Petit Jean E Newsletter – Christmas Through January

Christmas Buffet Dinner at Mather Lodge Restaurant
1st Day Hikes on New Year's Day
Eagle Awareness Weekend
Thanks for AmeriCorps Work at Petit Jean
Trails Subject to Closure During Icy Weather
Winter Hours of Operation


Christmas Buffet Dinner at Mather Lodge Restaurant

On Christmas Day, Wednesday, December 25th, Lunch Buffet will begin at 11:00 am and last until 4:00 pm.  We will be serving Deep Fried Turkey, Apple Walnut Stuffed Pork Loin, Cornbread Dressing, Orange/Cranberry Sauce, Roasted Redskin Potatoes, Broccoli Rice Casserole, Tuscan style Veggies, Rolls, and a homemade Puff Pastry Dessert along with a few of our Homemade Pies.  The cost is for $15.99 for adults; prices are reduced for children, depending upon their age. (We will go to our regular menu after 4:00 pm.) 


1stDay Hikes on New Year’s Day

Join the Petit Jean State Park interpreters for a guided hike and begin the New Year with some invigorating good times and healthy exercise.  State parks from all 50 states are participating in this 3rd annual event that invites families and friends to celebrate the New Year amid the sights, sounds and wonder of our natural world with fun, guided hikes. The event is sponsored by the American Hiking Society and the National Association of State Park Directors.  Petit Jean State Park will offer the following hikes, weather permitting:

8:30am - Taking Care of the Cedar FallsTrail: Meet in the CCC Room of Mather Lodge.

11:15 am - Petit Jean History Hike: Meet at the parking area across from the visitor center

1:30pm - Bear Cave Hike: Meet at the Bear Cave parking area.

3:00pm - Rock House Cave Hike: Meet at the Rock House Cave parking area.

Please check out our website at to find a full schedule under “Things to Do.”


Eagle Awareness Weekend

On January 11th and 12th, 2014, Petit Jean State Park will again host its annual Eagle Awareness Weekend, featuring car caravan trips to nearby Holla Bend National Wildlife Refuge, located just west of Petit Jean Mountain.  The weekend will feature “An Introduction to Bald Eagles” by park interpreters, a chance to see live birds of prey along with wildlife rehabilitator Lynn Sciumbato of northwest Arkansas, and scouting for bald eagles at Holla Bend. For a schedule of program times, please visit our website at and look under “Things to Do.”


Thanks for AmeriCorps Work at Petit Jean

A special word of thanks goes out to the AmeriCorps team who lived and worked at Petit Jean State Park from November 11th through December 18th.  The team, including members from across the country, cleared trails for prescribed burn barriers, cleaned up ice storm damage, scouted and cleared trails of fallen trees, cleaned up campsites, chain-sawed standing dead trees, and worked indoors constructing furniture and painting park signs during inclement weather. We wish the best of luck to each and every AmeriCorps team member in future pursuits!


Trails Subject to Closure during Icy Weather

During periods of heavy icing, as was experienced at the park in December, 2013, please expect the park trails to be closed. The very precipices and high rocky features that make Petit Jean State Park such a place of beauty are also exponentially more dangerous when coated with a layer of ice, even along designated hiking trails.  Rescue and aid during icy conditions also becomes hazardous to the park professionals attempting to help during an emergency, sometimes creating a “domino effect” of unnecessary accidents.  Please call 501-727-5441 for trail condition information. 

Please be patient and wait for conditions to improve when inclement weather arrives.  Safety always comes first, and it’s the wise thing to do.


Winter Hours of Operation

The Mather Lodge Restaurant hours are 8:00 am through 6:00 pm; Friday and Saturday – 8:00am through 8:00 pm.  The Restaurant is open each day, year-round.  

The Visitor Center hours are 8:00 am through 5:00 pm. The Visitor Center will close at noon on Christmas Eve and be closed for Christmas Day.

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1285 Petit Jean Mountain Road - Morrilton, AR 72110 - Phone: (501) 727-5441
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