out if they like camping before they spend money on their own equipment.
The park also features 125 individual campsites (including 26 pull-through sites) offering water and electrical hook-ups. Thirty-five of the sites have 50 amp electric and sewer. All sites are reservable throughout the year. Group areas are also available. Campers can choose wooded or lake view sites. Click here for a detailed campground map.
If you don't like to rough it, you can stay in the lodge or one of the park cabins.
One of Arkansas's historic treasures, Mather Lodge at Petit Jean State Park reopened on May 8, 2012, following a beautiful renovation. The renovation replaced the lodge's 1960s-era dining room with a more rustic-style design, expanded the kitchen, added a 50-person room for meetings and small banquets, relocated the guest registration desk, enhanced the 24 guest rooms, and constructed a new lodge swimming pool. Public restrooms were added underneath the pool due to its proximity to Cedar Falls Trail, one of the park's most popular hiking trails. Wi-Fi Internet access is available throughout the lodge, including the guest rooms. The renovation did not affect any of the lodge's original Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) and Works Progress Administration work from the 1930s. The renovated portion now mirrors the Adirondack-style park architecture of the 1930s' portions of this mountain lodge, the only CCC lodge built in an Arkansas state park.
Near the lodge are the park's 33 cabins. Some are 1930s CCC/Rustic-style, and others are modern duplex designs. Choices include one-bedroom, three-bedroom, and studio cabins. The cabins are fully-equipped, and 21 include kitchens. Most of the cabins are spaced along the bluff of Cedar Creek Canyon.
Petit Jean is Arkansas's only state park with its own airport. The airport's fly-in campground features five tent sites with water and electric hookups, picnic tables, grills, lantern holders, and tent pads. One site is barrier-free to accommodate visitors with disabilities. This site includes a modern bathhouse with hot showers and flush toilets.
Click here to inquire about renting a yurt or other lodging option, or for more information about Petit Jean State Park.
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