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Petit Jean Mountain
Petit Jean Mountain

 

This past weekend I attended a wedding on Petit Jean Mountain. Petit Jean is a nearby state park named for a young French girl who disguised herself as a cabin boy to accompany her sweetheart to America in the 1700’s. While exploring the Arkansas River, she died and was buried on a mountain later named for her.  You can visit her (supposed) grave site which offers a spectacular view of the river and surrounding valley.

 

 

The park boasts a lovely waterfall, Cedar Falls, an historic lodge, Mather Lodge, a restaurant, many lovely campsites, swimming pool, tennis courts, and several hiking trails. We love to hike. The kids’ favorite is the Rock House Cave Trail, which leads to a cave with Indian paintings on the walls and ceiling. It also passes over some neat rock formations called the Turtle Rocks due to their resemblance to a turtle’s shell. Personally, I like the 7 Hollows Trail, but it was severely damaged by a fire several years ago.  While it’s sad to reflect on the beauty that was, the regrowth is amazing to watch. Mother Nature is wondrous in her ability to regenerate herself.

The wedding took place at Lake Bailey on top of the mountain, with the reception in the adjacent rec center. The lake and the fall foliage provided a lovely backdrop to the even lovelier young couple pledging their lives to one another. I hope they are always as happy as they were that day.

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