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Posts Tagged ‘Petit Jean State Park’

So You Want More French Connection…

September 19th, 2012 by Lisa

Have you seen our Petit Jean room?  This beautiful room is decorated in navy blue, gold, white and a nautical theme is present throughout.  The room is named after Arkansas’ State Park- Mount Petit Jean, and it’s namesake.  Check out the romantic maritime accessories in one of our guests favorite rooms!

Do you know the legend of Petit Jean that inspires this Arkansas/French connection?  According to legend, Petit Jean was actually a young 18th century French woman. When she discovered that her fiance had been ordered to Captain one of three ships dispatched  to explore the newly acquired French possesion in the new world we now recognize as the Louisiana Territory, she cut her hair, disguised herself,  and secured a position as the cabin boy.  She survived the voyage.  Their two year expedition up the Mississippi and the Arkansas Rivers began their exploration.  They reached the lone escarpment jutting out over the Arkansas River just as winter approached.  Finding friendly indians who had never seen a white man, they chose to winter there.  Near the end of a brutal winter, the young woman fell ill with fever.  On her deathbed, she revealed herself to her fiance as his beloved.  She is buried on the mountain overlooking the scenic Arkansas River Valley to the East, not under her own name, but under the name she had been known by on the ship, “Petit Jean”– little John.  Below is a picture of “Petit Jean’s” grave……a cairn found atop Petit Jean Mountain.  In the early evening breeze, some say they can hear “Petit Jean” calling to her lover.  It bespeaks the strength and courage required to leave home and family to follow her destiny and garnered her a revered spot in the “legend” of our guestrooms, one of the favorites.

Cool down in an old-fashioned “Swimming Hole”

August 11th, 2011 by Lisa

We live in what is affectionately known as “The Natural State”, so it is no wonder that many Arkansas communities are proud to lay claim to a “swimming hole”.  These lakes and streams have been used for generations to beat the summer heat and many of us can say that we have swum in the same waters as our grandparents.  A summer getaway to The Empress of Little Rock is the perfect time to seek out some of the nearby swimming holes.

Many of us have heard of or been to Blanchard Springs Recreation Area.  Located just to the north of Mountain View, most people go for the caverns, but if you haven’t been to the recreation area for swimming, fishing and picnicing you are missing out on a great time.  Combine the caverns and the swimming hole for a fun summer day trip from Little Rock.  Forty-acre Lake Bennett at Woolly Hollow State Park is even closer to Little Rock and has a sandy beach (with lifeguards during the summer month) for the kids to enjoy.  In this part of the state you aren’t far from Petit Jean Mountain.  Hike the scenic mountain trails and then drive a few miles to frolic on a beach!

These are only a couple of the “swimming holes” that the Natural State has to offer.  The Arkansas State Parks website has other offerings in its lakes and rivers section.  Now is the perfect time to pack a picnic (or get the Empress to pack its Champagne Picnic for you) and head to your nearest (or dearest) swimming hole for some good old-fashioned Arkansas fun!