Ryan S.
Memphis, TN
Joined January 2020
My wife and I have camped since we started dating in 2006. We started with a tent and then owned a pop-up. We then bought a small travel trailer (15’ BH) and now own a Rockwood Geo Pro. We have 2 small kids and try to find reasons to camp whenever we can. We have primarily camped in TN, MS, AR, and AL.
Ageless wonder

Petit Jean is the oldest state park in Arkansas and it has it all. Our family makes a trip to Petit Jean at least twice a year. So many trails, recreational areas and breathtaking views to enjoy. It is one of the best FAMILY state parks we’ve been too.

The sites in A and B loop are often booked a year in advance so plan your trips strategically. C and D loop are accommodating but will be a tighter fit for most rigs >30’.

The visitor’s center is being completely redone to enhance the experience. If you haven’t been, make the trip.

Quick info on alcohol. Petit Jean is in a dry county (yes that exists). If you aren’t bringing your own alcohol, make sure and stop at Petit Jean Liquor right off I-40.

Beautiful park with lots to do

Lake Ft. Smith State Park is a beautiful park in the Boston Mountains. We drove over from Memphis to meet my brother’s family (who lives in Tulsa). We stayed in campsite 9 which was a pull through site and had stunning views of the lake. My brother stayed in site 8. Sites 1-20 have full hook-ups with sewer. The bathhouse was clean and fully functioning.

Pros: Many activities at the Visitor Center for children. Ozark Highland Trail is directly behind the campsites on the lake side. Recreational area with a playground that is updated. Sites have gravel which limits how much dirt/mud you have to deal with.

Cons: Many of the campsites are on a grade. They all have multiple levels with stairs and have no railings. We had 5 children <6 years of age and the sites were somewhat perilous. If you are a parent with small kids, sites 17-20 and sites 2-3 are better. The other sites are excellent, but not necessarily best for small kids. Last, the playground requires that you drive to it which is inconvenient.

Overall: Great family park with updated amenities. We’d like to give it a try in the spring/summer when the pool and splash pad are open! If you’ve got small kids, Petit Jean State Park would be my suggestion in this area of Arkansas.