We stayed at Petit Jean State Park during the week of Thanksgiving. It’s a popular place, so very busy, but all the campers around us were very courteous, friendly, and obeyed quiet time rules. The sites (we were in a tent in Loop C) were spacious and clean, as were the bathhouses. The Visitor’s Center/Registration was well-stocked and staff was efficient and welcoming. We ate dinner at Mather’s Lodge-the food was mediocre but service was great.
I was so excited to stay here based on this being voted as one of the best state parks in this region. The reviews were spot on about the hiking and other amenities. This park is charming right down to its CCC roots. During my stay the new park visitor’s center was being built and it looks to be a lovely addition.
What I was surprised to discover was my disappointing campground experience. I picked my campsite early and carefully and was hoping to have a quieter experience since I decided to avoid the swankier lakeside full hook up sites. I was wrong. Unfortunately, the park allowed a group of tent campers to camp in sites that were not in the group campground. There were 4 tents per site, some of which were camped on the ground right near the restrooms. 2 campers per tent x 4 per site x at least 6 sites. Well I’ll spare you the math, but Campground D literally turned into a church camp complete with air horns blasting to alert the camper kiddos that it was time to eat, shower, wake up etc. Nothing against church camps. Just saying Campground D is not a group campsite! Thankfully, I spent most of my time hiking and biking. So I was away from the campground a majority of my stay.
Site 98 was located adjacent to public property and backed up to the gravel road that serviced the neighborhood. There was a street light that illuminated the road and this didn’t add to the ambiance. All said, the campground didn’t really afford the experience I was hoping for. However, the hiking trails did not disappoint! As many previous reviewers have mentioned, hiking here is awesome. I definitely recommend the Bear Cave trail and the Cedar Falls trail.
Grabbing a bite at the Lodge is recommended too. The food was good and the view was outstanding!
I’d go back, but I would choose Campground A, pay more and stay right on the lake. The sites are nicely spaced and I think the cost of full hook ups might deter a large group of tent campers from overtaking the campground. Again, nothing against tent campers or church camps. I just thought this is why parks have group campgrounds. I’d prefer not to repeat the group tent camping situation and air horns I ran into on my visit to campground D.
Loop A $20 for full hookup, Loop B $15 for regular. Hot showers in A, cold in B; but you can use either. Be careful how close you are to the wash house in B; the halogen light outside humms all night. Camp host WILL make sure you follow the rules, including paying. Price seems a little steep for a forest service campground, and the price is the same all year(even during the slow season). Overall, seems well kept, nice amenities, but a little princely if you’re just looking to set your tent for the night. Also, the ouchita trail runs right next to the camp.
Maumelle was full of RVs. I think we were the only tent-only campers. Being a Saturday night, it felt like a lot of locals and the mood was pretty lively. Our site was right on the river, pretty spacious, but not very private. There was no wood for sale, but our ring had leftovers, plus hot ashes- boo! RVs pretty much had string lights and music, but no generator noise since there is electricity. No-see-ums were bad once the sun starts to go. Bathrooms were clean, not covered in bugs, but short on TP. No soap. It seemed like there may have been a smelly, leach-field of some sort nearby. I think this is a convenient and nice spot, but you really have to be prepared and accepting of the openness and RVs. The host was very nice and proud of the park.
I tent camped at site 61 in 2015:
- We were pretty close to all the amenities and the campsite checkin/store
- There is a nice, flat tent pad
- Grill and fire ring were nice
- Paved driveup spot
- It wasn't very crowded; the two sites across from us filled up, but that was about it
I would 100% stay at this site again.
Stayed at this KOA so we could spend some time in the city. It is what you’d expect from a campground beside the interstate. It was pretty full, there were sparse trees, and we could see everything our neighbors were doing. The bathrooms were very clean and the showers hot. The only downside was the traffic noise from the interstate, but that was to be expected.
Sugarloaf has become my family’s go to camping area. Campsites are usually easy to book in advance, and we never had any problems with reservations. Swimming are and powered bathrooms are great. Park rangers patrol the park throughout the day and night, giving all campers piece of mind. As most campsites are, there are no real defined borders and all Greers Ferry and Heber Springs are surrounded by residential areas. We had an instance where a gentleman rode his ATV through the woods and just walked up to multiple campsites. He was friendly but later that night someone tried to open my car door, causing the alarm to go off. Proper authorities were called and they eventually caught up with him. Out of the 20+ years we’ve used Sugarloaf, this is the only issue we’ve experienced.
Love this spot! There is so much to do in this park, I love it. There is golf, disc golf, dog park, baseball and softball fields, cabins, archery, amusement park, and more! It’s very family friendly and pet friendly so everyone can enjoy the fun. It is very clean and fairly quiet. It also isn’t far from society and stores, so if anything is forgotten then it’s not a big deal to go grab something. I go to this park at least once a month and always find something new and fun.
We enjoyed our stay. We tried to go hiking, but covered in ticks minutes after starting the trail. Our site was close to the water with a view of the nuclear plant. I think it was a nuclear plant across the water. Area had nice play grounds. Other campers helpful and polite. Bathrooms clean. Nice pic nic areas. We was in the area for a ballon festival. Kids enjoyed the stay.
I had an absolute blast while at Petit Jean State Park. I stayed at the Mather lodge and in one of the cabins both of which I loved staying in. The trails through out the park are all great hikes, even the less prominent paths are nice to explore. The hike down to Cedar Falls is absolutely fantastic and more than worth the trek. My favorite part of the park hands down has to be the multiple look out points you can find around the mountain. The views you can find along red bluff drive and at the gravesite are breathtaking. Petit Jean State park is fantastic and I can’t wait to go back.
We stayed in the yurts one time and it was nice but hot. Bring FANS. The yurt came with a canoe and life jackets. We loved that stay. My favorite stay is at the tent sites. We have stayed so many times. Several areas to hike with young children. Swimming pool available at a good price. The kids love the near by petting zoo. Lake available for fishing and boat rentals. Wonderful views all around one of my favorite spots.
We visit here often. The park is close to home. We camp, fish, hike, swim, canoe, and just hang out in the hammock. The park is kept well maintained. The rangers are awesome. The hold fishing derby’s for the young kids. The park fills up fast in the weekends and peak seasons. No complaints ever. The park has a nice new visitor center.
I called ahead a couple of days before we were to arrive and the ladies on the phone were awesome. They fixed us up with the perfect site The first night when we went to the shower house we got a big surprise! Not only was it clean but it had six doors. Behind each door was a shower room complete with a toilet and lavatory and guess what??? It was air conditioned!!! Made my day to take a shower and get cleaned up in a private air conditioned room. Clean park good fishing, 3 miles to town!
The State Park systems in the US are some of our favorite places to find beautiful camping spots, but Lake Dardanelle State Park in Arkansas tops most of them all. The spots are spacious and aesthetically nice, wood and charcoal grills at the ready, most are shaded well, the shower/restrooms are air conditioned and spacious. The swimming beach looked wonderful, the campground host was welcoming, it was all we could ask for.
Our first time in Petit Jean State Park and hopefully not our last! The area is so beautiful and the park is clean. We stayed in one of the yurts. The kids enjoyed the geese right outside the door and at night, the deer came out only feet from the yurt. The yurt itself is was as expected. Only beds inside with one table, 4 chairs and a fan. It does have electricity inside but no water. Outside is a nice deck, propane stove, water faucet, fire ring, picnic table and bbq pit. It also has a canoe available for use with each yurt. The boathouse was not too far away and well maintained. There is a very nice pool on the grounds also. We really enjoyed the hiking trails.
We took our little camper out to Petit Jean for the first time and it was a blast. We were a little unprepared, so we stayed in the overflow area. This part is not paved and has no fire pit, so we couldn't have a fire. If you have a portable fire pit you can have a fire there. Also those spots do not have a grill, but we have a small one that we were able to use. The driveways to get to the overflow area are a bit rough (roots sticking up through the dirt) and it takes a bit to get level (sloped toward the lake). However, the dump station is very clean and convenient. We will definitely come back to Petit Jean in the future.