Where to go when the leaves start to change.
Just like that, summer has come and gone. But, as Simon & Garfunkel once said, “Time hurries on, and the leaves that are green turn to brown.” That’s one of the best parts of fall arriving, isn’t it? Watching the trees warm up with autumn colors and enjoying crisp, cool air? Adventures don’t have to stop when it gets chilly. There are all sorts of new ones to be had, actually. This list is all about a few destinations where you’ll find gorgeous fall foliage to be your backdrop to your fall activities.
Take in the unbridled beauty of the Arbuckle Mountains, filled with forests and prairies to natural springs and rock formations. The view you see above is from the Chickasaw Retreat & Conference Center, which offers guests incredible views and hiking trails to enjoy. There’s something about an aerial view of the trees’ colorful canopies that makes us fall in love with Oklahoma a bit more every time.
Chickasaw National Recreation Area
Without the summer sun peering down on us so intensely, we’ll be seeing more and more wildlife stepping out, giving us a glimpse of their lives. That makes it super-important to have your camera handy at all times when visiting places like the Chickasaw National Recreation Area. This wooded park is no stranger to deer, birds and other critters, and you’re likely to see some on your hike. There are trails and flowing waters all throughout, making this an idyllic place to enjoy fall weather.
Now, that aerial view of tree canopies we mentioned earlier goes to a whole new level at 777 Zip. As you float 777 feet in the air, you’ll look down to see an incredible view of Turner Falls Park among the breathtaking landscape. It only costs a single rider $15 to experience it, or you can pay $25 for two riders. Be sure to stop in the Curio Shop for a souvenir.
Tishomingo National Wildlife Refuge
Slow down and enjoy some peace and quiet at the Tishomingo National Wildlife Refuge. Natural and unencumbered, this expansive sanctuary is home to a wide range of plant and animal species native to Oklahoma, including almost 300 bird species! Whether you come to fish, bird watch, take nature photos or just breathe, the many trees of this preserve will undoubtedly serve you with the fall indulgence you’re looking for.
In the same area is the extensive Blue River, a spot for camping, kayaking, rafting and some incredible flyfishing. This summer, there were many groups enjoying the cool water and lounging in the sun with a book and cold drinks. During the cooler fall months, there are many great spots along the riverbanks to set up camp, start a fire and enjoy cider and s’mores. The rushing water is the cherry on top of an already delightful fall ambiance.
Martin Park Nature Center
There’s still nature and wildlife to enjoy within the city, too! Martin Park Nature Center is open every day, and it’s free to enter. There are wooded trails and open grasslands throughout the 144-acre natural sanctuary, and you might even run into a few friends. The park is home to wildlife like birds, butterflies, foxes, reptiles, coyotes and armadillos. It’s amazing to be surrounded by trees rustling with leaves of orange, yellow and red, yet be so close to the city’s activities.
These are a few of our favorite spots to visit when fall comes. What is yours? Drop us a comment below!