Oklahoma’s Top 10 Destinations

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Oklahoma’s
Top 10
Destinations
for Hiking, Camping, Kayaking
or just being outdoors someplace nice !!!!


1. The “Peaceful Valley of Rippling Waters” appropriately describes Chickasaw National Recreation Area, as it is known for its many mineral springs, cool water, flora, fauna, and wildlife. Here one’s mind may wander back in time to when the early American Indian came to this area to rest, relax at the water’s edge, and hunt for their food from the abundant wildlife.

This area has significant geological and hydrological features and lies in the transitional ecotones of the Eastern deciduous forest and the Western prairies.

A trail system designed and constructed during this period
still meets the needs of today’s walker


2. Wichita Mtns National Wildlife Refuge : 60,000 – plus acres are home to free range buffalo, Texas longhorn cattle, prairie dog towns, elk, deer,  Mount Scott (see picture to the left)  provides a scenic drive to the highest point in the Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge. The Refuge offers wildlife viewing and photography, mountain biking, rock climbing, 15 miles of hiking trails, camping, picnicking, and fishing.
      Special tours and programs throughout the year. 580-429-3222

3. Greenleaf State Park
One of Oklahoma’s most scenic and family-oriented parks offering lots of activities for everyone, including wildlife and holiday events, fishing, boating, swimming, hiking and camping.

Greenleaf Nature Trail: An 18 mile primitive trail on the banks of Greenleaf Lake, passes over a swinging bridge, and makes a return loop through the wildlife-rich Cherokee Game Management Area, beginning and ending in the park.

The trail is designed for overnight backpacking
and is also enjoyed by day hikers
.


4. American Horse Lake (AHL) is located in Blaine County 10 miles west of Geary, Oklahoma. Vegetation around the lake is post-oak-blackjack forest and mixed grass eroded plains types. American Horse Lake was constructed by the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation in 1966 

American Horse Lake is very primitive in nature (the closest electric light is several miles away)

AHL is rated "The BEST" – Bluegill Lakein the state, by the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife (so, you might want to bring some fly fishing or light spinning tackle & don’t forget your Oklahoma State Fishing License)

AHL is only 1 hour west of OKC
and is a wonderful area to
camp, fish, kayak & star gaze !!

Although there is a campground, camping is primitive in nature
(i.e. no running water or restroom facilities)

On a Clear Dark Night at
American Horse Lake you can see


The Oklahoma City Astronomy Club
uses AHL for monthly star parties

Remember to bring a pair of Binoculars

  .
  From Jeff T w/ OKC Astronomy Club

    The following quotes are from THIS Link

1. In my first hour at AHL I was quite successful recording nine Hershel galaxies that I had not seen before

2. NGC 3607 & NGC 3608
A nice pair of brighter galaxies that show up together. They are both round and easy to see

3. NGC 3640
A fairly bright circular galaxy. The central core brightened and fell off in magnitude cleanly and sharply. It was nice to see an elliptical galaxy after all the spirals I had seen in a row

4. 32 Camelopardis
This, my 99th double star turned out to be a very pleasant surprise


Stinchcomb
 Wildlife Refuge

(NW Oklahoma City)

5. The Stinchcomb Wildlife Refuge  lies north of Lake Overholser and follows the North Canadian River past Morgan Road in Yukon. It contains over 1,000 acres that haven’t changed much in the last 150 years. Hundreds of birds, small mammals such as beaver, and deer make their homes in the refuge.

The primary ways to enjoy the refuge are by foot, mountain bike and boat. Several trails suitable for hiking run through the refuge linking four small lakes to the river. Entrances to the trails are from NW 50th on the east side of the refuge and County Line and Morgan Roads on the west side.

 

GeoCaching.gif (1849 bytes)
What is geocaching ??
Numerous Geocaches are hidden within the
Stinchcomb Wildlife Refuge

All the caches are off-trail – in areas that can be
muddy and/or have dense vegetation

Late fall, winter or early spring
is the best time to find the

Geocaches of Stinchcomb

4 OKC Outdoor Network Geocaches
in & around the Stinchcomb Wildlife Refuge

 OKC-ON I  OKC-ON II
OKC-ON III
This one is very close to…
but not actually IN Stinchcomb
OKC-ON IV
A Nighttime ONLY Cache

Other Geocaches
within Stinchcomb Wildlife Refuge

OKC Micro Cache 2 OKC Micro Cache 3
Outpost Bravo Zulu Well No 21
The Devil’s Sandbox RUHEREYET
Yes!
Another Stinchcomb Cache!
Tiger Swallowtail
At a Historic Site
Cookie Cache
This one is very close to…
but not actually IN Stinchcomb
Lost Road
This one is very close to…
but not actually IN Stinchcomb

Be sure you have extra batteries
for your GPS to find your way back out.

Mountain bikers can ride the service road and a few trails the entire length of the Stinchcomb Wildlife Refuge. Less experienced mountain bikers will find the road and trails less technical than the Bluff Creek trail system north of Lake Hefner.

Boating in the refuge is typically by recreational kayak or canoe. Kayakers can put in on the west side of Yukon and float 9 miles down the North Canadian River to Lake Overholser (From Yukon – there is a nice launch site north on Garth Brooks Blvd and another by going north from route 66 on highway 4, also known as Piedmont Road).

Canoeists and kayakers will frequently put in just south of the old Route 66 bridge and paddle up the river for several miles before returning.

The level and flow of the river makes every trip a little different.

http://www.oktrails.comAlong the river and lakes, the signs of wildlife are constant. Blue herons, owls and ducks can be seen year round. Egrets and cranes will often visit during the warmer months. The felled trees from the many wild beaver in the refuge may be seen every few feet. The hoofed tracks of deer are abundant. At dusk the wildlife comes out to play. Deer sightings are common. The tail slaps of swimming beavers as you approach to close are heard. Bats dance in the sky as they emerge to chase insects above your head. In warmer weather fish will jump from the water as you paddle by.


6. Robbers Cave State Park is located in the scenic, hilly woodlands of the San Bois Mountains of southeast Oklahoma. A favorite of rappelers, cave explorers, equestrians, hikers and outdoor lovers,

Robbers Cave enjoys notoriety
as a former hideout for outlaws

The park and adjoining wildlife management area offers acres of discovery and enjoyment including caves, trout fishing in season, boating, hunting, trails for hikers and horses, sandstone cliffs for climbing and rappelling, and fall foliage viewing. RV and tent campsites, and equestrian campsites are also available.


7. Black Mesa
Oklahoma’s Highest Point
This park is in Oklahoma’s panhandle and got its name from the layer of black lava rock that coated the mesa about 30 million years ago. The Nature Preserve is located 15 miles from the state park and features Oklahoma’s highest elevation at 4,973 feet above sea level.

8. Beech Creek Trail System
Located in the Beech Creek Botanical and Scenic Areas, these trails cross the headwaters of Beech Creek in SE Oklahoma. The mountain slopes of the Scenic Area surround the creek bottoms and hollows lined with large beech trees. The Botanical Area, which runs along the creek, was designated to protect and interpret the unique plant communities found here.

Trails – Various loops totaling 32.5 miles.


9. Ouachita National Recreation Trail
This is the longest trail in the Ouachita National Forest spanning 192 miles across its entire length. In the west, the trail begins at Talimena State Park on U.S. Hwy. 271 near the town of Talihina in SE Oklahoma

10. Great Salt Plains State Park
Great Salt Plains Lake is located at the park and covers 8,690 surface acres with 41 miles of shoreline and is a shallow, salty lake — about 1/3 to 1/2 as salty as the ocean — with fishing opportunities for catfish, saugeye, sand bass and hybrid striper.

The Salt Plains National Wildlife Refuge sits adjacent to the park and offers great bird watching and fall foliage viewing opportunities.

The refuge is the only spot in the world
where crystal enthusiasts can dig for
Hourglass "Selenite" Crystals
a rare and fragile form of selenite, which is a form of gypsum
.

Digging times are available from April 1 through October 15
 

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