National Parks in Oklahoma

March 10, 2023

If you’re looking for a unique way to spend your vacation, Oklahoma has plenty of national parks to choose from. The National Park Service manages several sites – including national recreation areas, historic sites, memorials and more – in each state.

Chickasaw National Recreation Area is the oldest national park in Oklahoma and it’s worth a visit! This beautiful recreation area is open year-round and offers tons of outdoor activities.

1. Chickasaw National Recreation Area

Located near Sulphur, Chickasaw National Recreation Area is open 365 days a year and 24 hours a day. This fee-free area is a great place to escape from the hustle and bustle of city life.

The park features a variety of outdoor activities like hiking, swimming, boating, and horseback riding. It also maintains a small herd of bison in a pasture.

Camping is a popular way to enjoy the park. There are six campgrounds, including reservable sites and seasonal ones.

A great way to get a feel for the park is by visiting the Travertine Nature Center. It has exhibit dioramas, live reptiles and amphibians and an auditorium for ranger-led nature programs.

2. Lake Wister State Park

If you love the outdoors, don’t miss a visit to Lake Wister State Park. It’s a gateway to the Ouachita National Forest and boasts five camping areas around 115 miles of picturesque shoreline.

It is also a popular destination for hiking, biking, boating and water skiing activities. It is also home to a water spray park that is a favorite among children.

For those who enjoy sports, the park’s sports fields are an excellent place to hone your skills, bond with your fellow campers or compete in tough challenges. You can even bring your pets as long as they are kept on a leash no longer than ten feet and under your direct supervision at all times.

3. Beavers Bend State Park

In the foothills of the Kiamichi Mountains, Beavers Bend State Park is an outdoor lover’s dream. The rocky gorges of the Mountain Fork River and wooded shores of Broken Bow Lake are home to towering timbers and crystal clear waters that make this area a true sight-seeing paradise.

In addition to the natural attractions, the park also offers a range of fun activities for visitors to enjoy. Eagle watches (November through February), trout fishing, fly fishing clinics, guided horseback rides on scenic trails, hayrides throughout the park and more are just a few of the things you can enjoy while visiting this state park in Oklahoma.

The park has eight campgrounds and rustic cabins, as well as a 40-room lodge, a convenient dump site and numerous RV sites for those looking to bring their vehicles along. This is a popular destination, so reservations are recommended for spring and summer breaks or holiday periods.

4. Custer Battlefield National Historic Site

Located in southern Montana, Custer Battlefield National Historic Site is a historic battlefield where a group of American Indians battled a U.S. Cavalry force led by George Armstrong Custer and his 7th Cavalry on June 25, 1876.

The monument preserves the site of the battle and memorializes George Armstrong Custer, who was killed leading a combined Lakota-Northern Cheyenne and Arapaho force. The park also features Custer National Cemetery, which is home to more than 4,000 military veterans and their families.

Visitors can tour the battlefield, listen to a ranger talk, or take a self-guided tour along a 4.5 mile tour road. In addition, you can visit the visitor center and museum.

5. Sequoyah National Wildlife Refuge

Nestled in the gently rolling foothills of the Ozark Mountains, Sequoyah National Wildlife Refuge sits at the head of Robert Kerr Reservoir. The area is a major stopover for waterfowl during their spring and fall migrations.

Rich bottomland hardwoods are the mainstay of the 32-square-mile refuge, interspersed with upland meadows and fields. The refuge's dynamic riparian geology features the confluence of the Arkansas and Canadian rivers as well as numerous islands, flooded timber, cattail marshes and other water habitats.

This refuge is home to a variety of wildlife, including American bald eagles, prothonotary warblers and wood ducks. In addition, it's a popular spot for observing bobcats and deer.


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