Have you made your camping reservations for Memorial Day yet?
If not, you might want to do this as soon as possible. Go to Travelok.com, select the state park you want to visit and select the method you will use, cabin, campground, lodge, etc. But beware, it may already be too late.
If everything is full, you can still enjoy a visit to a state park. How about planning a picnic and taking a day trip to the park? If you enjoy hiking, there are plenty of trails to choose from in several state parks. It doesn’t have to be a hike, just a quiet, relaxing walk.
One of my favorite places to do this is Roman Nose State Park near Watonga. The park has 540 acres containing several geological and historical qualities that are quite unique. My favorite is the area known as Springs. It is a peaceful, charming and quiet place that people use for recreation, leisure and games.
Robbers Cave State Park in Wilburton offers 30 miles of hiking trails to enjoy. Beavers Bend State Park in Broken Bow also has 30 miles of trails that can take you through the beautiful hills and winds along the shore of one of Oklahoma’s most beautiful lakes.
Greenleaf State Park in Braggs offers an 18-mile, all-day jaunt through the Cherokee Wildlife Management Area. Along this route, you will be treated to exceptional panoramas, a swing bridge and an unspoiled outdoor adventure. You will find varying degrees of on all trails, from beginner to expert.
After: Planning a weekday trip to a state park? Accommodation options abound
Meet up with friends and play a round of golf. One of the fun things when selecting a state park to golf in is the variety of terrain. Fort Cobb has a long and difficult course. And Golf Digest has included Fort Cobb State Park Golf Course in its “Places to Stay” publication as a three-star course for three consecutive years.
Lake Murray State Park Golf Course is like many park courses in that you can play any time of the year given Oklahoma’s unpredictable weather. They have tree lined fairways, Bermuda grass greens and smaller greens. Having played there myself, the Lake Murray course will repeatedly require you to use just about every club in your bag. It also has beautiful water features.
The course at Roman Nose is challenging but fun.
Oklahomans are excited for the 2022 PGA Championship to be played at Southern Hills Country Club in Tulsa starting May 19.
But in the meantime, play at any of the following Oklahoma State Park golf courses: Arrowhead, Cedar Creek at Beavers Bend, Fort Cobb, Grand Cherokee, Lake Murray, Roman Nose, and Sequoyah.
A handful of state parks like Sequoyah, Lake Murray, and Roman Nose offer guided hikes, but if you own a horse, you can select a park with trails for riding. And those parks are Foss, Salt Plains, Thunderbird, and Arrowhead.
Robbers Cave offers horseback riding and guided tours. In fact, it has 70 miles of horse trails. But if you choose to take a guided hike, you can choose from five different trails, which have varying lengths and degrees of difficulty. If you prefer another mode of transportation, you can also find several bike paths in various state parks.
As for fishing, I don’t have enough space in this article to cover all the wonderful places you can go fishing in a state park. The Oklahoma Fishing Trail is a great resource for the veteran to first-time angler. And don’t forget that Oklahoma has over 200 lakes and over a million acres of water surface.
After: Addicted to fishing? The state offers plenty of places to roll them up
When visiting Salt Plains State Park in Jet, you can hike, ride the bike trails, and go fishing. A unique feature of this park is that it is adjacent to the Salt Plains National Wildlife Refuge, where you can go for selenite crystals. The digging area is open until October 15. And Oklahoma is the only place in the world where you can find these unique hourglass shaped selenite crystals.
The 2022 Oklahoma State Parks and Outdoor Guide is also helpful, as well as the Oklahoma State Parks app. You can find a lot more information by going to Travelok.com to find fun recreational activities not just in state parks, but all over the state.
Dino Lalli is the co-host and one of the reporters for the weekly “Discover Oklahoma” television show.