Friday, June 18, 2010

Turner Falls Park In The Arbuckle Mountains In Oklahoma

Every year around this time the number one most visited page on my Eyes on Texas website becomes Turner Falls Park in Oklahoma.

Apparently a lot of people want to visit a waterfall, rare in these parts, see some mountain scenery. Also rare. Go swimming in the crystal clear water of Honey Creek. Go hiking, cave and castle exploring. Do some camping. Stay in a cabin. Or just go for the day for a picnic.

Turner Falls Park has several concession stands selling a variety of good stuff. Like snow cones. And other edibles.

On weekends you'll find arts and crafters selling their wares.

The first time I drove north, out of Texas, crossing the Red River to Oklahoma and then north past Ardmore, I was perplexed at signage indicating I was passing over or through something called the Arbuckle Mountains. Mountains? I saw no mountains. The freeway has a scenic overlook. I stopped. I saw nothing scenic.

And then, on an August Saturday, early in this century, Turner Falls was the destination. Turner Falls is only a few miles west of Interstate 35. Soon after you exit the freeway you find yourself surprised by what amounts to being sort of scaled down mountain type scenery. Complete with a mountain type, twisting and turning road.

You come to an overlook which looks down on Turner Falls. That is that view, zoomed in the photo at the top.

Back during the Great Depression the CCC built trails in Turner Falls Park, including a rock trail that leads from the overlook to the Honey Creek valley below. This is one of several locations in the Turner Falls zone that are not comfortable for anyone with any degree of acrophobia.

In summer Turner Falls falls a bit less water than it does after a heavy winter rain. When I saw Turner Falls in August the falls was a pleasant trickle that you could swim under. When I saw Turner Falls in winter that same activity would have likely been not a good idea.

That is Turner Falls in August in the picture, being a pleasant trickle of a waterfall. That is yours truly being that little pinhead in the water, with the falls hitting me.

I have met locals who claim to have never seen a waterfall. I've also met locals who claim they've never ventured north to Oklahoma. I've also met locals who claim they've never seen a mountain.

I'm thinking if you are a local, as in Texan, and have never seen a waterfall, mountain or Oklahoma, have yourself a fun daytrip and head north to the Arbuckle Mountains this summer.

Heading to Turner Falls you'll drive right by the 5th biggest casino in the world, that being WinStar World Resort Casino, just a couple miles north of the Texas/Oklahoma border. It was in that casino I had the best coffee I have ever tasted. And a really good buffet.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

The Winstar buffet sure sounds good. I must be hungry this morning.

What was so special about their coffee? Like best coffee ever? A casino? I guess it make sense to keep people caffeinated and spending money 8-|

I think a Turner Falls dip looks like a great way to cool off.