Breathe deep and enjoy the view.
We’re living in times of fluctuating statistics and ever-changing health and safety guidelines, which can make getting out to cure cabin fever a bit confusing at times. While it’s important to practice caution, many of us miss hitting the open road and visiting the exciting destinations that make Oklahoma unique.
Luckily, there are many wide-open spaces on Adventure Road to enjoy and find solace in while practicing social distancing, and the freedom that comes with summer seems to make them all the more beautiful. Save any of these destinations to your Favorites for the next time you’re in need of some fresh air.
Tishomingo National Wildlife Refuge
Open seven days a week from sunrise to sunset, the refuge is a serene place to observe a myriad of species native to Oklahoma, including nearly 300 species of birds. Home to Lake Texoma and the Washita River, the diverse landscape also includes grasslands, wild plum thickets and woodlands of oak, hickory and elm trees that shelter colorful songbirds in summer. There are three main nature trails to explore and plenty of areas to fish.
Lake of the Arbuckles
With 36 miles of shoreline, the Lake of the Arbuckles is regarded as one of the best fishing lakes for catfish, perch, bass and crappie. Stay for a weekend at one of the many campgrounds and trailer spaces or enjoy an afternoon picnic before exploring more of the Chickasaw National Recreation Area.
Just 8 miles north of the Lake of the Arbuckles, you’ll find a hidden gem, Veterans Lake. After a fun day of fishing and hiking, this is a great spot to find yourself as the sun begins to set. Picnic areas, restrooms and grills are located near the fishing dock and available for you and a group of friends to relax and enjoy some burgers and cold refreshments.
Arbuckle Trail Rides
If you’ve yet to experience the beauty of the Arbuckle Mountains from the saddle of a horse, we highly suggest you add it to your list this summer. At the Wolfe Ranch, you have the opportunity to connect with nature and wildlife in a unique way while taking in the scenic views of about 5,000 acres of hills and canyons near the Chickasaw National Recreation Area. Rides range from 1 to 4 hours and can be reserved by calling or texting Cheri Wolfe at 580-993-0097.
The biking and walking trails that surround the 2,500-acre lake are a great place for you – and your four-legged friends – to get some fresh air and vitamin D. There are also plenty of dining options to enjoy a socially distanced meal on a patio with a lakeside breeze. Try out Louie’s Grill & Bar (Lakeside), Mama Roja Mexican Kitchen, Redrock Canyon Grill or Hefner Grill when you visit.
Martin Park Nature Center
What makes this 144-acre park a special place to explore is the unexpected feeling of seclusion. As you walk the 2.5 miles of gentle hiking trails, you often forget you’re even in Oklahoma City. The woodlands that surround it are home to diverse wildlife and offer a great source of shade from the summer sun. This peaceful spot is a great one to visit if you’re looking to recharge in nature.
Lake Thunderbird State Park
Pack some refreshments and head to Lake Thunderbird State Park for a family picnic at one of the many covered tables. If you’re into mountain biking and hiking, the nature trails are a great source of outdoor fun while visiting Norman. Picnic shelters, tent campgrounds and RV spaces can all be reserved online.
Do you plan on adding any of these outdoor locations to your summer adventures? Leave us a comment below!