We’ve just returned home from our first family vacay! Tony’s leave was able to overlap with mine for a few days, so we visited Petit Jean (French for Little John) State Park in Arkansas. Legend has it that a French explorer was sent by the King to explore the Louisiana Territory. His fiancé asked to accompany him, but the explorer said it was too dangerous. Unwilling to be away from her love, the woman dressed as a boy and secured a job as the Cabin Boy for the voyage. The crew loved the diminutive Cabin Boy, and nicknamed him Petit Jean. They all enjoyed a lovely summer with the natives of the area, but as they were preparing for the return trip to France, Petit Jean fell ill and asked to be buried at the top of this little mountain, thus the park’s name.
Though the locals definitely pronounced it Pet-it Jean, so I can’t get that out of my head!
We rented an adorable, little, overnight cabin for a few nights.
It was pretty cramped in there with the pack’n’play, the kennel, and the stroller, but so worth it that the 4 of us were all there together! I think we did a decent job with the packing!
Petit Jean has some fantastic hiking trails that center around the beautiful Cedar Creek and Cedar Falls, a 90 foot waterfall.
We spent each morning hiking the various trails. EO did great for about 3 hour stretches. He just fell asleep on Tony’s back when he got tired. In fact, he’s asleep in almost every family photo I tried to take, but we got a few of him awake too!
There were two spots in the park that were less trail and more natural playground. The first that we visited was Bear Cave, a collection of massive boulders that you can walk around, over, and through.