Petit Jean State Park, Arkansas - Fiberglass RV
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Old 05-18-2008, 07:55 PM   #1
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Name: Parker
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Looking for a good place to Scamp for a week in or near the Ozarks. Petit Jean State Park looks good. Reports and suggestions welcome!

Any suggestions for an overnight stop enroute around Nashville (coming from Ohio)? Would like something nice, not flashy, not Wal-Marts.

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Old 05-18-2008, 09:12 PM   #2
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I've never been, but I've heard that it's a really nice Ozarks park.
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Old 05-18-2008, 09:21 PM   #3
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In Nashville we always stay at the Two Rivers Campground. Be careful, it is shown in the wrong place on the GPS maps.

Two Rivers Campground
2616 Music Valley Dr
Nashville, TN 37214
Tel: (615) 883-8559

Nashville KOA is right behind it.

Nashville KOA
2626 Music Valley Drive
Nashville, TN 37214
Tel: (800) KOA-7789

There's a dinner and show right next door that I recommend. It has always been a lot of fun.
CD and Joyce Smith - Lily, Violet, and Rose
1999 Casita 17' SD - "The Little Egg"
2007 Escalade - 6.2L V8 - 6L80E Trans - 3.42 Diff
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Old 05-18-2008, 09:45 PM   #4
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Parker, you might also consider Queen Wilhelmena State Park on top of the mountain, located near Mena Arkansas. There is no Lake front up there of course. It is beautiful, and very cool up there at night and breathtaking scenery, and a nice lodge for dining also. Took my family there years ago, and chipmunks were into everything, but kept my kids entertained. Sometimes the clouds even block the valley from your view. They have a website of course, thru Arkansas State parks website.
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Old 05-19-2008, 06:02 AM   #5
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Been many years since we camped at Petit Jean -- but it was one of our favorite places. It's on top of a mountain overlooking a beautiful valley. Quite a trip up the windy road towing a pop-up. It has a log lodge built by the CCC with a really good restaurant. The camp sites were beautiful (all in the trees). It had a really great pool. There were lots of hiking paths and when we were there there was a wild life museum. I don't think you'd be disappointed.

Here's a website for the park:
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Old 05-19-2008, 06:05 AM   #6
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My wife and I camped there last weekend... it's a pretty nice place, a little crowded on the weekend, but practically deserted during the week. There are some good trails to hike, some difficult, some easy... all are good. Cedar Falls is quite nice if it's running. The Antique Car Museum on the mountain is good as well with some interesing old vehicles. Petit Jean was the first Arkansas State Park and was built originally by the CCC in the 30's and there are several original structures. The campgrounds have full hookups and run $17 + tax a night for the 30 amp service. If you're planning a weekend trip, you might want to make reservations in advance and you can do that online.
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Old 05-19-2008, 08:01 AM   #7
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Thanks for the responses, guys! It looks like reservations are a must, especially for the better campsites. I'll also check out Two Rivers near Nashville. That might be tricky, since we need such a place for the weekend travel part, and I bet they're booked for Nashville visitors. Won't know till we call.

Thanks again. More ideas certainly welcome!

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Old 06-04-2009, 02:50 PM   #8
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Petit Jean is a very nice park.. but its not in the zarks its in the Ouachitas... I'm in the Ozarks ... to Arkansas when you arrive..Enjoy your stay..
N. of I-40 are the Ozarks / S. of I-40 are the Ouachitas.... Devils Den State Park would be in the Ozarks near by if ya wanna come visit me in the Ozarks ..
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Old 06-04-2009, 05:33 PM   #9
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HI, Stayed last two nights in Compact II at great spot in Woolly Hollow State Park about 75 miles north of Little Rock; small immaculate park on lake surrounded by hardwood trees with marked trails. I liked site 18 for being at end of the row and fartherest from the office, beach and picnic areas. Quiet except for seemingly giant bullfrogs in rut and occasional jumping of fish. Huge crane hunting for food at edge of lake about 50 feet from my trailer - actually saw the bird catch what looked like one-foot long bass and swallow it - could see the movement and progress of fish down the bird's neck.

Boats can only use electric motors and there were some fish being caught. Really, really terrific spot - highlight of all the places I stayed during last 8 days to Des Moines and back to central Louisiana.

In southwestern quandrant of Arkansas, try Lake Gilham. Has Corps of Engineers campground with beautiful swaths of green grass, shade trees, shady sites, and a roaring river you could hear inside your camper. Since only staying one night, was able to use a Reserved site where rig wasn't due for couple of days. The sites looked down on the river and whole area had trails and walks along the river. Both of the above were utilized in the last week so I know the current conditions. At Gilham, only the Cossatot Reefs river campground was open due to flood damage to other areas but it was great and will stay in both spots again if going that way.

Even totally terrible backer of trailers me could back into the spaces. Have fun, Pat
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Old 06-05-2009, 06:08 PM   #10
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We visited Petit Jean last year, along with several other parks in Arkansas. It's really a lovely state park.
Don't let the "mountain drive" scare you... it's an easy one. Not that high an elevation to begin with, and a nice road, easy climbs, no big deal. (Mt. Magazine is higher, and no lake at the top, but also beautiful. Just more woodsy atmosphere.)
Call for reservations. and speak with one of the park reps. I wrote down the numbers of the lakeside/lakeview campsites, and lost the page. Every Arkansas state park employee we met was more than willing to take the time to explain, suggest, and make our camping experience the best it could be. Arkansas,in mho, has first rate parks, and great employees.
Petit Jean has great views (lake, falls with even handicap ramp access, trails, etc.)
On the way down, check out a Tennessee state park. (Voted best in the nation in '07). One of their "resort style" parks is probably on your route down. We've stayed in a dozen or so TN parks, and never been disappointed. (Well, Mousetail Landings could be tough for anyone with an underpowered tow vehicle... very steep climb into the park, and a narrow road, though newly paved.) Great park system. Just google the system, and I'm sure you'll find something for you on the road to Arkansas.
Have a great trip.
PS If you like a really secluded spot, check out Cove Lake, and Army Corp of Engineers park not more than thirty minutes or so from Petit Jean. There, we had the biggest, widest, most private absolute lakefront spot we've found, ever. Around $10. For that, you get no hookups, pit toilets, and water spigots spotted around, a dump station near the exit (I think). Beautiful, serene, uncrowded in September. We were the only campers in our entire loop. A motorcycle & tent camper solo in the next loop.
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