Petit Jean: Cedar Creek Trail (1 mi)              

By
"Petit Jean: Cedar Creek Trail (1 mi)              " photo
Cascade on Cedar Creek, near the second footbridge.

About a week ago, I got to hike the Cedar Creek Trail (aka “Cedar Creek Self-Guided Trail”) at Petit Jean State Park. It had been about 4 years since I hiked this trail, and I had forgotten how pretty it is.

It is especially nice after there has been recent rain. When I hiked it last week, there had been quite a bit of recent rain in central Arkansas.

"Petit Jean: Cedar Creek Trail (1 mi)              " photo
The second (north) footbridge on the Cedar Creek Trail.

This 1.1-mile loop trail has some climbing, but it is not very difficult. There is only about 240 feet of total elevation gain. The net elevation change is about 120 feet.

The Cedar Creek Trailhead is easy to find. It is on the park’s main road (Petit Jean Mountain Road), about a half-mile east of Mather Lodge. Just watch for the pioneer cabin at the trailhead. 

From the trailhead, the trail proceeds downhill to Cedar Creek. (This is upstream from the Cedar Falls Trail.) Adjacent to much of this part of the trail is a small stream (when flowing) with some nice cascades and mini-waterfalls.

Interactive Petit Jean Cedar Creek Trail Map

Click here for large interactive trail map.

"Petit Jean: Cedar Creek Trail (1 mi)              " photo
Approximate elevation profile based on gps data.

At Cedar Creek, there is a footbridge crossing. The trail then turns right and goes along the creek’s north side for about .4 miles. On the north side, part of the trail is near the creek level and part is a few dozen feet higher. This stretch, also part of the Boy Scout Trail, has some very nice views of the creek.

The trail then crosses the creek over a longer footbridge to the south side. It then turns right and climbs uphill, heading back to the trailhead. For the most part, the creek isn’t visible for this part of the hike during leaf-on.

The trail was well marked and in good condition.

"Petit Jean: Cedar Creek Trail (1 mi)              " photo
Pioneer cabin at the Cedar Creek Trail trailhead

Like many of the trails at Petit Jean, there are some really cool rock formations along the trail. One of the most impressive is a large leaning slab rock (pictured) that the trail goes under before the second footbridge.

"Petit Jean: Cedar Creek Trail (1 mi)              " photo
One of the cascades on the small stream that follows the first part of the Cedar Creek Trail.

Of course, Cedar Creek, when flowing, is beautiful. But as the official brochure indicates, the area of Cedar Creek to the west (downstream) from here is a designated restricted area. This is the area that approaches the top of Cedar Falls.

"Petit Jean: Cedar Creek Trail (1 mi)              " photo
Cedar Creek Trail at Petit Jean State Park. The adjacent stream is over to the right in this photo.
"Petit Jean: Cedar Creek Trail (1 mi)              " photo
Cedar Creek, seen from the north side of the Cedar Creek Trail
"Petit Jean: Cedar Creek Trail (1 mi)              " photo
North side of Cedar Creek Trail. This is also part of the Boy Scout Trail.
"Petit Jean: Cedar Creek Trail (1 mi)              " photo
Cedar Creek and Cedar Creek Trail
"Petit Jean: Cedar Creek Trail (1 mi)              " photo
Cedar Creek, seen from the north side of the trail
"Petit Jean: Cedar Creek Trail (1 mi)              " photo
Cool leaning slab rock. The trail goes under this rock.
"Petit Jean: Cedar Creek Trail (1 mi)              " photo
Cedar Creek Trail, on the south side of the creek.
"Petit Jean: Cedar Creek Trail (1 mi)              " photo
An overlook near the end of the Cedar Creek Trail.

Petit Jean State Park - Cedar Creek Trail

LocationConway County, Arkansas
Length1.1 mile loop
Difficulty

Mildly challenging (2 of 5)
Weather/Conditions80's
DirectionsThe trailhead is well marked and has its own parking lot. There is a cabin at the trailhead.


Blazes: light red.

ATT Cell Coverage?Mostly
Official Info - Phone/Links(501) 727-5441
Official Cedar Creek Brochure.

Park website.

Date HikedJune 24, 2014 (p.m.)

The photos are ones I took from my early evening hike. (Click for larger view.) I have also posted above a trail map made from data from my gpx.

You can download the official Cedar Creek Trail brochure here.

"Petit Jean: Cedar Creek Trail (1 mi)              " photo
Map from the official brochure

Click here for gpx file download.

Enter your location to get Google directions to the Cedar Creek Trailhead:

"Petit Jean: Cedar Creek Trail (1 mi)              " photo

Been there? Comments?

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>