Oklahoma is home to beautiful landscapes and a handful of national parks complete with camping areas, fishing, boating and hiking. While some recreational areas are National Parks, many of them are land and cultural areas that belong to the indigenous people of Oklahoma and America. Though Oklahoma may not be the initial home of some native tribes, a large population of Native Americans were relocated to the state and allocated land on which they could live. All across the state you can find parks and cultural centers dedicated to the various Native tribes currently in Oklahoma. Here are some great hiking locations to visit and learn about the Native people who inhabit them.
Chickasaw National Recreation Area
The Chickasaw Nation originated in the American South and was later relocated to Oklahoma. Encompassing the Lake of the Arbuckles, this pristine recreational area is home to some beautiful scenes all centered around gorgeous waterfront views, freshwater springs and waterfalls. With a variety of wildlife and ecosystems, this is the ideal location for individuals seeking a wide range of activities such as bird watching and moderate to difficult hiking trails. Visitors can explore the lifestyle of the Natives by visiting the Chickasaw Cultural Center, just a few miles north of the Chickasaw National Recreation Area.
Sequoyah National Wildlife Refuge
The Sequoyah National Wildlife Refuge is located in Eastern Oklahoma where the Arkansas and Canadian Rivers meet. Located near such an abundant water sources provides a variety of aquatic and forest life, along with some excellent waterfowl and bird watching opportunities. With several miles of hiking trails, paved and unpaved, as well as a 6 mile car tour route, the park is an excellent location for the hiker and outdoorsman looking for a smaller park and less people. Trails range from easy to moderate across the entire park.
Black Kettle National Grasslands
A rich, diverse grassland, the Black Kettle National Park is home to hundreds of animal species, ranging from birds to bison to bobcats and everything in between. Located just north of Cheyenne, Okla., the park has a handful of trails encircling the entire reservation. With trails dedicated to birding and other wildlife spotting, varying in length and difficulty from short trails to day trips, Black Kettle is a great stop for parties looking to spend a day, the weekend or even an entire vacation. Shorter loops range from one to five miles, whereas more intense and longer routes can reach up to 14 miles. An assortment of lodging and other recreational centers are in and around the park to provide other activities such as horseback riding, star gazing sites, hunting and wildflower hotspots.
Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge
Are you truly looking to be the only human around for miles? This is the park for you. Reserve a $2 permit to be the only campers in the 5,000 acre Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge. With trails and woodland working through rolling hills, lowlands and prairies, this is the true wildlife experience of Oklahoma. Camp overnight and wake to a beautiful southwest sunrise over grasslands, followed by hiking through wild country and forest alike. Trails range from moderate to difficult across the entire park.
Here is a list of lakes with great hiking trails:
Oklahome Lakes with Hiking Trails