With native settlements, watersports on the lake, fishing until sundown, and hiking along nature trails, these Oklahoma state parks bring family bonding and bliss:
Greenleaf is one of the most popular family parks in Oklahoma. Hiking trails wind through verdant wildlife areas to a lake where watersports beckon. Grill your catch at the picnic area before trying your hand at archery. Come winter, snowshoeing is a popular pastime.
Children love to fish in the kids' fishing pond at the park and swim like fishes themselves at the beaches and swimming pool. Hiking trails promise intriguing family excursions. At Driftwood Nature Center, kids can get up close to nature through guided walks, arts and crafts, and hayrides, and see turtles, snakes, and tarantulas. Rent a jet ski at the marina, or enjoy a burger at the Clearwater Café.
Once an Osage Indian encampment, this glorious state park sits on the border of Oklahoma's Tallgrass Prairie Preserve. The park, which stretches for 1,100 acres, offers families fun and games at its swimming pool, ball fields, and tennis courts. There are also bass, catfish, and perch to be caught on the lake at this stunning park that will reel you in, too.
From prehistoric black lava rocks to Ozark mountain ridges, these Oklahoma State Parks beckon with hikes through spectacular landscapes:
At a vast 12,500 acres, Lake Murray is both the oldest and largest state park in Oklahoma. Miles of hiking trails take in beaches, lake views, woodland, and rocky outcrops. There's even a restaurant where you can refuel after your exertions.
Hike to a 77-foot waterfall embraced by the Ozarks in the northeast of the state. An atmosphere of serenity pervades the park, which boasts a four-mile trail and plenty of other attractions. Basketball and volleyball courts join a nature trail and formal gardens to make this park special.
30 million-year-old black lava rock in Oklahoma's panhandle gave this state park its name. Come horseback and hike along leafy trails through the nature preserve, located 15 miles from the park, for stunning views at Oklahoma's highest elevation.
Whether you're horseback riding or hayriding, jetskiing or rappelling down a mountainside, Oklahoma's state parks are always action packed. Here are some of the best for thrillseekers:
The sporting options at Beavers Bend are almost limitless. An 18-hole golf course joins tennis and volleyball courts, fishing, and hiking in the park's lengthy list of attractions. Ride the river in a tube, canoe, or paddleboat; take a train or hay ride; water ski; or go horseback riding. Every June, the park hosts the Owa Chita Festival of the Forest, and a folk festival takes place here in November. Whatever the weather, there's always a pulse-raising adventure to be had at Beavers Bend.
Rappel down the rocky sandstone ledges of Robbers Cave State Park, which was reputedly a former outlaw refuge. Venture into the cave system, come trout fishing, or rent a paddleboat. Horseback ride through woodland alight with autumnal fire or cool off in the summertime at the swimming beach. Hiking trails unfurl within view of the Sans Bois Mountains.
One of Oklahoma's seven original state parks, Roman Nose is named for a Cheyenne chief. Canyons with vaunting gypsum cliffs are ribboned by natural springs and hiking and mountain biking trails. Take a dip at one of two swimming pools, boat and fish on the lake, or play a scenic 18-hole golf course. There are also three natural springs that visitors are welcome to kayak and canoe on. True to the park's Native American namesake, horse and hayrides are also on offer.